20 things I'd do if I were the commissioner

Jonathan Daniel

Len Kasper, the Cubs' play-by-play man, recently penned a column about what he would do if he were "commissioner for a day." He has a lot of great ideas, like adding a fifth umpire to each crew (to handle replays), and bringing back the two-for-one doubleheader. Maybe Len's most novel suggestion is giving the home-plate umpire a microphone, so he can announce substitutions and explain the occasional odd ruling, like in the NFL (e.g. "The runner is out on interference."). It's terrific stuff, and I encourage you to read the whole thing.

It got me thinking, What would I do if I were the commissioner? Herein is a partial listing:

1) I'd promise to address the problem of players stepping out of the box constantly, but never actually do anything about it.

2) I'd also do nothing whatsoever to eliminate dangerous home-plate collisions. "Man up, Posey" seems like pretty sensible advice to me.

3) I'd bully local and state governments into buying ballparks for millionaire owners, to the tune of ~$10 billion over twenty years. I know that seems like a staggering amount of money, but here's the thing: It is.

4) Speaking of the owners, I would only let undercapitalized yes-men own teams in the first place. Believe you me, this couldn't possibly go wrong.

5) Every few years or so, I'd appoint a commission to fix this or that problem. I would always and only refer to it as a "blue ribbon" commission, because everyone knows that's the best kind.

6) Under the theory that people love the sound of my voice, I would interrupt regular season and All-Star games to make a speech on the field, with weepy movie music playing in the background.

7) I'd limit teams from spending a lot of money on the draft, because I have a feeling my best friend will be a notorious cheapskate owner.

8) I'd institute "interleague play." It won't really work that well, but I'll cite attendance figures of "interleague" games to prove its success. But, and this is key, I would NOT mention that these "interleague" games were concentrated on weekends, in good weather, and after the kids are out of school. I would do this for years and years.

9) If my owner pals and I ever got in trouble for colluding against the players, I'd just add a couple of teams. Let the new owners pay the penalty. If it's still not enough, we can just do it again in five years.

10) I would ruin the All-Star game (with an assist from a longtime manager, who will treat it like a tee ball game).

11) I would hire someone to work day and night to keep baseball highlights off the web. Because between you and me, I'm pretty sure this ultranet thing is just a fad.

12) I'd make the very act of watching your favorite team a mind-numbing, Sisyphean ordeal, because baseball fans are chumps who will put up with basically anything.

13) If there were some kind of territorial dispute between two neighboring teams, and an easy solution wasn't apparent, I'd leave the long-suffering, cash-strapped team in limbo until my retirement or death.

14) Speaking of retirement, every few years I'll tell everyone I'm going to retire but never actually do it, just to screw with people. In reality, I'll probably haunt the game until I die.

15) I would lead the faction that ousts my predecessor, then head the committee to hire his replacement. After a long, drawn-out "search," I'll appoint myself Interim Commissioner For Life.

16) I would probably just make up the vote totals for the All-Star Game.* It's not like we have election monitors or anything.

* Prove me wrong, kids!

17) I hate baseball players, so if confidential PED tests were leaked, that'd be aces with me.

18) I would fire any arbitrator who dared rule against the league in a dispute with a player, and I would immediately wage a vendetta against any player who prevailed against us in any kind of hearing or appeal.

19) My guiding principle would always be There's nothing wrong with the game that can't be fixed by adding more wild cards.

20) I would cancel the goddamn World Series. Because I'm a human garbage monster.

What would you do if you were the commissioner? Let us know in the comments!

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