“Slash the roster of all teams to 20 men. This would save payroll…”
by Craig Calcaterra @ Hardball Talk
No, that’s not from some Marge Schott fever dream. It was from a fun 1957 article by a guy named Franklin Lewis of the Cleveland Press, and it was one of 21 suggestions he offered to fix baseball.
Larry over at Wezen-Ball runs them all down. A couple of them are arguably sensible. Most of them are crazy sauce at best, completely contradictory at worst. All of them are kind of fun, though, if for no other reason than they’ll be even more hilarious when some hack columnist writes the modern version of this thing on a slow day. Which seems to happen a couple times a year.
Some of the highlights:
- Prohibit the pitcher/catcher from rubbing a ball down that an ump has already rubbed down. This will help save time, obviously.
- Insist that a batter stay in the box. (“This is guaranteed to save ten minutes a game.”)
- Schedule night games on Fridays and Saturdays only.
- Reduce umpire groups to three.
- Hire cops to patrol the stands and remove “pests, drunks, molesters, beer-spillers, and swearers”.
- Ban pictures of players hocking beer and cigarettes. The venerable Judge Landis “never would permit major leaguers to endorse anything he believed contrary to the betterment of youth.” Baseball definitely shouldn’t do anything that Judge Landis thought was bad!
- Design new uniforms that include safety factors and streamline the outfits.
- Go back to 3pm games. That would allow office workers to “get in most of a day’s work”.
- Ban “fireworks, automobile giveaways, bank nights, orchids, nylons, men’s nights and other synthetic gimmicks.” Thankfully, ladies night and tickets for school children would still be allowed.
- Confine television to road games. “How in the world can you give away your product” on television while also selling it in the stands?