Around the Horn With Joe Grump

Baseball’s owners and players are screwing up the game. Our baseball commentator, Joe Grump, tells it like it is.

It’s time for baseball! Now and then during the season we’ll be checking in with our in-house baseball analyst Joe Grump. Like you, Joe reads the sports pages and forms his opinions faster than Tinker to Evers to Chance.

By Joe Grump

I don’t like change. Change is bad. It’s always better to stick with what you’ve got. This is especially true when it comes to baseball.

It goes without saying that I hate all the changes initiated last year. The 60 game season? That was bullshit. Better to just cancel the whole god-damned thing. Seven inning double header games? What, like nobody ever won a game in the last two innings? Starting extra innings with a man on second? That’s baseball socialism! What is this? Sweden?

And, the worst of it all — the designated hitter in the National League! The DH is a cancer on baseball, an abomination, like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa. It changes the whole structure of the game, simplifies it, dumbs it down, just like what’s happening to the rest of society. If you play Sheepshead, then you’ll get this. The DH is to baseball what the Jack of Diamonds game is to Sheepshead. It’s obvious. I’ll just leave it there. I’ll say no more.

Baseball wants to take a lot of the strategy out of the game. Photo by Pixabay on

But the owners want the DH because it’ll produce more offense and make the game more “exciting for the fans.” Look, people, if you want more offense go watch the NBA. The NBA is all about 120-119. But the essence of baseball is 2-1.

And, of course, the players want the DH because it will lengthen some careers. But thanks to the fact that the owners and players hate each other, they couldn’t agree on the DH in the NL for this season, even though it’s what they both want. Here’s another example of where bull-headed stubborness can yield a good result. So, unless something changes at the last minute, pitchers will have to bat again in the NL. Maybe there is a god, after all.

But there’s no reason to rest easy, my friends. More changes are coming. This year, the geniuses in the front offices are going to experiment with some more bright ideas in the minors. They’re going to try bigger bases. No, that’s not a typo, They will use bigger bases. It’s just like the bigger holes some golf courses are using to try to attract a younger crowd.

Hey, why stop there? Why don’t we just make everything easier? Why four years of college? Heck, three years is close enough! Want to do surgery? Hey, just watch a few videos, buy the right knives and start hacking away!

They also want to stop managers from using the shift. Now, there’s an old saying in baseball, “hit ’em where they ain’t.” So, what’s wrong with putting guys where they hit ’em? Instead, baseball wants to lock players into positions while managers know full well the tendencies of hitters. Why? To produce more hits and runs, as if defense and defensive strategy isn’t a legitimate part of the game.

They’re also going to try something called “an automated strike zone.” I assume that means a computer will call balls and strikes instead of a fat guy behind the plate. I don’t like it! Sure, umpires make mistakes. Then managers come out and yell at them. Managers kick dirt on the umpire’s shoes. The umpire gives the manager the old heave-ho. It’s part of the game. You can’t argue with a computer.

Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s just convert the whole thing to a video game!

Now, I like Craig Counsell as much as the next guy, but he’s way too open to changing the game. The other day, he was quoted as saying, “We can sit there and judge all these rule changes and criticize them and say, ‘Get off my lawn, this is baseball,'”

Well, hell yes, we can! Say it with me, people: This is baseball! Get off my lawn!


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

2 thoughts on “Around the Horn With Joe Grump

  1. I wonder if Joe Grump is related to a friend of mine who used to be the mayor of a midwestern state capital. Joe sounds awfully familiar.


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