It’s not absurd to THINK about something.
Look, you might think that outlawing the extreme infield shifts is ABSURD. I’m not sure it’s absurd, and I think some of the people saying it’s ABSURD wouldn’t be saying that if this were 1885 instead of 2015. We do sometimes get locked into what we know.
But let’s accept, for the moment, that banning the shifts is absurd. Can we at least agree that it’s not absurd to consider doing something that might make the games more fun to watch? If only to summarily discard the idea after a bit of actual thought? Ken Rosenthal’s exactly right when he concludes his latest column with this: "Eliminating shifts? Lowering the mound? Adjusting the strike zone? Let’s hear it. Let’s hear all of it. New leader, new life."
We disagree about Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. But Rosenthal’s often the most sensible person in the room.
What’s been most amusing to me? Monday morning, everybody pounced on Manfred for mentioning the infield shifts, but I’ve seen hardly any mention at all of some other, manifestly right things he said. For example, the idea that Major League Baseball needs to work harder at making baseball more fun for kids to actually play. I’ve been saying this for a long time, and MLB’s done essentially nothing. So this is encouraging.
Here’s something else encouraging from Tyler Kepner’s story in the Times:
ADVERTISEMENTS ON UNIFORMS "There was more chatter about that in the game 10 years ago than there is now. It’s just not a hot issue for us. I think people have great respect for the way our uniforms look. I don’t foresee that one; I really don’t."
It’s almost certainly going to happen someday, quite possibly during Manfred’s tenure. But I consider every season without ads on uniforms a stolen season, just a few more moments of innocence preserved.
Not to mention the aesthetics of the things.