March 16, 2001
by Derek Teaney
You can't get much more American than baseball, right? After
all it is the American pastime. But as I reflect on the events
of Selection 2000, I realize that the game is probably not
how our all-knowing and ever-wise Founding Fathers would have
designed it. For example, they would have been appalled that
at the end of nine innings, the team that had the most runs
would be proclaimed the winner. Therefore, as we approach
Opening Day of the 2001 season, I propose the following changes
to the rulebook.
The final score, for all intents and purposes, will be disregarded.
Instead, the winner of a particular game will be determined
by the number of individual innings that they carry. It's
only fair to lesser cared for innings, such as the 2nd through
6th. Think about it. Everybody loves the 1st and 9th innings,
and to a lesser extent the 7th (everybody loves a stretch).
So teams design their batting orders to put their best hitters
up first, to score runs early, and have their best pitchers
ready for the 9th inning.
What about the poor 3rd inning, when the bottom of the order
is up, and everybody needs to visit the restroom to void their
bladders of all the beer they drank tailgating? To force teams
and fans to pay more attention to this inning, perhaps we
could double the value of every run scored in the 3rd inning.
Maybe then managers would pay more attention to it and Tony
LaRussa would put Mark McGwire in the 9 hole of the line-up.
Take the following fictional box score as an example:
It would appear that the Yankees had won this game, right?
That's absurd. Why should they win just because they have
more votes, I mean, runs? Under my proposed new rules, the
Rangers would be the winners since they carried five innings
to the Yankee's four. Plus the run that they scored in the
3rd, at double value, makes the score appear closer than it
really should be, making the Ranger's win more acceptable.
Who knows where this could lead? Perhaps it will finally
prevent the really talented teams from reaching the playoffs
and lead to the Montreal-Kansas City World Series we've all
been dreaming of.
I realize that my hopes of implementing these rules are slim.
But hey, maybe if W ever achieves his greatest dream of being
Commissioner of Baseball, these rules would strike a chord
with him. And the way I figure it, it could happen just in
time for the 2005 season when the Shrub is looking for work,
and the true winner of the 2000 election, Al Gore, is out
of exile and serving his rightful duties as the President
of the United States.
Why is it that Americans could never accept these rules in
a sporting event, but to many the archaic Electoral College
seems justified? Some Electoral College supporters have said
to me that it gives a voice to small states, and that without
it the "six largest cities would decide who is President."
This to me seems to be fallacious logic, as there is no problem
with the population centers determining who is President SINCE
THAT IS WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE. The notion that a county or
an acre should have a greater vote than a person is ridiculous.
The President of the United States theoretically serves all
the people of the United States and should therefore be directly
elected by the people of the United States.
One person, one vote, right? Wrong. In 1999, the estimated
population of Wyoming was 479,602. Those folks have three
votes in the Electoral College. If you divide that number
by 3, you get approximately 160,000. By comparison, the population
of the state of California in 1999 was an estimated 33,145,121.
If it truly was one person, one vote, then for a Californian's
vote to weigh as much as a person from Wyoming, California
would have to have 207 electoral votes. Today, California
has 54. That means that a Wyoming resident's vote weighs almost
four times as much as the vote of a Californian.
Perhaps the value of runs scored in the 3rd inning should