I had a Shakespeare prof who talked about how Big Willy's plays took way too long to run their course in the modern era. Supposedly back at the dawn of the 1600s they went off inside of two hours. They can run four hours these days.
His point was that the plays were more accessible in two-hour form.
I tend to think the same applies to baseball. There's no reason for a nine-inning game with less than 10 total runs to exceed 150 minutes. If they make a few rules to cut down on the dead spots and keep the game moving, that's more than fine by me.
I'm a fan of keeping hitters inside the box. I also think teams should be allowed only one mid-inning pitching change per game. Forget about the James run-allowed loophole. IMO you'd see a far sturdier type of reliever if that were the rule, not to mention that it would add strategy and excitement to the mix. Does the manager use his lifeline now or should he wait? Is this reliever about to blow what once seemed like an easy win?
Maybe you let a replacement come in after four runs or so cross the plate, but otherwise get out on the mound and play baseball.
James called the '80s the most exciting baseball ever played.
I think the heyday probably stretched from 1975-1993, though I'm probably a little generous in including the late '70s. Those years were spent with a few dominant teams ruling the roost, though they set the template for punch and run baseball.