Baseball at the crossroads
by Jesse J. Lewis, Sr.
Once upon a time we would equate baseball with apple pie and Chevrolet, three of the things that Americans loved. Not too many years ago baseball was the No. 1 sport in America. My guess would be baseball ranks No. 4 or 5 as the most desired sport. professional football is probably No. 1, college football No. 2, although I would rank college football No. 1.
Here’s a laundry list of things that have happened in baseball:
1. TV ratings have declined.
2. Ticket prices have skyrocketed.
3. Player’s salaries have shot through the roof.
4. Games are too long and boring.
5. Black people do not play.
6. Players are using illegal performance-enhancing drugs
The question on most people’s minds is how do you save a sports that was #1 in the hearts of all Americans for years. Heres’s how you can fix baseball, keeping in mind I personally find the game boring and most importantly, I have no facts to substantiate how I plan to develop a real fix for baseball.
1. Get all the owners together to make an agreement that the highest amount paid to any player be $3 million a year. If the average American can live off $30,000 a year, I’m confident that baseball players can live off $3 million a year.
2. Now the price of tickets can be reduced by 75 percent. Would you believe that if a family of four attended the game the price of tickets, hot dogs and cokes would be over $200.
3. In America we like football, basketball, and tennis, sports with excitement. We don’t like sports when participants rub the ball for 15 seconds, scratch where they itch for 10 seconds, then the manager comes out and calls time out and then they decide they need to scratch again. A time limit needs to be set on releasing the ball, the same as football, anywhere from 10 to 15 seconds, given x-number of time-outs called by the manager during one game. This would help the TV ratings. It would also help to cut down on the number of inning played… instead of nine, play seven; if there is a tie, let it be a tie. For example, win 1, lose 1 tied 1; the one with the greatest number of wins is the victor.
4. In baseball, the players have to meet with management and labor to decide they want a drug policy enforced. This would get the attention of everyone. Heretofore, when a player had a problem with drugs, labor came to their rescue to defend them and attempt in every way to circumvent the policy. I repeat, the players have to say they want a policy and if caught using once be suspended for 25 games; if caught twice, they can no longer play.
5. For the good of the game, all races need to participate. We need to go back and reinvent baseball for Black folks starting with the Pee Wee league. Incidentally, we need to do the same thing with golf. No Black players is bad for golf and baseball.