Video review helps, but baseball must speed up

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April is here, and with it the start of the Major League Baseball season.

Here is what you might have missed while hibernating this winter:

This offseason was much more entertaining than it’s been in recent years, introducing replay-review to the major leagues and a rule designed to ban the home plate collision.

Another Oriental pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, has come over and signed a major contract with the New York Yankees.

Cuba has kept pace with the arrival of its latest slugger, Jose Abreu, to the Chicago White Sox.

It looks like Alex Rodriguez will sit out for a year while other violators in last year’s Biogenesis clinic bust will start fresh and try to claw their way back from disgrace.

The time for acclimation is over;  now the games matter.

While many fans are worried about video review of umpires’ calls slowing the pace of the game, the benefit of improved accuracy should be worth adding two or three minutes to the game times.

However, veteran baseball reporter Jon Heyman of CBS Boston points out, “The one drawback to me is we’re not going to have those crazy managerial arguments.  They’ve taken a little of the fun out of the game.”

My focus lies more with the ever-changing landscape of Major League Baseball.

I was born in 1992, when the NFL wasn’t the powerhouse that it is today and Michael Jordan had just put the NBA in the national spotlight for the first time.

Major League Baseball was, and had always been, America’s pastime.  But I have seen this change, in large part because many in my generation turn away from a game that doesn’t play out as quickly as some of us would like.  Just like the typewriter was replaced by the computer, baseball seems to be getting replaced by basketball and other fast-paced sports.

If MLB wishes to continue its reign as one of the three major U.S. sports, it will need more revising. It has to learn how to appeal to the fans of today, and it needs to do so as soon as it possible.


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