MLB Mulling Changing Status Of Home Runs In Wake Of New Bonds Allegations
Will Go Retro, Adopt Stickball Rule of Three-Outs If Hit Over Fence; South Dakota Not Waiting, Bans All Home Runs
In a swift and stunning move, Major League Baseball has called an emergency meeting of its’ owners, and Rules Committee, putting on the table a change to official home runs in the wake of new allegations that home run hitter Bobby Bonds has been taking illegal steroids and human growth hormones since 1998.
Bonds, who holds the single-season home run record of 73, is currently third on baseball’s all-time home run list at 708, chasing the legendary Babe Ruth (714) and the home run king, Hank Aaron (755).
Commissioner Bud Selig offered very little as he rushed into a
“This is a dark day gentlemen,” said Selig as he continued walking. “We may come out of it with substantial changes and a very different game.”
New Book Says Bonds Jealousy Reason For Bulking Up
Two San Francisco Chronicle reporters and authors of a soon-to-be-released book, Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, say they have substantial corroboration, from court records and over 200 interviews, grand jury testimony and tapes of voice-mail messages and transcripts with Bonds’s former girlfriend, depicting Bonds’s wide-ranging steroid usage.
The explosive book, "Game of Shadows" is scheduled to be published March 27 by Gotham Books.
An excerpt from the book appears this week in Sports Illustrated, offering vivid details of the drugs and regimen Bonds undertook, motivated they say by jealousy over the attention paid to Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, during their memorable home run chase in 1998. When it ended, McGwire broke the 37-year-old, single-season record of Roger Maris’s 61, finishing with 70 homeruns.
Boyhood Stickball Rules Looked As Way To Save Baseball
According to sources close to Major League Baseball, Commissioner Bud Selig will propose to the owners and Rules Committee that “home runs hit out of the playing field, to wit, into the stands or out of the ballpark, be ruled three-outs.” Reportedly, Selig got the idea from the boyhood game of Stickball.
“Who, at least anyone over 30, or 40, hasn’t played stickball?”, asked Paul “Biffster” Chenzo, former minor league baseball player and author of “It’s The Pine Tar, Stupid”, citing the use of the sticky substances players rub on their bats as the reason for the increase in home runs.
In stickball, often played in the streets, or in factory parking lots and school yards, hitting the ball over an easily reached fenced counted as three outs, not a home run. The object was to hit the fence and aim for getting base hits, doubles and triples.
“The Commissioner feels that it is time for the big show to take the same approach,” says Chenzo. "That’s it’s time to save the game.”
Major Leaguers Worried, Want Abusers Thrown Out, Not Rules Changed
As word of the potential rule changing home runs reached spring training camps, both power sluggers and contact hitters voiced concerns and objections.
“I sure hope they don’t do that,” said Johnny Damon, new centerfielder of the New York Yankees , and considered baseballs’ best leadoff hitter.
“I can place the ball pretty good around the field, but I sure like it when I do hit one out.”
“Man, that is really bullshit,” said the slugger. “Totally unfair, I mean, I hope it doesn’t come to that. That would be penalizing a lot of players – clean players who do it the old-fashion way by working out and working on their game."
Boston Red Sox star slugger David Ortiz says the best way to deal with the illegal steroids is to just “throw the bums out.”
“Kick them out,” said Big Papi, as Ortiz is affectionately known as around
Pitcher Roger Clemens said he would welcome the rule changing homeruns to being three-outs.
“Man, are you kidding,” said The Rocket. “I could stay in baseball another 10, 15-years. Heck, I could probably throw perfect games in under 40 pitches. This would be great for pitchers … We’d all be setting new ERA records.”
Burns Favors Rule Change, Sees New “Extra Inning” Documentary
Filmmaker Ken Burns released a statement that he would be in favor of the home run rule change.
Burns is known, among other projects, for his epic “Baseball” documentary, shown on PBS in nine (innings) segments back in 1994.
“This would be wonderful,” said Burns, “I can title it “Extra Innings”, with a lot of shots from grass level, the white ball with red stitching moving in slow motion over the green grass carpet. We can show the old school home runs in a nice, rich sepia tone, maybe even a little grainy, to give it an aged look … And, we’ll probably have to use Hop-Hop music, for the current times, which could led me to a whole new project. This would be a very, very good thing to happen.”
South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds (R) isn’t waiting for Major League Baseball to enact the new home run rule.
A day after signing legislation banning nearly all abortions in the state, the Governor this morning signed an emergency bill banning all home runs in the state, on levels of baseball, from Pee Wee and Little League, through High School, College and Minor League games.
The bill will make it a crime to hit a home run, unless it is done in order to save the batter’s life. There are no exceptions for cases of extra innings games, or playoffs and championship series.
"In the history of the baseball, the true test of a game is how well players treat the most vulnerable and most helpless teammates, the average guy who’s an average hitter and fielder. The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that homeruns are wrong because these average players are the most vulnerable and most helpless in the game and I agree with them," said Rounds as he signed the bill.
Professional Horse Jockeys around the country celebrated the news that baseball may ban home runs, saying that "without that pressure, we have now have, for the first time, some career options"