Major League Baseball has been trying to speed up the game for a few years now. This season they instituted the automatic intentional walk which has shaved 40 seconds off some games, probably. There is really no way of knowing for sure. Still, with all that extra time on their hands the league should start looking for more ways to shorten games. I think the obvious next move is to ban the hidden ball trick. Here’s one that took place during an A-Advanced level game yesterday.
It took 40 seconds from the time third baseman Lucas Erceg caught the ball to the time he tagged the base runner. You could automatically intentionally walk an entire lineup in the time he wasted to get one pointless out. Think about the fans who had to sit through this ordeal.
“It’s awesome when someone pulls off a hidden ball trick though and it’s a part of baseball’s rich history,” you are probably exclaiming. Well, don’t worry, Baseball can keep the spirit of the hidden ball trick by allowing teams to do an automatic hidden ball trick. Once a player catches the ball he can then inform the umpire of his intent to trick the base runner. The umpire will then ask the base runner if he would fall for it. Since baseball players are so into honor and doing things the right way, they wouldn’t be able to lie. It would give them another thing to be sanctimonious about which is something Baseball Culture loves.
Plus, if someone did lie, that would give us a chance to break out another rule change – the automatic sending of a message. Instead of a pitcher throwing at a specific batter at a later date, managers would literally send a message to the other dugout that says, “We hate you and want to have a feud because you broke rules both written and otherwise.” Each team will then designate specific players for suspensions by the league based on the roll of a twenty-sided die which determines how serious the “basebrawl” would have been.
We are so close to fixing the sport. We ban trickery, rivalries, violence and bad blood and things will really speed up. MLB just needs to make these little changes and games will be over before they start.