By Ken Reed
I’m fine with MLB not making pitchers throw four silly lob balls to the catcher in order to intentionally walk the batter. If the defense wants to voluntarily place a runner on base then simply notifying the umpire will do just fine. It won’t save a lot of time but it’s a start.
I’m fine with limiting “time outs” — e.g., trips to the mound by coaches, managers or position players, as well as limiting the number of conferences third base coaches can have with batters. And umps should force batters to keep one foot in the batters box between pitches, instead of allowing hitters to go on long strolls after every pitch.
In addition to the new automatic intentional walk rule, MLB will limit the time managers can take to make a replay challenge this season. Good. And the replay booth will be limited in how much time they can take to review a play. Good again.
Moreover, I think the practice of catchers taking multiple seconds after every pitch to get a sign from the dugout to relay to the pitcher should be stopped. If, however, managers and pitching coaches feel it’s imperative that they call pitches instead of catchers then put speakers in catchers’ ears. That will save time and avoid having to watch catchers stare into the dugout after every pitch to get a sign.
Of course, the best way to speed up the game would be to cut the excessive time currently allowed for commercials between half-innings. But, of course, MLB won’t do that. Owners love revenue more than they dislike slow games. So, the dead time between half-innings will continue until the networks come back from commercials.
Most of these speed-of-play rule changes are pretty innocuous. But I have one absolute on this issue: Never, ever, under any circumstances, bring a clock into the game of baseball.
One proposal that’s being kicked around to speed up the game is to insert a pitch clock into the game. The pitch clock rule would require pitchers to throw a pitch in a certain amount of time.
One of the charms, and unique characteristics, of baseball is that there has never been a clock involved in the game. That’s the way it should stay.
The best way for baseball to keep existing fans — and acquire new ones — is to enhance the game’s strengths, special features, and unique characteristics, NOT try to become more like football or basketball.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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