Dear Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Major League Baseball
I have been a lifelong fan of the MLB, spending days at Comerica Park with my family or making road trips with my family to places like Wrigley Field in Chicago, or Fenway Park in Boston. Baseball has always been my happy place and something I am very passionate about. But over the past year, I have had multiple complaints about the game that I love so much.
First, let's start with the weak punishments that were given to the Astros. When I first heard about the Astros cheating, I thought for sure they would be stripped of the 2017 World Series pennant, or I thought players would be suspended from games. But no, you felt a punishment of four draft picks being taken away, and a 5-million dollar fine would be a harsh enough punishment.
If teams see that the Astros got away with such a weak punishment, then they may get the thought of trying to cheat because if they do get caught, they can say, “well, take my 5-million dollars and my four draft picks.”
We still have Pete Rose, one of the game's greats that can't get into the hall of fame because he got caught betting on his team, but we have players that can use a camera to tell them what pitch is coming and get away with it?
How is this form of cheating any different than what players like Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa have done? They have cheated to where it has affected the game, and in that case, they should be penalized more severely for that.
I could go on all day about that topic, but that's not the main reason I write this letter. I write this letter to tell you about all the problems that life-long fans are having with the game that they first fell in love with.
Trying to make the game of baseball more fascinating is a smart idea because I understand a nine-inning baseball game can be long for people that don't understand it. But, juicing baseballs isn't the way to do that. It takes away from the pitching part of the game. A pitcher can make a perfect pitch, and a batter can barely square the ball up, and the ball is jumping out of the ballpark. Just last year, the MLB hit 6,776 home runs breaking an MLB record for most home runs set in a season. In 2014 the MLB hit 4,186.
How can the numbers change that much in just five years?
But then you go and try making it easier for the hitter by thinking about bringing robot umpires to the game. If a hitter knows that a pitcher might not get one of those border line calls they won't swing until they get something in the zone because they know it will be coming. The Idea of having a robot umpire breaks my heart because, as a pitcher, I don't like the idea of having a perfect zone. Baseball is all about finding ways to win and strategy; finding out the umps zone is part of that, and if that ump is giving the pitcher the outside part of the plate, then that's a win for the pitcher, and it makes batters have to adjust. If we go to a robot umpire, we are only making it easier for the hitters.
A rule requiring pitchers to face a minimum of three batters, except in the case of injury or when finishing an inning. I do not get this rule because it takes away a team's strategy. You may have one pitcher that's good against lefties so you throw him in to get the first out but want to bring in another pitcher because he's good against righties. Why take away from the strategy of the game?
As we continue to try changing the game, I love so much, the one rule. that bugs me most of all is the rumor of moving the mound back to 62 feet 6 inches because pitchers that already struggle with velocity will be useless because a batter will be able to sit on anything that's coming. I get that making more home runs will bring in more fans than say baseball is boring.
If you are trying to change the game try ways like letting your players express who they are, Like wearing whatever color cleats they want or custom bats. It would make the fans feel closer to their favorite players or bring more excitement to the game by the cleat that players are wearing or the different color gloves they have on or maybe the flag that represents some player's home country on their shoes. It would make the game more interesting. For the people that say "baseball is boring" don't change the game, change the environment of the game.
The real baseball fans don't care about any of that. We don't want the game of baseball to change.