Rick Reilly wrote a column this week about what he might do were he commissioner of baseball. Being that this is the worst column ever, I figured we would rip it to shreds, FJM style:
I personally find baseball so crushingly boring I would happily plunge knitting needles into my eyes to avoid another snap zoom of Joe Torre’s nostril hairs.
But my buddies like it, so I sit and watch with them. And bitch.
Ahh, the old “tell the reader that I hate the thing I am writing about so they will take my critique seriously” move. Rick, you think the sport is boring because you do not understand it. I find every at-bat interesting, because there is a mental tug of war going on between batter and pitcher that is fascinating. If all you see is some guy throwing a ball and another swinging a stick, that is your problem. Instead of complaining, why not learn about the sport? It is not like you are a highly paid sports columnist or anything.
Rick then goes on to list his ten improvements to the sport. Most of them are idiotic:
We’ll put in a pitch clock. The reason baseball is slower than cold honey tipped over is that there’s no clock when men are on base…….with my 15-second pitch clock, we get the hitter in the box, the pitcher on the mound and everybody in their homes by 10 p.m. We get two-hour-15-minute games instead of four-hour sunburns. We get World Series games that kids can see end. And not a dime of ad money is lost!
The concept of moving the game along is fine. However, considering that there are timing rules with nobody on base, and the umpires have the discretion to refuse a time out, it seems that this would be an unnecessary plan. Just enforce the old rules and be done with it. To me, part of the charm of baseball is the leisurely pace, and a clock would just be anathema to that.
Once a week, every player signs autographs for 10 minutes by the dugout. Don’t tell me you’re too busy, Mr. Seven-Car Garage. I’ve seen you elbows-deep in the clubhouse porn stash.
First, does anyone have more jokes fall flat than Reilly? Every column is full of them. Second, Reilly’s plan is for players to sign autographs less frequently? Most players sign a lot more frequently than 10 minutes a week, and they certainly sign more than players do in other sports.
3) We’ll bring in Olympic testing. Saying “baseball players cheat” is like saying “wolves like hamburger.” In the Small-Balls era, nobody — not the players, not the owners, not the writers — tried to stop it. Where were all these books when we needed them? But when I bring in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) — and let it test anytime, road or home — we’ll finally see who’s faker than Octomom’s lips.
4) If you’re 0-for-4, the crowd picks your at-bat music. Is it my fault if they choose “Nothing From Nothing” by Billy Preston?
5) The National League will get the DH. No more pitchers swinging a bat at a ball the way Paris Hilton swings a shovel at a moth.
I agree in regard to stricter testing, although MLB is stronger than any of the major sports leagues. The next one is just pure idiocy, showing that Reilly does not enough about baseball to come up with ten improvements for the game. I also agree regarding the DH. I think that pitchers have become so specialized that they really should not be hitting anymore, and that player movement between the leagues just exacerbates the situation, as AL pitchers who have not swung a bat regularly in years suddenly move to the NL and are expected to hit.
6) We’ll fine more players. The NFL fines guys $5,000 for not having their socks right. Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin got a $25,000 fine for shoving a guy. But often, Selig yawns when pitchers throw 95 mph retaliation beanballs. You want to brain a guy just because he stood in the box after his moon shot? Okay. We’ll fine you until your kids end up in public school.
Most players do not care about fines. They are making too much money to care, and with the way that MLB hands out suspensions these days, increasing fines might just take the inner half of the plate away from younger players making less money.
7) Umps will be in charge of rainouts year round, not the home team. I’m sick of seeing a full house soak for two hours 59 minutes waiting for the manager to get word from his owner to call it, just because the greedball wants to sell more $9 beers. We’ll put Double Doppler 9000 in the umps’ room, and they’ll decide in under an hour.
Totally agree, Rick. See how easy it is to make a rational point? Let’s try again with the next one.
8 ) Balls that hit the foul pole are foul. Duh.
This is where I decided to write this post. Shots taken while standing on the three point line should count as three points, right Rick? Idiot. The foul pole is in fair territory, and it is called the foul pole because it separates between fair and foul. Can I say Idiot again?
9) A prospect won’t be allowed to enter an MLB farm system until he’s the age of a college sophomore, just like in the NBA. Over the years, I’ve noticed most baseball players are dumber than toe lint. This is because many of them report to the minors even before graduating high school. In 2004, ex-Cubs ace Mark Prior told USC’s business school that he heard he was “one of only 17 current major leaguers with a college degree.” That stat can be matched only in the American janitorial industry. My plan will bring in players who enjoy reading something other than Garfield Out to Lunch.
You are right, Rick. 18 year olds should be allowed to work in sweat shops or join the army, but not play minor league baseball. I really do not get this. He wants to prevent them from working so that they can spend time getting drunk in college? They should be required to finish high school, and then be free to do what they want.
10) And most important, if you’re the dweeb fan on your cell behind home plate waving at the camera, the rest of your section gets to pour beer down your shorts.
Hahahahahaha!!!!!! That funny Rick Reilly!!!! He used the word dweeb and then talked about pouring alcohol down someone’s shorts!!! He really kills me!!!
Update: As I was posting this, I noticed Craig from Shysterball did the same thing to this story. Check it out.
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