Pastime (noun): an activity or entertainment which makes time pass pleasantly.
This definition is long what baseball has represented in America; a major part of the fabric of the country’s identity. However, you can take this same term, break it apart and also tell a story of what a major part of Major League Baseball’s on-field policy has become: past its time.
There’s nothing wrong with tradition. It’s central to what makes baseball great. Of all professional sports, the MLB has been the most resistant to change of any. It was the last to expand its ranks, the most stringent in back stepping over its previous rulings and most notably, the most hesitant to use technology in any regard. And now, baseball’s most important element, tradition, has been compromised yet again by its resistance to the one thing that’s (ironically) holding it back: change.
Last Friday evening, New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana completed one sport’s most difficult and awe-inspiring tasks when he broke off a 131-pitch no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals. He was roundly applauded for the history-making task, which capped an amazing comeback and ended the longest dry spell for any franchise without ever having a no-hitter to its credit in the 50-year Mets.
But there’s one big problem here: he didn’t actually throw one.
Where did this go (obviously) wrong, and how can baseball measure off ways to ensure that this NEVER happens again? Check out the rest of this piece in my column at The Sportsfan Journal here:
And for everything else outside (and on) the line, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan