Major League Baseball is often thought of as America’s pastime, but changes need to be made to take errors and cheating out of the game while offering more protection to players.
The most scrutinized aspect of the MLB is the use performance-enhancing drugs to gain an advantage.
The only way that baseball will be able to restore any credibility is to enforce a strict new penalty to combat doping.
The rule would be simple – fail one drug test due to PEDs and the player will be forever banned from stepping on a diamond in the majors.
Some individuals could view the new rule as radical, but what other option does baseball have? Players understand that failing a drug test would ultimately end in a 50-game suspension.
The new rule would change the way that America’s youth views the game, and would embed a notion that cheating is completely unacceptable in sports and more importantly in life.
Missing 50 games seems like a long period of time, but in the grand scheme of things, the punishment is merely a slap on the wrist for athletes making major league money.
Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers’ left fielder, not only let down his team when he lied about using PEDs, but he also negatively affected the youth of Milwaukee, where he was viewed as a role model.
I personally gave Braun the benefit of the doubt when he said he was innocent, but after this incident, I have a more skeptical view of all professional baseball players.
Another change that needs to be made in baseball is the protection of pitchers. Big-league hitters have become too strong, possibly with the help of PEDs, to allow hurlers to not wear protective heart and headgear.
Some pitchers have started to wear hats with more padding to protect themselves from a ball that may be coming directly at them off a Louisville Slugger.
I believe pitchers should take it even further and wear a helmet with a facemask. Hurlers should also be mandated to wear heavy-duty Under Armor to protect their hearts from a direct blow.
The final change that would make baseball more enjoyable to watch and would essentially take missed calls out the game, would be removing umpires completely.
Whenever you watch a Major leauge game on television, the announcers often refer to a K-zone, which illustrates if the pitch was a ball or strike. With this technology, why is it necessary to allow these calls to be diluted by human error?
Some people might think this is how baseball would have been played by the Jetsons, but speaking from experience, umpires can change the outcome of a game by one missed call.
Armando Galarraga, the former Colorado Rockies pitcher, had a perfect game thrown away by first base umpire Jim Joyce, who clearly made the wrong call on a play that would have ended the game.
Joyce apologized for making the wrong call, but that doesn’t change the record books.
It seems silly that the outcome of major league games could be mistaken in our age of technological advances.
America’s pastime needs to get with the times, and make the changes necessary to restore dignity to the sport, protect its players and be aware of the impact that it has on the youth.