Suggested Changes to Major League Baseball

        Here are some changes I’d like to see MLB enact.

        The National League should be forced to adapt the designated hitter rule. Watching 99.9% of pitchers bat is about as exciting as watching a bald guy in a barber’s chair. And the so-called double shift (when a manager lifts a pitcher plus another player simply because the pitcher shouldn’t be hitting in the first place) isn’t an element of strategy, it’s just an unnecessary complexity.

        The September roster should be reduced to thirty from forty. The following year’s spring training is when teams should evaluate their minor league players, not in the midst of pennant races. Also, having forty-man rosters in September cheats fans out of seeing teams field their strongest line-ups.

        End the tradition of batters being forced by managers to take a pitch on a 3-0 count. That fastball down the middle is going to be the best pitch the batter will see all day.

        Managers should have to decide immediately whether to request a review of a play rather than hold up the game while a coach talks to the video room to determine whether it’s worthwhile.

        Umpires should be required to have thicker skins and not be allowed to bait players. They should be instructed in no uncertain terms to turn their backs and walk away before making the decision to toss someone out of the game.

        The scoring rules regarding whether a batted ball results in a hit or an error need to provide more room for judgement. For example, calling it a hit when two outfielders collide and the ball is dropped is ludicrous; at least one of them should be charged with an error. And the scoring rule that deems it a hit when a fielder clearly misplays a ball without getting a glove on it is just plain wrong. Neither of these calls is fair to the pitcher.

        Catchers should be allowed only one trip to the mound during any particular hitter’s time at bat.

 A Sign of My Time

        I guess it’s a sign of approaching the end of my eighth decade on this earth, but in one eight-day span this past August in PEI, we attended a wake, an interment, a memorial service, a 60th anniversary, an 85th birthday party, a 90th birthday party and another birthday party, this one for a relative youngster – he was just turning 66.

  Best Line I’ve Heard In a Long Time

        A guy in PEI said that his father had quit school “at page 114.”

 Cell Phone Coincidence?

       While walking in the Cedarvale ravine here in Toronto a while ago I met a woman talking on a cell phone. As we passed each other I heard her say, “You have to focus on Michael.” About a minute later I met another woman talking on her cell phone and as we passed each other she said, “Forget about Michael.” I wonder if this just a coincidence, or were they talking to each other?

 The Ubiquitous “I mean”

         Why do so many people start sentences with the phrase “I mean.” Does it “mean” that if they don’t say it then they don’t really “mean” what they say?

 Restaurant Service

         The two things that annoy me most about restaurant service are: seeing people who came in after me being served before me; and waiting too long for the cheque after the server knows full well that I’m finished and ready to leave.

 Ontario Politics

          The only impediment to Kathleen Wynne being the worst premier in Ontario’s history is Dalton McGuinty.