Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

Baseball in the '90s: Reviving the National Pastime

In a July 12 editorial entitled "Better Baseball," we asked readers to send us their views on the state of baseball today. The editorial listed four possible changes: Call more strikes by using a bigger strike zone; eliminate the designated hitter; acquire a full-time commissioner; and shorten the schedule. Following are some of the comments from those who responded.

Your recipe for better baseball has four ingredients that would make the game more enjoyable for serious fans of the sport. Unfortunately, baseball hasn't evolved according to the whims of purists. It revolves around the egos of team owners and an increasingly powerful players' association. While each side has taken steps to be fan-friendly, that friendship ends if the financial bottom line is threatened. I'd like to add to your purist wish list:

1. Doubleheaders every weekend;

2. $1 hot dogs and bleacher seats;

3. No artificial turf;

4. To cause less aggravation for fans, games are called off when rain delays last longer than one hour;

5. Get rid of the new "wild card" playoff system.

Vic Roberts

Lincoln, Mass.

Years ago, Charlie Finley, the former owner of the Oakland A's, suggested a worthwhile idea: Have the teams - especially the teams in northern cities - "barnstorm" their way home from Spring training. (I once attended an opening day in Chicago with 1,200 other brave souls.)

Even though attendance at the barnstorm games in smaller cities in the South won't match Major League mid-summer figures, it would be bigger than the hometown crowds in April up North. Exposing these cities to Major League play could possibly build an interest in following and supporting the teams later in the season. Plus, it would give the pitching staff longer to loosen up their arms in warmer climates.

Jim Crisman

Munsonville, N.H.

With free agency, there is almost no chance for the fans to get any player loyalty. Why should I get excited about a player when I know that he will be gone in a year or two? …

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