Murphy: Baseball needs an update

In talking with Dale Murphy, the ex-Major League outfielder, about the Hall of Fame last week, he said that baseball has to change.

Not just the HOF voting process, but other things. For instance, the designated hitter rule.

AP Photo

“We’re still doing one league with the DH, one that doesn’t,” Murphy said. “Isn’t it time to resolve this? (He’s against having the DH.) There are things we need to look at for the good of the game. Things can be done differently.”

As for the Hall voting, he pointed out that the majority of the writers are from the Northeast, which seems to give special consideration to New York and Boston players.

But a big concern – at least for me – was Murphy’s point that some of the Hall of Fame voters are writers who have retired or stopped covering MLB. If that’s true, that’s a worry. I know from where he speaks. I kept getting Heisman ballots for several years after I had moved from college beat writer to Utah Jazz writer.  I didn’t usually send them in because I felt I saw too little college football to responsibly vote. After a few years, I asked to be removed from the list of voters.

Then there was Murphy’s point that some beat writers aren’t able to vote for the Hall of Fame because their newspapers won’t allow it. It is considered a conflict of interest. I can see that logic. At the same time, who is better qualified to pick Hall of Fame players than those who write about baseball every day?

In any case, nobody loves baseball more than Murphy. But even he believes the Grand Old Game needs an update.

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  1. Mark Stoddard

    Majors need some minor help in a major way.
    1. 10 seconds from when pitcher gets ball to throw again.
    2. No DH
    3. No batting gloves. Use your hands.
    4. Cut down on batter’s rituals. Only ONE time out per batter and keep it short.
    5. Mic the refs to let people know what’s going on.
    6. Eject more rapidly unruly fans.

    In short eliminate anything slowing the game down.

  2. Eagle

    One of the biggest things the NFL did to promote its game was NFL Films. These films are awesome and as a kid really helped me learn to love the game and know the game. Baseball really needs to develop something like this and hire the best possible people to do this.

    I think the players are better than ever, more skilled than ever but there is a disconnect. Too many games are at night and younger children aren’t as exposed as much to the game as they should be. The playoff system goes too late in the year, cut back the regular season to 154 games or less. I would prefer no DH but that is the least of baseball’s problems. I like what was suggested above about speeding up the game. I think there is 40-second pitch rule in the books right now, it just needs to be enforced. In high school players aren’t allowed to step out of the batter’s box unless they swing at a pitch, this speeds up the game a lot. Speed things up between innings, the players need to hustle out to their positions. Make TV adjust commercials so the game could be sped up.

  3. Jeremy

    One point I have heard in regards to the HoF voters who no longer cover sport is these players are at least 5 years from their playing days. If these writers covered these players careers I can understand giving them a vote. There should no longer be the lifetime vote though. Sooner or later these writers will be far enough away from the game they haven’t covered players and that’s when it becomes a problem.

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