COLIN COWHERD: Baseball, apparently– I’m going to read this verbatim, because I didn’t hear it. But on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Tuesday, the host and a baseball guy, a baseball exec– “There are whispers from execs in baseball, there’s a discussion to let a trailing team in the ninth inning, you’re losing in the ninth, four to three, that you can use any three hitters you want to start the inning, regardless of where the batting order is.”
First of all, you know baseball people won’t like this. It’s got an older demographic. They’re more creatures of habit. This is going to get major pushback. I went online this morning. It’s already getting pushback.
I think it’s a great idea. First of all, many times in the bottom of the ninth, you do have the better part of your order coming up. You’ve got the two, the three, the four, the five hitters, some of them are coming up. It’s very rare you go to the bottom of the ninth, and you’ve got like the eight, nine guys coming up.
So you wouldn’t have to change this all the time. I think it’s a super fun idea. Let me just offer you this. Every other sport allows you to use the entire roster. Every other sport– the NBA, you put in anybody any time. You can put in just defensive players at the end. You put in three point specialists. You take out the center that can’t hit a free throw late. You get Shaq off the floor.
In the NFL, again, you can put anybody in you want late in the game– pass rushing specialists. You know, in the onside kick, you can just change the entire roster and put 11 receivers out, the hands team. Hockey, the same thing. You can put the bruisers on the ice. You can put any line, any time. You can pull the goalie in hockey. You can take the goalie off the floor.
In baseball, by the way, you’ve got a pinch hitter, a pinch runner, defensive replacements. So this is not a major change. But it will show you kind of the demographics of baseball. This will get massive pushback. And it’s not that big of an alteration.
First of all, it’s a great idea. The idea– the only person that shouldn’t like this idea is a closer. Oh crap, I’ve got to face Mike Trout again. I get that. But if I’m a baseball fan– one of the things my last couple of years at the other place, there was an executive there. And they were going to get rid of the show, “Baseball Tonight. They were just going to end it, because the Major League Baseball Network had been created, and it gutted “Baseball Tonight’s” numbers.
And I was talking to one of the executives, Glenn, and he said, you know, one of the things that– and he was a baseball fan from the Northeast. He loved the Red Sox. He goes, but one of the things baseball struggles with, and I’m an executive now, and I have to worry about stuff like this, is LeBron’s on the floor the entire game, offense, defense. Brady’s getting 96 snaps.
He goes, we’re featuring Bryce Harper. He’s up four times. They’ll walk him once. He may catch a fly ball. You don’t get enough of your stars. This would give Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, John Carlos Stanton, Aaron Judd– I mean, look at the Dodgers.
You get one more at bat from a hot Chris Taylor, or Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger. Like, that would be great. You would get another star at bat if you trail in the ninth. It is not that big of a deal.
And by the way, NFL has a two minute warning. Why? Do you think really Bill Belichick has to be told, Bill, there’s only two minutes left. Bill, have you checked the clock out? Everybody knows that’s added to give a trailing team a time out. They don’t have to waste their own.
In college football, under five minutes left, first down, clock stops. Why? Not for the winning team, for the losing team. So a losing team, trailing by two touchdowns, gets first downs, clock stops. Sports have already done this. Sports is better when the games are close. Sports are better– this is why the three point shot, as much as I complain about it, is great.
You’re down by 12, four minutes left, takes four shots, you’re in. So I think this is great. And I don’t think it’s the major alteration the die-hard baseball guy thinks. Because half the time, bottom of the ninth, trailing, you’ve got good batters coming up anyway. You may use this for a good baseball team like the Dodgers once every two weeks.
I think it’d be absolutely great. The only person that should hate it is the closer. And who cares about the closer? I mean, they throw nine pitches, they end up in the Hall of Fame. That’s unfair anyway.