UMPS INSTRUCTED TO SHORTEN GAME

(New Jork) Baseball Brahmans here, fearing a drop in fan interest due to lengthy games, have once again turned up the heat on Major League umpires. The latest suggestions include reducing the size of the field, limiting behavior while the ball is not in play and terminating other age old traditions in an attempt to pasteurize the sport.

Insiders confirm that there is a move afoot to shorten the distances between the bases and between the mound and home plate. This would, according to anxious supporters, speed things up at all corners and give the pitcher a better advantage over the batter.

“If this doesn’t work we can always make the fences taller and add a few more outfielders,” said Pee Wee Drysdale, former owner/manager of the Grand Junction Ferrets, a now defunct Armenian Association franchise. “Another idea is to eliminate the dugouts. Do you know how long it takes for the average player to climb those few steps and trot back out onto the field at the change of an inning?”

Other plans involve speeding up play by limiting neurotic keystone habits such as giving multiple signs and issuing intentional walks.

“We feel that a manager or coach can get by with a minimum of three to four signs per inning,” explained Drysdale, “and limit his mound visits to weekends only. Anything else is just mindless repetition.”

On the subject of intentional walks Drysdale was adamant in his critique of this wasteful procedure saying that the current practice was simply a tedious pantomime that resulted in exactly the same situation whether four balls were actually hurled or not.

“How many times have you ever seen a decision to walk a player changed after the count reached 3 balls and no strikes?”

In conclusion, for the time being, Drysdale praised efforts on the part of progressive owners to do away with silly traditions such as stolen bases and check throws which he says waste more than 117 hours during the course of a season.

“I don’t see why we can’t limit throws over to first base or pitch-outs to two per inning,” he shruggedl. “Is that oppressive? What about limiting stolen bases to night games only? That would speed things up.”

Calling baseball traditionalists “moldy throwbacks to another time” Drysdale¬† insisted that the game must keep pace with changes in society if it is to survive another century.

“Take the practice of the home run hitter jogging around the base paths after doing his dirty work. It reminds me of the ancient Roman gladiators,” he laughed. “What are they hoping to achieve? Are they waiting for thumbs up or to be showered with flowers? I think they should have a time limit to get the hell off the field and get on with the show.”

One reporter responded by agreeing in part with the new plan but raised the question of how the league would schedule the multitude of commercials slotted on radio and television broadcasts.

Drysdale’s response was swift and to the point.

“Just run the ad spots while the first batter is in the box. They usually don’t do anything all that exciting anyway and if they happen to we always have instant replay.”

– Kashmir Horseshoe

 

Filed Under: Reflections on Disorder

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