Friday, June 19, 2009

First to Third: 163 Years Ago Today....

The first organized baseball game using Alexander Cartwright's rules was played 163 years ago today between Cartwright's New York Knickerbockers and the New York Nine. Who is Alexander Cartwright? I don't want to steal from And Now You Know, but in 1953 Congress officially recognized him as the inventor of the modern game of baseball. Sorry to those who believed Abner Doubleday invented the game.

Baseball has come a long way since 1846 and continues to evolve today. Gone are the days of 65 home runs a season (right, Sammy Sosa?) and say hello to athleticism and youth. Given the constant evolution of the game, here are a couple suggestions I have to make baseball better:

  • Improve the Fan Experience - Any doubleheader will allow fans who paid to go to the first game to see both games if they so choose (I don't care about the issues with ticketing, the teams can make it work). In addition, there will be afternoon games for the World Series. It's time to remind America's youth that baseball and not football is the national pastime. Finally, there will be a cap on the average ticket price one team can have. There's no need for $2500 single game tickets ever and this cap will keep prices down.
  • Salary Cap and Minimum Salary - Gone will be the days when teams (the Yankees) can spend ridiculous amounts of money to sign all the free agents without giving other teams (Pirates, Royals) a chance. The minimum salary is to make sure teams (the Marlins) pay money for players people want to watch and don't start a firesale after a great year.
  • Fix The Schedule - I don't think it's right for a team to play their divisional rivals 20 times a year and other league foes six times. Interleague play needs some fundamental adjustments. If the Dodgers play AL East teams next year, there should be six game against each (three home, three away) and three games against some sort of geographic "rival."
Any other suggestions out there?

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