Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hey, a New Joke: Olympic Baseball!

Check this out:

Doesn't it look like a pretty awesome futuristic place to watch a baseball game? The whole complex looks like a great place to go to watch a night game. I imagine walking up to the field, surrounded by citizens of many nations, excited to see Americans compete in what can only be described as a parody of real baseball.

The format is a first in international baseball competition and differs significantly from the currently used extra-inning model. The new rule calls for traditional baseball extra-inning rules to be used in the 10th frame, but all contests that are tied after 10 innings will compete under a new format. Beginning with the 11th inning and each inning needed thereafter, base runners will be placed on first and second base with no outs. All other rules of baseball will remain in effect.

I like how this little paragraph has the ending "All other rules of baseball will remain in effect" after proposing what seems, to me, to be an absolutely ludicrous rule change. Maybe the IBAF was considering giving batters five strikes? Maybe they considered reintroducing aluminum bats late in the game? Maybe they considered going back to 1863 and not allowing the pitcher to take a step during his delivery, thereby forcing him to keep both feet on the ground while pitching?

"The upcoming Beijing Olympic competition may be our last unless we are successful in adding the sport back to the Olympic program for the 2016 Games," said IBAF President Dr. Harvey W. Schiller.

Fine by me, unless we make it a Winter Olympic sport so the best players on the planet can actually play in it without wrecking every fourth MLB season. The problem with Olympics is that, for most sports, the Olympics is the paramount display of skill and no athlete would miss the event for the world. For Olympic baseball, no American cares enough to leave his MLB team for a few weeks.

"We must demonstrate to the International Olympic Committee not only does our game belong alongside the other great sports of the world, but our sport is manageable from a television and operational standpoint."

Our sport is manageable from a television and operational standpoint. Amazingly, thousands of MLB games every year are operated and televised. If real baseball players [apologies, Mr. "President"] were playing in this game, then it would be no problem. Theoretically, basketball could go on into the middle of the night, but since real players play that sport, nobody feels the need to lower the rim after one overtime to make scoring easier.

Dr. Schiller continued, saying the change is both a positive and necessary step for the sport of baseball. "One of the unique aspects of our game is that it has no time limit.

Yay! Though, I know it's surprising, lots of other team sports don't have time limits. In fact, theoretically, even a tennis match could go on indefinitely! I think, in order to make the last Wimbledon more manageable from a television and operational standpoint, Federer and Nadal should've ended it by playing a game of beer pong at the net. Oh wait! That could go on forever too! Crap!

The only solution?

Extra-inning contests can bring about the most exciting results for players and fans,

Now yer talkin'!

but such circumstances also make it difficult in the context of the Olympic program.

Only because nobody cares about baseball.

Delays cause scheduling and logistical nightmares. Planned security, transportation, drug testing, broadcasts, and entertainment are just a few of the activities that may be seriously affected," Dr. Schiller continued.

Drug testing is affected by extra inning games? Entertainment is provided by the extra-inning games, Dr. Schiller! Why are you selling out the sport you claim to love in order to provide a bastardized version?

I sure would be pissed if my team lost because the rules demanded that each manager would have to :

select two consecutive batters from anywhere {!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!} in their respective lineup to start the 11th on first and second base. The next batter in the lineup would then be the batter that starts the inning at the plate.

{exclamation points mine}

Oh shit! It's like video games, except that even in video games you have to continue the lineup in order! I can only imagine what would've taken place if this rule would've been in place during the 2002 World Series and a game would've gone to extra innings:

Angels Bullpen: Sweet, we got through ten innings of baseball and we're tied! Boy, we really have a shot at beating these Giants, seeing as they really only have one hitter in their nine-man lineup!
Angels_Batters: Yeah, don't worry, we'll scratch a run off Robb Nen or something and win this here game!
Umpire: And now we move to the 11th inning. Mr. Baker, please place your runners on base.
Dusty_Baker: Even I can't screw this one up! Rich, get out on second, Jeff get out on first.
Barry_Bonds: lol, I rule.
Olympic_Fans: This is the stupidest rule change ever.


Tonus said...

So... what happens if the runners you choose happen to be the second and third batters due up to bat in that inning? What do you do if the first batter makes an out?

I think that the universe would fold in on itself.

dan-bob said...

No no no - you get to choose the two runners - and then the batter is the guy after them in the lineup.

Ostensibly you'd choose your 1-2 hitters to be on base and your 3 hitter to start the inning.

Bengoodfella said...

I am stupid if this "new baseball" makes me slightly confused? Because it does.

CitizenX said...

I'm like 86% sure this rule change was suggested for The National Coalition for Juan Pierre.

Can you imagine? A game where he gets to be on-base automatically?

I think if he played in the Olympics and a game he was in went to extras, the sport of baseball as we know it would implode.

That's right. A sport would implode.

CitizenX said...

Alternate rule change to allow easier scoring:

After 10 frames, each team has to use Dan Uggla as their second baseman.

Too soon?

cs said...

It would be sweet if they made the pitcher pitch from second. Or third. Or have three pitchers pitching at the same time from all the bases.

IOn a serious note, I've always thought changing the fly out rule would be a good idea: if the batter can get to second before the fielder catches the pop up, he'd be safe. Imagine the amount of hustle and playing the game the right way we'd see in baseball.

larry b said...

Not too soon, X. As an NL fan, I have to say fuck that guy.

Anonymous said...

Now you now how NHL fans feel about fucking shootouts. Maybe they can use home run derby for the extra inning tiebreakers.

AH said...

"Planned security, transportation, drug testing, broadcasts, and entertainment are just a few of the activities that may be seriously affected," Dr. Schiller continued.

We mustn't confuse the Olympics with a pure sporting event. This is really about entertainment. And peace. And product placement. But mainly entertainment and product placement. What would we do if Hannah Montana's post-game performance was delayed? This could seriously hinder the disarmament talks between Pakistan and India.

Also, they forgot to mention that for every extra inning, you are also getting the opportunity to breathe in deeply some of the world's most polluted air. Beijing is going to be a shitshow. Can't wait.