By Bobby M.
With the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) set to expire this week in Major League Baseball (MLB), I thought now would be a good time to discuss changes I would make if I was the league’s commissioner. Odds are, something will get done before the deadline happens considering there has not been any kind of real labor trouble for 22 years. Before that, ever since 1972, there was some sort of every so year, which even included the cancellation of post season play in 1994.
The biggest point of contention the player’s union will have this year with Rob Manfred and the owners will be any changes to the qualifying offer, which I spoke of at length here. This involves compensation from the draft regarding free agent signings. I will summarize the changes I’d like to see with: Top 15 picks are protected, cannot be offered two years in a row, allow for sign & trade deals, keep 500K regarding signing bonus for the amateur player draft compensation for all teams signing a player attached to a qualifying offer.
The next change I would like to see is the use of the rosters. Currently roster sizes are limited to 25 active players during the bulk of the regular season, and the use of the full 40 man roster in September. That is better known as September call-ups and gives minor leaguers more of a chance. The problem is that some games can get a little out of hand timeframe wise with all of the substitutions during September. Therefore, go with a dress out list during those games. As in a list of players, which changes every day, of players who can play that particular day. But if a baseball game goes into extra innings, then allow for the other players to enter.
As of now, whichever team wins the all-star game gets the winner of their league (American or National) homefield advantage in the World Series. This is a bad idea because it takes the fun out of the game. If the two teams played in the regular season, the team that had the better record in their series should host. By doing that, it increases the intensity of regular season games between teams playing each other. If they did not play, then let whoever had the better inter-league record have homefield advantage. Again, intensity level for the games will be higher, and therefore, better play on the field. If that is a tie, then use the all-star game like before as a tiebreaker.
The final suggestion involves All-Star game week needing to be more of a spectacle for baseball. No other major sports are playing at the time, so need to pack as much into the week as possible. This would start with the Sunday night series before the break being the Future’s game (a game for best prospects in the game) instead of a regular game. MLB teams hate to have that night game before the All-Star break anyway, so playing the best prospects gives future stars a showcase, while giving the regular major leaguers that much more time off. In that game, preview and highlight everything coming up the rest of the week. Monday would still have the homerun derby at night like usual, but earlier in the day would be the international draft/signing day. Tuesday would remain like normal too with the playing of the actual All-Star game. Wednesday is where things begin to really change. During the afternoon, have the Triple-A All-star game, while majorly promoting the next event which would be that night, the Hall of Fame induction. MLB’s Hall of Fame ceremonies have been getting lost in the shuffle lately, so need a way to put focus back on it considering it is the best of all the sports. What happened would dominate the news for the bulk of the day Thursday until the 1st year player draft happened that night. Again, moving this date would put focus on a draft that is usually lost on others. Then every team comes back to play after the break beginning on Friday. Creating so man festivities with All-Star week like I said above would be a game-changer for baseball’s popularity.
While I still have this hypothetical job, I would also make sure the season length always remains at 162 games. Restaurants, vendors, and countless other businesses rely on gamedays to make money, so shortening the season would only hurt those people. I wish more people recognized that. Baseball is one of the greatest sports ever created and all of these changes are meant for the betterment of the entire game, which is misunderstood by many already. Maybe some of these changes would help more come to the realization of how great a sport it is.