I love Major League Baseball and am thankful we are in the midst of the first week of the season. We won’t be without the game again for over six months. For those of us with the MLB Extra-Innings Package, it means another season to enjoy listening to Vin Scully or flipping channels to watch a Mike Trout at-bat or to witness Aroldis Chapman closing out a game.
For those of us looking forward to a tour, it’s a chance to see how much Wrigley Field has changed since last year or to start projecting which starting pitchers we will see on a trip and hoping for the likes of Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez.
Like everything else, there are always ways to improve the game and I have a couple of ideas to make it better:
1. I am thankful baseball has cracked down on steroids. However, it is still not enough. Ervin Santana was recently suspended by Major League Baseball 80 games for testing positive for a banned substance. Although he will earn nothing the first half of the season, the Twins are still on the hook for most of his four year contract worth $55 million.
I believe that anyone testing positive for a banned substance should immediately be banned for an entire 162 game season (including post-season). A second offense should be a lifetime ban. Basically, I am in favor of making the punishment so severe that players will rarely risk it.
I also believe that the team who signed a cheater should have the option to immediately revoke any contract signed by that player. I would be saying the same thing regardless of who signed the already mentioned juicer.
2. Can we get rid of the service time rule? Everyone knows that Kris Bryant is one of the best players on the Chicago Cubs, yet he is playing his first few weeks of baseball at a place other than Wrigley Field because the Cubs would rather keep him from reaching free agency in 2020. By keeping him in the minors for a short time, the team can guarantee keeping him in Chicago until 2021.
I know the Cubs are doing what is in their best interest and we would all probably do the same thing if we were them. However, this happens every year such the Gregory Polanco situation with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season.
Why not have a rule that players are not eligible for free agency until the year in which they turn 28 years of age or something like that? If they outperform their contract earlier, keep the arbitrations rules in place. This would prevent teams from purposely keeping qualified players in the minors and the fans would benefit by seeing the young stars they want to see.
Baseball is a great game but there are always ways to make it better. What do you think would improve the quality of the game?