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View Full Version : If you could change one thing about MLB, what would that be?



Jpup
03-23-2007, 06:11 AM
This question was posed by Major League Baseball in the latest Fans At Bat survey. Here is my answer, I would love to hear your answers:


There are a couple of improvements I would like to see in baseball. First, I would love to see the adoption of a new salary structure which features a maximum and minimum overall payroll for each team. While revenue sharing is a great idea, most of that money is put into the owners pockets and not put back into the team's Major League product. It's a shame that you have team's with payrolls of over $200 million and clubs with payrolls of less than $20 million. I believe that a cap of $100-120 million and a minimum of $85 million or something of that nature would level the playing field for all organizations and would also make the large market teams spend more wisely and not cause player salaries to balloon above the reach of a smaller market club. Currently smaller market clubs such as Kansas City are forced to way overpay for talent to attract them to their club. This is a serious issue in baseball and I believe is even larger than the performance enhancing drug problem that has plagued baseball for the last 12 years.

I would also change the obscene blackout rules currently in place in baseball. I live 3 1/2 hours away from the nearest Major League city (Cincinnati) and their games are blacked out for me. Does baseball, the owners, believe that blacking out those games is going to be an incentive to get me to come to the ballpark? The answer is obviously, no. I'm not sure that this issue isn't larger than the one mentioned above. I believe baseball should be trying to attract more fans to the games and to the sport as a whole. I can understand a blackout of 50 miles in all directions, but when I am 200 miles away, their is simply no way to attend more than a handful of games per year.

StillFunkyB
03-23-2007, 06:43 AM
Blackout rules first and foremost.

Moosie52
03-23-2007, 08:30 AM
You beat me to it. Blackout rules.

RANDY IN INDY
03-23-2007, 08:56 AM
The commissioner.

VR
03-23-2007, 09:17 AM
Give Portland a baseball team.

coachw513
03-23-2007, 09:19 AM
Institute a salary cap similar to the NBA's that has a maximum ($150 million) and a minimum ($100 million)...as much as I dislike Steinbrenner and the Yankees, I would be thrilled if my owner were so passionate about winning and willing to do whatever necessary with the checkbook...too many owners talk about the "bottom line" and don't spend an amount that the market would dictate as necessary for reasonable competition, trying to get folks to forget that the overall value of their franchises is increasing exponentially each year regardless of the bottom line...I also like the NBA's allowing teams to more easily retain their free agents by being able to "outbid" others by a certain % of $$...it would slow player movement but still allow players to "get paid"...

Next, I'd eliminate the DH...I'm (obviously) a NL guy and think it's the way to play the game...so much more need for strategy, as opposed to bash-ball...

GADawg
03-23-2007, 09:23 AM
any change that would slow player movement....I miss those days when the same eight guys played together in the same lineup for several years at a time....I don't have enough time to keep up with who plays where anymore.

edabbs44
03-23-2007, 09:39 AM
Salary cap and globalized draft.

Crosley68
03-23-2007, 09:53 AM
The DH rule in the American League would be abolished.

gonelong
03-23-2007, 10:03 AM
Speed the games up dramatically. 3.5 hours games on a day-to-day basis make it darn difficult to follow every game and exponentially harder for me to justify a trip to Cincy to watch them live.

GL

BuckWoody
03-23-2007, 10:14 AM
There are lots of things that I'd like to change about baseball; the DH, the blackout rules, the winner of the All-Star game getting home field, and other things that have been mentioned already.

The thing that overshadows all of these is the need for a salary structure to help restore competitive balance. I like Jpup's and coach's ideas; have a minimum and a maximum and work out some sort of NBA-like Larry Bird clause for signing your own free agents. If you're going to make sweeping changes like this, why not do away with guaranteed contracts while you're at it? Let players play from year to year much like they do in the NFL.

Chip R
03-23-2007, 10:23 AM
Yeah, lack of a salary cap keeps smaller market teams like StL and Florida from winning the World Series.

BuckWoody
03-23-2007, 10:47 AM
Yeah, lack of a salary cap keeps smaller market teams like StL and Florida from winning the World Series.
Small market vs. large market isn't the issue...that's just what the media likes to call it. It's more about small revenue teams vs. the large revenue teams and those teams who have owners with deep pockets who are willing to spend it (in the case of Florida).

I can't see anything good about having teams in a league whose salaries are so disparate.

klw
03-23-2007, 11:01 AM
Some day games for the World Series and bring back a network night game of the week.

Edskin
03-23-2007, 11:07 AM
Either reduce the number of All Stars or simply eliminate the game itself altogther. I think each AS squad should have the 8 starters, plus about 5-6 bench players. You should then have a total of approx. 10 pitchers.

The AS game is so lame now because there are so many undeserving players each season. The game winds up coming down to a bunch of guys who probably shouldn't be there anyway. The rule about each team having a rep is also ridiculous.

If the owners and the union scoffed at this suggestion, then I'd just eliminate the game forever. Just have an "all-star" weekend with the contests, etc...

vaticanplum
03-23-2007, 11:31 AM
I'd put all games on local network TV, ie. every city would carry the games of the closest team on their FOX affiliate or whatever. Ok, at least two or three times a week. Make it a staple of the diet again.

Wheelhouse
03-23-2007, 11:32 AM
Independent commisioner.

RANDY IN INDY
03-23-2007, 11:37 AM
Some day games for the World Series and bring back a network night game of the week.


I'd put all games on local network TV, ie. every city would carry the games of the closest team on their FOX affiliate or whatever. Ok, at least two or three times a week. Make it a staple of the diet again.

:beerme:

Chip R
03-23-2007, 11:42 AM
Small market vs. large market isn't the issue...that's just what the media likes to call it. It's more about small revenue teams vs. the large revenue teams and those teams who have owners with deep pockets who are willing to spend it (in the case of Florida).

I can't see anything good about having teams in a league whose salaries are so disparate.


Is the problem that the salaries are so dispararte or that teams don't spend the money they receive from revenue sharing on salaries? 20 years ago there was no revenue sharing except for the national TV deals. Teams get this revenue sharing and spend it on Juan Pierre, Gary Matthews, Jr., Jeff Suppan, Eric Milton and Gil Meche. The Red Sox and Yankees spent a mint last year between them and the Sox didn't even make the playoffs and the Yankees were humiliated by the smaller revenue Tigers. The only good that came out of the Eric Milton signing was that fans felt good about it for a little while because the Reds went out and spent some money. That good feeling soon disappeared when Milton took the mound. What good is a parity in salaries when teams spend it poorly.

If you really want to increase competitive balance, expand the playoffs. 12 out of 32 teams in the NFL make the playoffs. 16 out of 32 teams in the NBA and the NHL make the playoffs. Only 8 of 30 teams in MLB make the playoffs. You add one more wild card in each league last year and the White Sox and Phillies both make the playoffs. Add two more and the Angels and Astros both make it. But you have to ask yourself, are you increasing competitive balance or rewarding mediocrity? Even if you have a salary cap 22 teams still aren't going to make the playoffs.

Spitball
03-23-2007, 11:51 AM
Allow teams to trade daft rights.

jojo
03-23-2007, 01:10 PM
Next, I'd eliminate the DH...I'm (obviously) a NL guy and think it's the way to play the game...so much more need for strategy, as opposed to bash-ball...

Yep...nothing makes an inning more gripping than watching the #8 guy get pitched aroud so the pitcher can either bunt poorly or just look silly.....


;)

Roy Tucker
03-23-2007, 01:25 PM
I'd get rid of inter-league play.

It was an interesting concept, but it's lost its luster and has become commonplace.

pedro
03-23-2007, 01:31 PM
I'd get rid of inter-league play.

It was an interesting concept, but it's lost its luster and has become commonplace.

I agree. I'd also get rid of the unbalanced schedule. team play too many games against the teams in their own division.

Chip R
03-23-2007, 01:50 PM
I agree. I'd also get rid of the unbalanced schedule. team play too many games against the teams in their own division.

I think they do too but I'd still like to see a schedule where you play more games against the teams in your division.

macro
03-23-2007, 02:23 PM
Regarding salary caps...

Wouldn't teams like the Yankees just take the money they were spending on payroll and dump it into their farm system? There would still be an imbalance of riches.

In addition to the suggestions already mentioned, I'd go with...

Six divisions of five teams each. I don't like interleague play, but I dislike the unbalanced divisions even more. They're silly. Interleague is here to stay, so let's balance out the divisions and play interleague games as needed (every day, in other words). It works for the NBA and NFL.

KronoRed
03-23-2007, 02:48 PM
So many things...

I'd split all revenue between the teams equally, all revenue, every dime.

IslandRed
03-23-2007, 02:53 PM
Here's the one thing I'd change, and it would probably come about at around the same time a certain region froze over:

MLB assumes control of all television rights and lets someone sensible decide what to do with them.

That one move could fix two major problems -- blackout rules and revenue disparity. The local television deal is, far and away, the biggest factor in why some teams have a lot more money than others. Radio pales in comparison, as does disparity in ballpark revenue, now that most teams are playing in newish parks with sweet lease deals. Put teams on a far more equal fundamental revenue footing and suddenly you don't need salary caps and floors, or complicated revenue sharing formulas.

Eventually, MLB may get to this anyway, since Internet rights are centrally controlled. The day will come when most of us get our TV over our Internet pipe rather than the other way around, and that's when MLB can begin asserting authority over the whole thing.

Jr's Boy
03-23-2007, 03:16 PM
Salary cap should be on everyone's agenda.

pedro
03-23-2007, 03:21 PM
Salary cap should be on everyone's agenda.

not mine. I don't like the way the salary cap works in basketball at all.

klw
03-23-2007, 03:34 PM
Once out of contention, all teams should be required to have a sense of humor.

http://www.paperpast.com/assets/images/s1x51.jpg

texasdave
03-23-2007, 03:56 PM
Once a team loses five in a row the fans get to pick the starting lineup for the next game. That lineup has to be used as long as the team keeps winning.

If a team loses ten in a row the players, coaches and manager have to wear paper bags over their heads while in the dugout until they win a game.

JaxRed
03-23-2007, 03:59 PM
Once out of contention, all teams should be required to have a sense of humor.

http://www.paperpast.com/assets/images/s1x51.jpg


So they have to hire giant catchers and umpires?

klw
03-23-2007, 04:10 PM
So they have to hire giant catchers and umpires?


And use softballs.

klw
03-23-2007, 05:02 PM
The reason I suggested that there be games on network on a consistent basis is that I belong to that small group of households that only has a very basic cable package (essentially just the networks). The only games I got to see last year were the All Star game, some of the playoffs, and a couple of games on Fox. The Fox games are not exactly consistent in there time and don't seem to start until the season is well underway. I won't even go into how many of them feature NYY, NYM or BOS. I just can't see that a Saturday night game of the week could be a worse draw than the average Sat network offering.

Chip R
03-23-2007, 05:15 PM
I just can't see that a Saturday night game of the week could be a worse draw than the average Sat network offering.


Saturday night games instead of Saturday afternoon games? Not a bad idea.

pedro
03-23-2007, 05:29 PM
So many things...

I'd split all revenue between the teams equally, all revenue, every dime.


That's a recipe for certain disaster IMO. I think it would create a bunch of even worse dead beat franchises.

luvdozer
03-23-2007, 05:33 PM
So many things...

I'd split all revenue between the teams equally, all revenue, every dime.

:beerme:

This is what I want. I am fine with interleague play and the wild card, I dont care about games taking too long. I hate the DH, but its been around my whole life so i have come to accept it.

But the one thing I would NOT support is a salary cap. I pay to see players, not owners. The only thing a salary cap ensures is that owners will get richer - it does not guarantee parity or that teams will spend wisely - look at the Arizona Cardinal or the LA Clippers.

The problem with instituting a cap - even with a minimum - is that it doesnt change the fact that owners look at baseball as an industry consisting of 30 competing businesses. What the should realize is that the industry is Sports\Entertainment and the MLB is one business consisting of 30 franchise locations. This business competes with the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, Tennis, PGA, HBO, Showtime, ITunes and YouTube. The most important thing is to grow the number of people who are fanatical about baseball and grow the opportunities incentives for even casual fans to spend their finite consumer dollars on your product rather than football, basketball, the movies or a trip to the local strip club.

If you owned a chain of restaurants, you would expect that some locations would generate more money than others - but all of that money goes into your pocket. Teams that generate more revenue should be treated like franchises that generate more sales - they should receive benefits commensurate with the largess that they create for the larger company. You will probably sink more money into your highest producing restaurant. However, you wouldnt cardon off a whole revenue stream and dedicate it to each location - that doesnt make sense. revenue is revenue.

baseball teams get revenue from tickets, concessions sales, tv and radio broadcasts, stadium naming rights, gear\memorabelia etc. Every dime should be part of the sharing calculation. That doesnt mean that every team has to get the same amount of money to spend - you can share on a sliding scale. I just think that teams shouldnt be able to exclude whole sources of revenue.

Then you require that each franchise spend a certain amount on baseball operations. That amount is based completely on shared revenue plus a minimum level of domestic spending. What part of the baseball operation you spend it on is up to the team owner, but he cannot put it in his pocket. The amount that each owner can pocket as profit would be within a range that all owners would have to follow. That way, each owner has an incentive to grow the business - MLB.

jmcclain19
03-23-2007, 05:35 PM
No more body armor and no more warnings to both dugouts the second a guy throws inside.

I think that's changed the style of the game more than anyone really cares to acknowledge.

KronoRed
03-23-2007, 05:36 PM
That's a recipe for certain disaster IMO. I think it would create a bunch of even worse dead beat franchises.

Well if it's only one thing that's what I'd do, going on from that I'd of course throw some rules in requiring teams to spend a certain amount of revenue on player salaries, advertising and the sort, and punish owners who refused, maybe even taking their teams from them if they kept at it.

pedro
03-23-2007, 05:38 PM
No more body armor and no more warnings to both dugouts the second a guy throws inside.

I think that's changed the style of the game more than anyone really cares to acknowledge.


I think that'd be great.

REDREAD
03-23-2007, 05:39 PM
You guys are forgeting the most obvious one: Fire John Allen.

Realistic changes: Fund the draft out of the central fund. Every pick is slotted and the shared money pays the bonuses. That way teams have no reason not to pick the best player available. If you toss all international players in there too, the big market teams will have no significant advantage in player development. Sure, they may hire 100 times as many scouts as the Reds, but there's a point of diminishing returns.

Fantasy changes. All money shared, and the owners get their payout at the end of the year based on W-L record. That way every owner actually tries to win every year.

BRM
03-23-2007, 05:39 PM
No more body armor and no more warnings to both dugouts the second a guy throws inside.

I think that's changed the style of the game more than anyone really cares to acknowledge.

I love these ideas. I absolutely hate all the body armor some guys wear.

HumnHilghtFreel
03-23-2007, 07:10 PM
I haven't read through more than the first page yet, but I don't get why people like a salary MINIMUM. The maximum cap is understandable, but telling a team they have to spend at least a certain amount is ridiculous to me. If you think overpaying for players is out of hand now, wait until the last man on the roster is getting big numbers just because the team is UNDER the cap.

Highlifeman21
03-23-2007, 07:28 PM
No more God Bless America during a 7th inning stretch ever. While it was patriotic, and perhaps the correct sentiment for a necessary period of time, that juncture has disappeared.

Take Me Out to The Ballgame.

But please, stop having celebrities butcher it at Wrigley Field.

Chip R
03-23-2007, 07:44 PM
No more God Bless America during a 7th inning stretch ever. While it was patriotic, and perhaps the correct sentiment for a necessary period of time, that juncture has disappeared.

Take Me Out to The Ballgame.

But please, stop having celebrities butcher it at Wrigley Field.


I hear that.

But keep the celebrities. Cubs fans deserve it. :lol:

macro
03-23-2007, 11:57 PM
No more God Bless America during a 7th inning stretch ever. While it was patriotic, and perhaps the correct sentiment for a necessary period of time, that juncture has disappeared...

...a few years ago...

OldRightHander
03-24-2007, 12:08 AM
Put the games on an over the air network. All tickets are available in person on a first come first served basis. No lotteries for the right to buy them online and no ticket drawings for your place in line when they do sell them in person.

If you put in a salary cap, the well run teams will just put the additional money they were spending in salaries into player development and scouting, and will probably still be the ones that are more successful. If you really want to try to level the playing field, you would have to cap organizational spending, but then the owners would just start pocketing more.

vaticanplum
03-24-2007, 12:35 PM
No more God Bless America during a 7th inning stretch ever. While it was patriotic, and perhaps the correct sentiment for a necessary period of time, that juncture has disappeared.

Take Me Out to The Ballgame.

But please, stop having celebrities butcher it at Wrigley Field.

FYI (though you probably know this), this isn't a baseball-wide thing. Some teams sing it at every game, some sing it on Sundays, and some don't sing it at all.

But for the record, I agree with you.

Hap
03-24-2007, 06:04 PM
I would get rid of the DH as we know it, require all starting pitchers to be in the batting order. I would replace the DH rule with a "courtesy rule" for pitchers that says "A starting pitcher and only a starting pitcher may re-enter one time provided that he has not been replaced in the field". That way a pitcher could be hit or run for in certain situations.

For example, a day game in 95-degree weather when the pitcher walks or gets a base hit, he could ge relax in the dugout or the clubhouse and not spend his energy running the bases.

Or he could be hit for in a run-producing situation.

jmcclain19
03-24-2007, 06:14 PM
I guess I really don't care one way or the other about the DH. It's used at all levels of baseball now - HS, College, Minors & Majors. It really doesn't bother me.

What I don't like is that it's in one league but not the other. Who really enjoys watching pitchers hit anyway?

Put the DH in the NL - but raise the mound and take away those nonsense warnings for pitching inside & no armor allowed.

GAC
03-25-2007, 05:00 AM
A wider, broader, and more radical revenue sharing plan w/ no salary cap, but a bottom. I want greater revenue/payroll parity. But having payroll parity does not necessarily mean there will be parity in MLB. Organizations can still give out bad contracts/signings; but at least teams would have a fighting chance. Many don't now. ;)

If I could do a secong thing, it would be to eliminate interleague play. Bad idea. Has taken away from divisional play/rivalries, and IMO, removed some of the "mystique" between the NL and AL.

savafan
03-25-2007, 05:14 AM
A lot of great ideas in this thread, I wish I could rep you all!

vaticanplum
03-25-2007, 02:11 PM
I guess I really don't care one way or the other about the DH. It's used at all levels of baseball now - HS, College, Minors & Majors. It really doesn't bother me.

What I don't like is that it's in one league but not the other. Who really enjoys watching pitchers hit anyway?

Put the DH in the NL - but raise the mound and take away those nonsense warnings for pitching inside & no armor allowed.

I'm not bothered by the DH either -- but I do like the fact that it is a one-league pony. It puts a difference between the leagues and theoretically could make the game very interesting if the NL really bothered to adjust to that disparity.

I think it would be fascinating if it got to the point where one league was really known as a power-hitting league and one was really known as a power-pitching league. Playoffs could be very exciting that way. But the NL, to me, has thus far just been too stubborn about it. They grumble about the DH going against tradition and refuse to adjust their game. In my opinion that's what's responsible for the last several years' AL dominance as much as anything -- not the DH itself, but the NL's reaction (or lack thereof) to it.

I've gotten used to interleague play, but I think there's too much of it. Two weeks a year is enough. Although it always falls on my birthday so I've gotten some really fine presents out of it the last several years :p:

Matt700wlw
03-25-2007, 02:29 PM
I would change the guaranteed contract thing.

I'd make the contract thing more like the NFL

luvdozer
03-26-2007, 02:08 PM
No more body armor and no more warnings to both dugouts the second a guy throws inside.

I think that's changed the style of the game more than anyone really cares to acknowledge.

Actually, i have no issue with the body armor. I say let the batters wear all the pads they want. However, no fines, ejections or suspensions for hitting a batter. Players can settle this stuff themselves. If an occasional beanball war erupts, that is the choice of the players playing the game.

luvdozer
03-26-2007, 02:14 PM
I would change the guaranteed contract thing.

I'd make the contract thing more like the NFL

that makes me cringe. if a contract is not guaranteed...ITS NOT A CONTRACT!

NFL coaches and GMs all have contracts for a certain salary for a certain number of years. A team can fire their head coach with 2 years remaining on his deal - but they still have to pay him. In return for that promise to pay, the team guarantees the services of that coach to the exclusion of all other teams for more than the current season. That's the way contracts friggin work.

NFL players have something that they call contracts, but in reality these are legal documents that give the team the protected right to screw a player out of any and all future committments. It makes me sick. If you want to lock in the services of a player for more than one season then you need to be a man and make a commitment. If you are afraid to make that commitment then try to get him to agree to a one year contract. You cant have it both ways.

Unless of course Gene Upshaw runs your union.

KronoRed
03-26-2007, 02:50 PM
I'd probably stop watching MLB all together if the NL added the DH, to me it's goofy and arcade like, how bout a designated fielder? or a runner for the slow guys? reminds me of blurnsball from Futurama ;)

Chip R
03-26-2007, 03:06 PM
NFL players have something that they call contracts, but in reality these are legal documents that give the team the protected right to screw a player out of any and all future committments. It makes me sick. If you want to lock in the services of a player for more than one season then you need to be a man and make a commitment. If you are afraid to make that commitment then try to get him to agree to a one year contract. You cant have it both ways.

Unless of course Gene Upshaw runs your union.


It has been said that the players are the ones who do not want guaranteed "contracts."

luvdozer
03-26-2007, 06:34 PM
It has been said that the players are the ones who do not want guaranteed "contracts."


really? what player said that?

NFL "contracts" are the worst of both worlds - all the protection for the team and none for the player. If the Bengals sign me to a 5 year 50 million contract and then realize after one year that a 38 year old, 5'6 230 pound guy who cant throw is a bad fit at quarterback, they can cut me loose and they have to pay me one penny more than than they already have.

On the other hand, if the Bengals sign me for 3 years at only 300,000 per year and I explode onto the NFL by breaking every single-season passing record in existence - they dont have to pay me one penny beyond 300K for 3 years. If I try to hold out, they will force me to return my signing bonus.

a real long term contract has both risk and protection on both sides. NFL contracts have the player bearing all of the risk and teams getting all of the protection. They are abmominations under labor law and should be declared illegal.

Gene Upshaw should spend the rest of his days traveling around the country and apologizing to every present past and future nfl player for allowing owners to screw them so badly.

If you were offered an employment contract like this in your professional life, your lawyer would tell you to to reject it out of hand.

pedro
03-26-2007, 06:38 PM
The only reason I can think that the players, at leasts the established ones, might not want guaranteed contracts is b/c of the HUGE signing bonuses they get as a trade off.

jojo
03-26-2007, 06:41 PM
I'd tackle the most pressing issue threatening the sanctity of the game.... I'd ban cheerleaders (not from watching the game-just from acting like they contribute to the outcome of the game)...

klw
03-26-2007, 07:01 PM
I'd tackle the most pressing issue threatening the sanctity of the game.... I'd ban cheerleaders (not from watching the game-just from acting like they contribute to the outcome of the game)...

Can we ban the Tomahawk Chop and the Wave while we are at it?

Unassisted
03-26-2007, 08:27 PM
I would contract the Devil Rays and some other hapless team out of existence.

texasdave
03-30-2007, 01:09 PM
Why doesn't the National League move one team into the American League? The reason I ask this is because it just struck while looking at the thread predicting the finish of the teams in every division that there are 4 divisions with 5 teams, 1 division with 4 teams and 1 division with 6 teams. I know. Duh. The obvious has escaped me all these years. The point is, all things being equal, isn't it easier to win your division competing against only 3 other teams as opposed to competing against 4 or even 5 other teams? Why not just switch one team from the NL to the AL and even up all the divisions? Just wonderin'.

KronoRed
03-30-2007, 01:32 PM
That would lead to interleague play all the time, baseball likes pretending that people will stop being excited about it then, ignoring the fact that people long ago stopped being excited about it.