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Baseball changes I'd support: Part 1

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Here are some ideas on a few things that could be positive changes for the game we love.

MLB Photos via Getty Images

I'm not dealing well with some of the proposed changes being proposed for Major League Baseball. They seem rooted almost entirely in eliminating roster spots. That teams will, very soon, be limited to 30 or 35 short-season roster spots is one of those slippery slopes to a poorer quality product. However, I'm not completely opposed to having new rules. Between this and Part 2, I will tell you four changes I'd entirely support.

As you might know, much of my work career was in health care. As such, I've had numerous chats and tests regarding patient confidentiality. This runs right next to that premise, but misses like minor space particles often miss a planet. It stems from the fact that people don't necessarily watch or listen to every entire game.

Every three or four games, a player is injured. Some injuries are more serious than others. They usually follow the same pattern. A play happens. The player is in obvious discomfort. The trainer comes out, often with the manager, and perhaps another person or two. Perhaps he remains in the game. Perhaps he leaves. If he does leave the game (at that point, or even later with the same likely malady), that should be included in the box score. For instance.

Injury: Charles (Phi) was injured in the third inning running out a ground ball. He stayed in the game initially defensively, but left the game an inning later.

I'm of the mindset that "an injury" can be the most important story in a game. However, baseball doesn't value the fan enough to tell them, in the box score, when an injury happens. It's not important to get in-depth on a prognosis. An admission is fine.

Injury: Carter (Bos) left the game in the fourth inning before facing a batter, going off with the assistance of a trainer.

Not only is more transparency a good thing, it leads to further research. Do more home players get injured, or road players? Is it a standard pattern, or more inconsistent? Are most injuries to hitters, hitters running to first, baserunners advancing from a base, or defenders?

We won't know until occurrences are recorded in box scores. Which should start when games resume. With this being the desired line in most Cubs games:

Injuries: None apparent.

***

My second edit for today involves the save rule. I figure a few of you want to do away with saves entirely, but these are for specific flaws in the system. I welcome upgrades for reliever stats, like the "hold," as well.

As you likely know, a pitcher can record a save in any of three ways. He can record the last three outs of a win with a one-run lead, and retain the lead to the finish. He can enter with the tying or winning run on deck and finish the game without losing the lead. Or, do the same tossing the last nine outs of the game regardless of the lead.

My upgrade is a "fly in the ointment" scenario regarding the nine-out save. In the first two situations, the situation decides if the save will be given. For instance, if Rowan Wick enters with the tying run on second and two outs and the hitter crushed one up the gap but misses first base, Wick gets the save. He gets the out, he gets the save, regardless the circumstances. That doesn't apply for the nine-out save.

You’ll say: "Yes it does. If he gets the nine outs, he gets the save." However, is the nine-out save declared a save situation upon his entry? Rule 5 pick Trevor Megill enters a game to start the seventh of a 12-1 Cubs lead. Is this a save situation? If he finishes the game, and pitches effectively, does he get a save?

"Uhhhh? Yeah. If he goes all three innings?" That isn't the point. Is it a save situation? Like if it were 9-7 going to the ninth, it would be. So, Megill pitches the seventh with no incident. Rain, which had been threatened all day, arrives after he records the third out. The fans head home, and the game is called due to weather.

Megill did his job. He entered in a save situation. He pitched the rest of the game, effectively. It's not his fault the rain showed up. A save should be given to a reliever who completes the game, entering with nine outs still needed, whether he records all nine outs or not. It doesn't alter the game at all, but gives the carrot to the player who did his job in a specific position.