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Game Changer: Bat flips and nerds are ruining baseball

Baseball has many problems. Let's fix them!!!

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the first-ever episode of Game Changer. We're going to right some wrongs in the name of baseball.

It's quite clear the cancer at the center of baseball is nerds. Any time a fan reaches for a foul ball and prevents a player from making a catch? That was a nerd. A nerd tricked Curt Schilling into posting anti-Muslim memes. The Black Sox Scandal - you better believe that was conceived by some stat nerd. "Hey, Joe!" the nerd yelled, unaware of social norms like not yelling, "You know, we could make more money if you try to lose!"

Every day, nerds are gathering in our cities' sewers, wringing their hands and snickering in uneven, high-pitched tones. "What shall we ruin next, my brethren?" their leader asks, a forked tongue darting in and out of his mouth. All we can do is watch, horrified, from the grates above.

Baseball, despite being a sport that is meant to be played by miserable, violent men, has unfortunately never considered this invasive enough to act on it. That has left vocal, handsomely mustachioed advocates for the sport utterly flabbergasted.

Goose Gossage became a popular talking point on mediums he will never read or see yesterday after making some comments about how, to this day, nerds are grabbing baseball and, with great effort, are slowly tearing the game apart in their rawboned, sweaty little hands.

Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage called Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista a "disgrace to the game" and blasted "nerds" for turning baseball into a "joke" during a 10-minute interview Thursday.

"Bautista is a f---ing disgrace to the game," Gossage told ESPN. "He's embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him. Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto. [Yoenis] Cespedes, same thing."


If guys like Jose Bautista like throwing their bats so much, baseball simply has to make the act cost them dearly.. MLB may not consider the issue important or unimportant enough to weigh in on, but here at Game Changer, we specialize in Changing the Game. So let's talk shop: How about punishing batters with real, in-game consequences for bat flipping - and here's the brilliant part: We get the nerds to design it!

The concept is a simple one. Behind a hitter, there will be placed concentric rings outlined on the grass, increasing in size as they get closer to the dugout. Should the hitter disgrace himself by letting emotion eke out in a huge moment watched by millions, the umpire need only walk over to the rings and take note of the bat's landing spot. The assigned number to said ring will be the number of runs added to the opposing team's score.


If this had been the rule during Bautista's Goose-rattling at-bat in last year's ALCS, then the Blue Jays would not have had much to be excited about. The Royals would have been awarded 3-5 runs for the Toronto slugger's antics, and a deeply satisfied Goose Gossage would have been able to smile and nod at the crank-up radio on which he listens to baseball - the only remedy for keeping his terrifying rage in check.

With this new rule in place, Bautista would be forced to simply place his bat on the ground and trot to first like the baseball gentleman he is supposed to be when given the honor of playing a sport that has been and always will be noted for its devastating seriousness.

The costs of this improvement would be limited to the cost of whatever paint is required to get the circles to appear on the field. This is a far more affordable measure than Game Changer's first draft of this concept, which was to place several large tanks between the dugouts and home plate that would light up and make sounds if and when a bat landed in them. Maybe some fireworks. Maybe some mascots come out and perform a choreographed dance. Anything to keep the focus on how serious the game is.

It was between this concept and allowing the opposing team a one-time throw of the flipped bat back at the runner at any point he is on base for the rest of the game.

on base

This new rule would leave everyone happy, Game Changer believes; but not so happy that it ruins the game.

Our first baseball problem, completely solved! Who else has a need to Change the Game? Step right up, and as always, Let's Fix Baseball.