<strong>Hope you don't mind this one time change of pace.</strong>
I pity the youth who watch ML Baseball today. They are seeing a one-dimensional game; no wonder the Home Run Derby at the Allstar game is getting so much press. It seems we have lost the hit and run, the steal, a well-pitched complete game, the suicide squeeze, the safety squeeze, and the line drive base hit.
We are watching players who cannot slide, sacrifice bunt, run the bases smartly, and most importantly field their position. Infielders deliver terrible defense. Hitters are all upper cut swings from their heels for home runs and strike outs are okay. Especially striking out “looking” with players in scoring position and two outs is just fine. Sharp pitchers are taken out for pitch count with pitching changes based on a formula of whose inning is it.
The brush back pitch is a lost art, so hitters dig in and take mighty cuts.
Infielders simply do not know how to tag out runners anymore. Slap the glove down right in front of the base and let the runner slide into the glove, but no; today is looks more like pin the tail on the donkey with the fielder trying to stab a tag on a runner who has no idea how to slide. Infielders no longer try to get in front of the ball, but rather try to backhand everything and all too often do not succeed.
Let’s not forget that the catcher can no longer block the plate so the runner taps him on the shoulder and says “may I”. Plays as second are so gentle now with the runner basically asking for permission to enter upon second base.
I have watched about 100 games a year since the early sixties and I am getting less and less enjoyment when watching a game. Yet the players are making millions for delivering a one-dimensional game. Now it looks as if the owners have juiced of the baseball where it leaves the bat like a golf ball off a two iron.
Is this the kind of game the fans want or do they not know any better?