Monday, August 10, 2009

The Answer to 'Numb Baseball'

Here’s the answer to “numb baseball:” Promotion and Relegation.

Can you imagine if the Reds could knock the Pirates down to AAA? That would make games in September insanely exciting. Could you imagine the being on the brink of demotion? Small market teams struggling at the bottom would be less willing to sell their players because doing so would seal their demise. Then they’d lose all sorts of sponsorship and media money.

Could you imagine if Louisville would win AAA and make it to the bigs? Pick up a few victories over huge clubs? See the rotten Yankees come to town?

Imagine teams of newly-promoted kids playing games in huge parks... not just one individual making his debut on a random summer night. The nation could fall in love with a team like the Toledo Mudhens. Who knows?

Finally, and perhaps more tangibly? Why not try an open cup, in which all of the nation's teams enter a single-elimination tournament?

Baseball could become magical. Attendance would skyrocket at all levels. And this system might help people forget about the steroids era. Hell, and ESPN might be forced to cover a topic beyond the Red Sox/Yankees.

At this point, it will never happen - we’re so entrenched in marketing deals and farm systems, and all that; I'm not sure how this idea could ever get off the ground.

Maybe the open cup is the proper first step.

Are you on board with this idea? If so, let me know and let’s start a movement.


1 comment:

Sarah said...

I've often thought about this for baseball because, as you say, there is a really good minor league system set up.

HUGE PROBLEM -- Big market teams like the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Dodgers and Cubs would never go for it. Can you imagine the Yankees going down? Television contracts would be shattered, not to mention sponsorship deals. It's just not possible to reverse the clock.

But, I think an "Open Cup" is a fun idea. It probably would provide scheduling nightmares though. And baseball never goes for one-game series scenarios. They'll argue pitching is the great equalizer.

Anyway, I do like the idea. Just not sure about execution.

I also like a playoff system in football. Can you take care of that too?