Hey everyone, I figured I'd post the results of the poll, and comment on the results as well as my feelings about each of the reforms and my opinions on their likelihood.
Poll Question: Which of the potential reforms that Bud Selig's "special committee" is considering would you most like to see?
Reforms to increase the pace of game - 2 (16%)
Removal of the Designated Hitter in the American League - 6 (50%)
Some kind of change to divisional alignment - 3 (25%)
I don't like any of them - 1 (8%)
Obviously we're only going on 12 votes here (heck, I'm glad I have 12 readers, haha), but I still think this is a very interesting poll, especially if it reflects the general public's view of these potential reforms.
As you can clearly see, half of the voters want the DH removed in the American League. This came as kind of a shock to me, because I know a lot of people who love the DH and the extra runs it produces. So I'm not sure if it indicates the majority of my readers are NL fans, or if there are really lots of AL people who want to get rid of the DH. I can see a lot of benefits to the removal of the DH. The managers would have to work more, bench players would serve more of a purpose and see more playing time, and the speed of American League games would increase. From a GM standpoint, I can see them liking it because it creates an even playing field and more symmetry between the leagues, making it easier to predict what a player will do in one league or the other. It would also probably lead to a decrease in average payroll in the American League. I am interested to see if this type of change would have to pass through the Players Association, because if it does, I could see them not wanting it to happen. A lot of players view the DH as a way of creating more longevity in their careers, and the Players Association might agree. I kind of feel like this is the least likely of all the reforms to happen, but that's just my opinion.
In second place (with 25 percent of the vote) was a change to divisional alignment. I am sure there are some readers whose teams get buried underneath other teams in their division, or some readers who feel the fact that the AL West only has 4 teams is unfair. I can see the point of both of these arguments, because a team like the Marlins or the Rays or the Rangers could really benefit from a change in division. I think if any type of change happens, it will probably be a fairly small one, and not the "floating alignment" that has been rumored on and off, just because I can't see that working. One or two teams may move around (kind of like when the Brewers moved in 1994), but I don't think it will be a major move. I think this is kind of likely, but like I said, only in a small-scale form.
In third place (with 16 percent) was improvements to the pace of game. I can understand wanting this to happen, especially because baseball is apparently losing some audience because of the slow pace of game. I think some reforms definitely need to happen, as I made clear in an earlier post of mine, but i also think it will be pretty difficult to institue some of the rules hat would lead to an increase in pace of game. Despite that, I think that this reform is probably the most likely to happen, in part because I think it's a perfect storm of interest. The MLB would be happy to decrease the length of the games because it will increase their ratings, and the fans would obviously be happy if the games got shorter. It would also be a good PR move, since so many people complain about the length of baseball games.
That's all for now. If you haven't noticed, I have also posted a new poll, and will post my comments on the new topic and the results next week, so vote away!