Wednesday, August 31, 2016

House Rules

Board games, card games, parenting, blogs, forums, sports. All these things have their rules, written and occasionally obnoxiously, unwritten runs. We've all had moments where we've loved these rules and hated them, or broken them to our shame, or twisted them to our advantage. Baseball is one of those sports with plenty of rules and quirks. Much digital and real ink has been spilled over them, especially those pesky unwritten ones.

But this post is not about any of those unwritten ones! It's about the written ones, and not just the rules of the game either. I'm talking about the CBA. I'm a pretty big soccer fan on the side, particularly of MLS and the Vancouver Whitecaps. One of the most interesting things about the league is the crazy salary cap and the restrictions on player movement. If you think baseball has a weird CBA, I would love to try and explain allocation money, both general and targeted, as well as designated players, young and regular, as well as international slots, discovery lists, Generation Adidas and the allocations list (of course separate from allocation money). And I'd wonder if even God understands the NBA's salary cap. As Jays fans, we've been blessed with our previous GM, who ruthlessly manipulated the CBA to the advantage of the team.

We've seen a lot of changes come and go with the CBA, and the salary and draft shenanigans created aren't always to the benefit of the players or teams, but certainly give us all something to talk about. What changes would you make to the CBA? I'm not just talking about things 'for the betterment of the game,' I'm talking about wild, crazy, commissioner-mode-in-OOTP changes. Hard salary cap slots, max salaries, trade restrictions, waivers, anything and everything. Some things I would do? Bring back type A & B free agent compensation, remove draft penalization of draft picks, allow the sale (but not trades) of draft picks, create a free agent posting/auction system for negotiation rights linked with type of free agency, using this to create a league-wide team pool where you can switch your draft pick for cold hard cash, add additional roster slots for NL teams to facilitate pitcher substitutions, creating a loan system, but only for major league rosters. I want to hear what you guys would do!

As for the actual rules, I've always been intrigued by the rules of games, and baseball is no different. Unlike many others, I love that baseball has two leagues that operate under two different rule sets. It provides a unique factor not seen in really any other sport. There's nothing really else like it. The closest is the rugby codes, but even then they don't play each other on a regular basis. So what, if any, rule changes outside the traditional DHing rules would you change? For me, definitely adding the pitch clock and requiring pitchers to complete at least three batters, but likewise only allowing changes to the batting order when pitchers switch (excepting injuries). Not as easy to be creative for me with the game, rather than the CBA.

So there you have it. Baseball, with house rules. Go!