NEW RULES, PART III

Monday, June 11, 2007

New Rule: Unless two players share the same name (like Brian Hunter, Luis Gonzalez, Alex Gonzalez, etc.), a player cannot be referred to in the plural.

During ESPN's broadcast of the White Sox/Phillies interleague game on June 11, color analyst Rick Sutcliffe was referring to players from the Phillies' 1980 championship team that had intensity: "the Pete Roses, the Mike Schmidts, the Larry Bowas" (to paraphrase, although I believe that's an exact quote).

New Rule: Broadcasters must stop referring to non-football scores in football terms. From the same White Sox/Phillies game, ESPN anchor Rece Davis, during an in-game SportsCenter report, referred to the Mariners' 7-0 lead over the Indians as the Mariners leading "by a touchdown."

I wonder why no one will ever bother to refer to the same score as 7 free throws, two and one-third three-pointers, 7 penalty shots, three and a half safeties, etc. Oh yeah, because it's the wrong sport.

New Rule: ESPN must stop trying to blatantly trick its viewers into sticking around. To the untrained eye, they'll make it seem like the latest Red Sox/Yankees game was a thriller, or that Barry Bonds went deep twice, only for you to find out that Bonds went 0-2 with two intentional walks, and the Red Sox/Yankees game got rained out. You can't fault them for trying to get their viewership as high as possible, but come on now.

New Rule: When ESPN picks up its hockey coverage next fall, analyst Barry Melrose must be adorned with a crown and jewels, for he is to ESPN's hockey coverage as electricity is to the human race.

New Rule: Whenever Peter Gammons stutters, ESPN must play the sound-bite of Adam Sandler, in the movie Billy Madison, mocking a fellow third-grade classmate who is struggling to read. T-t-today, junior!

New Rule: In keeping with my righting of ESPN's sinking ship, all ESPN cameramen must pre-emptively register as sex offenders. Is it me, or do they seem to pan to attractive (non-celebrity) female fans in attendance whenever they get the opportunity to drift away from the game? If they were using that camera behind the blinds in their bedroom, it would be a grossly perverted thing to do.

New Rule: Baseball fans must stop caring about whether or not Bud Selig and Hank Aaron attend the game in which Bonds ties and/or breaks the all-time career homeruns record. Their attendance does nothing to denigrate Bonds' illustrious accomplishment. However, Aaron's absence will take away from his legacy a bit, but that's his choice. As it stands, Aaron says he will not attend, and that just makes him look like a hypocritical old man who can't handle the fact that his record is about to be taken from him. There's as much likelihood that Bonds used steroids as there is that Aaron used amphetamines (which Bonds tested positive for, by the way).

New Rule: Fans must stop whining about greedy and self-centered athletes. It's amazing how socialists are bashed in this country for wanting equality for all, and those same socialist-bashers call for socialism in sports, be it in the team-first mentality they expect all players to have, salary caps (a socialist desire if there's ever been one), or otherwise even monetary distribution, be it among teams or individual players.

Joe Average can suggest that the baseball economy is ruined because Roger Clemens is making almost $30 million prorated this season, but far be it for someone to suggest that this surprisingly robust American economy is suffering from corporate greed.

Where are the cries for more even wealth distribution there?

New Rule: Baseball fans must stop throwing homerun balls hit by the opposing team back onto the field. The gimmick was originally started in Chicago many, many years ago, and almost all of the baseball cities' fans have adopted this tactic, and it's old and pointless now, especially when a raucous crowd pressures a 7-year-old kid with his first (and probably last) genuine homerun ball to throw it -- no, waste it -- back onto the field.

New Rule: Anyone not yet on the "pitch counts save arms" bandwagon yet must perform a very scientific experiment on themselves, as follows: Get an MRI exam and a physical. Then, for the next 6 months (7 if they're a fan of a team that made the post-season), they must throw 110 pitches -- 70 fastballs, 40 off-speed pitches (curveballs, change-ups, etc.) -- once every five days. In-between those "starts," these old-school fans must also throw a "bullpen" session that mimicks that of the Major League players. During the "starts," every pitch is analyzed in-depth (pitch speed, location, movement, consistency in mechanics).

After the 6-7 months are up, said fans must go back and get another MRI and a physical. When all of this is done, if said fan does not see any noticeable difference in arm strength, arm health, speed of his pitches (both overall and between the first and last pitches of his "starts"), location, movement, consistency, etc., then this fan must send his results to the thousands of trained physicians and pitching coaches that advocate the use of the pitch count.

While one experiment alone won't change things, if these doctors and pitching coaches are so misguided in trying to preserve the health of their starters, then hundreds, if not thousands of Joe Averages should be able to come up with relatively the same results.

New Rule: A start cannot be referred to as a potential perfect game or no-hitter until the start of the seventh inning. It's just common sense. Two-thirds of the way through is the line that must be crossed before these whispers can start circulating. The only exception to this rule is a game that has the potential to be called short due to rain (a perfect game is still a perfect game, even if the game stops once it's official after five innings, or after four and a half if the home team is ahead).

New Rule: The weight of the fans' votes in All-Star voting must be significantly decreased. Currently, the fans have voted the following undeserving players into the All-Star Game: Albert Pujols (over Prince Fielder?), David Wright (over Miguel Cabrera?), Alfonso Soriano (over Carlos Lee?), David Ortiz (over Justin Morneau?), Robinson Cano (over B.J. Upton?), Ivan Rodriguez (over Victor Martinez?), and Manny Ramriez (over Magglio Ordonez?).

My suggestion? Give the fans five slots for the popular vote. Give the managers of the AL and NL All-Star teams the right to choose their starting nine (and the designated hitter if the home field is in the American League) any way they want as long as there is no obvious favoritism, and his selections are warranted by their statistics.

In addition, the "all teams must be represented" rule must be thrown out, but another rule is implemented in that there has to be at least four teams represented on the field at all times. That will eliminate the debacle that occurred at last year's All-Star Game when, at one point, 7 of the 8 AL position players were members of either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox.

New Rule: To get off of the sports rules to end this -- if you're going to open a museum that promotes the Bible's story of creation, you must have actual scientific proof to back this up. AnswersInGenesis.org sponsors this museum, and they have some pretty wacky stuff on their website. I'd rather not link to it and give them the smattering of increased traffic as a result, but their warped view on reality speaks for itself.

Dinosaurs existing with humans? Only if you're talking about animals that descended from dinosaurs...

A 6,000-year-old Earth? I guess 6,000 is the new 4.55 billion.

Oh, the Creation Museum and their unintentional humor. And this, too:

Murals and realistic scenery, computer-generated visual effects, over fifty exotic animals, life-sized people and dinosaur animatronics, and a special-effects theater complete with misty sea breezes and rumbling seats.

More New Rules: New Rules, Part I | New Rules, Part II