All Players Please Report To the Third Base LIne…

Major League Baseball is beside itself. No fans and a pandemic has the league trying anything to… what are they trying to do again?

League sources close to my feet tell me the 35th and 36th baseball teams will be added to Major League Baseball any day now. The Canoga Hematomas and the Pawtucket Pitch Sniffers are expected to immediately contend for one of the league’s 34 playoff spots along with the Austin City Limiters and the Anchorage Polar Bears. The Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners are the only teams not expected to make the postseason. Anchorage will play three games at home if weather allows.

No joke, San Francisco Giants President Larry Baer told KNBR last week that the league is definitely interested in expanding the number of playoff teams, which is necessary if you’re a team like… the San Francisco Giants and you can’t get into the playoffs any other way. “If you remember last year, it was done in the last minute,” Baer said, identifying a trend in the league to make late changes for change sake. He then stated the obvious, “We’d be supportive of expanded playoffs.”

There is also “widespread support” among owners, again according to KNBR, for doing away with the shift, a gross distortion of the unwritten rules of baseball which say you should put defensive players somewhere near the place you think the player on offense, soon to be known as the “Frozen-ball-swinger-atter” might try to hit it. This removal of the shift would do what so many other legislated solutions to problems would do, which is to attack the symptom (under a new agreement with the players’ union).

No joke, if somehow the union and owners can agree, then baseball would actually strip its managers… God no, not that… would actually prevent them from putting players in positions where they might actually see the ball.

Under one set of proposed new rules, if a player is identified as a pull hitter, the entire defense must employ a reverse shift to the opposite field’s sideline. This bit of reparations will hopefully undo the last several years during which pull hitters were unfairly labeled “not as good” as hitters who could hit the ball all over the park. Those same “not as good” hitters were unfairly “robbed” of hits because the defense “unfairly” noticed they could get outs by not running away from the spots players often hit balls.

In addition, players identified who have ever intentionally hit the ball anywhere other than to the two fielders on their respective sides of the diamond will be given a handicap, much like Mary’s Knuckles had to carry extra weight in the third race today at Aqueduct. Hitters who “spray the ball” will be fitted with an eye patch and a prescription pair of glasses that only I can see out of for the other eye. Also, their bats will be covered with a thin layer of Hubba Bubba. If the substance is applied below any unspecified line on the bat, however, George Brett will be called on to run from the dugout onto the field and beat the offending player with a bag of peanuts.

A competing proposition, would have Umpire Angel Hernandez control the baseball bats, much like Tom Brady controls the balls for the National Football League. Mixed in with the stack of lumber available for all players would be at least two bats that are hollowed out and filled with super balls at a PSI of 7.3.

Now, before you pitchers out there start complaining, the other part of the proposal is that at least a half a dozen baseballs would be 3-D printed facsimiles “hot balls” that would actually be full of chicken soup.

Hernandez would be allowed to stand behind home plate and even make wild gestures as if he were actually calling balls and strikes. However, the official calling of balls and strikes would be up to Jeff (last name unknown) who would call the game from his seat, the hot dog line, the bathroom or the bus on the way home. MLB projects a 73-percent increase in correct balls and strikes called. It would be more but MLB predicts Jeff will likely be pie-eyed by the third inning, which decreases his increased effectiveness over Hernandez to 50 percent thereafter.

While frozen balls, a freeze on shifts, stuffed bats, eye patches and a hot tub of playoff teams are on the docket, so are revisions to the double header. Teams would play one inning of each makeup game at the end of the other games they play throughout the season. If that is not feasible, the teams will travel to Mexico and have dinner with Ted Cruz. Let’s play seven… twice!

No joke, the main entrance to Globe Life Field in Arlington should be covered with something better besides a giant block of gray concrete. Anything will do. Think ivy, poison, gang graffiti, pigeon bleep or a 50-foot tall mural of Bud Selig. If that cannot be collectively bargained, the Texas Rangers must trade facades with the Parker County, Texas Animal Shelter.

No joke. The stadium’s cool, but that entrance is beyond ugly. Of course, with other new ideas on the table this year, it has company.

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