Sunday, August 23, 2009

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Number Eighteen.

18. Baseball should have a shorter season and shorter games.

I didn't say these would all be brand new ideas. Some of them I've had before (for example, I've long espoused number one, because I've believed for a long time that people who earn more than $200,000 per year and don't give the excess away are greedy and mean), and today's Fine-Tuning idea is one I first proposed on my sports blog a long time ago.

Baseball is too long, and that makes it extra boring. Have you ever tried to sit through an entire game? If you have sat through one, admit it: You got bored and stopped paying attention for a while. Multiply that by the entire 162-game season and man, it's exponential boredom.

Here's the fix: Play 80 games. Have each game be just five innings long. That's still like 1 1/2 hours per game, but by doing that you'll improve the quality of play. You'll do that because you'll need fewer pitchers, and fewer pitchers equals better pitchers. The more leagues expand and the more games that are played, the lower the quality of player they have to let in to fill expanded slots. Five innings means one pitcher per game -- maybe with a reliever coming in to fill out the fifth inning. So your quality pitchers stay on, and your quality relievers can become starters, bumping out the bad guys. Hitters could keep up, though, because they would be playing only 1/2 the usual number of games, so their bodies would stay fresher.

(I actually think the season should be more like 40 games, but I'm putting it at 80 to keep baseball fans from screaming bloody murder.)

There would be no shortage of TV money, either. Right now, by my estimate, teams from New York, Boston, and California make up 99.995% of the TV schedule for baseball. If you take the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Dodgers, that's 240 games a year, from May to September (because you could spread the games out, and get better pitching that way, too.) You could have one of the marquee teams playing every night without a break if that's what you wanted. Or you could, you know, televise other teams, too, so baseball fans could see more of the teams play, and end up watching more games, not less.

Thank me later, Bud Selig.

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.

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