THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!!! – …is a line that’s probably pretty familiar to most Baltimore Orioles fans. It was made famous by Tom Hanks’ character in the movie A League Of Their Own. And it’s kind of a rallying cry for old school baseball folks.
But unfortunately, old school as an institution across the board is coming under attack in America. I’m the first one to tell you that I’m a traditionalist; so yes, in my world there’s just no crying in baseball. But in an era where any amount of success at anything begs the question of what shadiness did the person commit to get to that point and so forth, old school mentality is being weeded out.
However that aside, we’re seeing it in MLB as well. Commissioner Rob Manfred is constantly trying to tweak and tug at the game so as to “improve” it. In some instances perhaps he’s succeeded. However in others (such as the intentional walk sign), it just makes no sense.
The game has always evolved, and that’s natural. However is it really the same game as it was years ago after awhile? Could one imagine managers like Stengel, Weaver, Martin, etc. simply flashing four fingers and a hitter taking his base? For the record, when I say I’m old school, I still believe that the majority of games should be during the day. That’s impossible in the current world and so forth, but the roots of baseball are games played at 1 PM – not 7 PM.
The newest idea is to start instituting ties as a modus operandi in baseball. Honestly, I can’t think of a worse idea in any sport. First off, ties are un-American and have no place in our sports landscape (it kills me that they’re still allowed in the NFL). There has to be a winner and a loser. But the idea is that at least it would avoid 18-inning marathons like what we saw on Sunday night in Chicago.
I’ll be honest; I’m not a fan of games like that myself. Once it gets past twelve innings, it goes into the twilight zone in my view. But occurrences like that are few and far between. One of the ideas I’ve heard floated is that if there’s no winner after twelve innings, it goes as a tie. So extra innings would still occur, just not indefinitely.
Take last year’s Orioles team; if they didn’t win even one of their games, they wouldn’t have been a playoff team. Is it really fair for deserving teams to lose out because the league wants to regulate even wins and losses? Again, I can’t think of a worse idea that would potentially ruin the game as we know it.
As I said, I’m not a fan of games that enter the “twilight zone” in a sense. So I do have a better idea than ties, which would in my view preserve the sanctity of baseball as we know it. I have no issue with stopping games after twelve innings; however as opposed to declaring it a tie, why not just suspend it? We see suspended games only a bit more regularly than marathon games, but they are a thing. My question is, why not?
If you suspend a game after twelve innings and allow for it to be resumed the next day, a month later, or whenever, you at least avoid ties. You allow for there to be a conclusion to a game. I’m sorry, but at a risk of sounding like an old fart, there just has to be a winner and a loser. There has to be.
But the fact is that everything in life is apparently moving towards new. Whatever’s new has to be better than whatever was old. And before you know it, crying in baseball will be not only acceptable, but encouraged.