As I am tired of pointing out that Bobby Abreau is the best player on the team by far this year, and I am tired of those who really can't say anything bad about him, so they harp on:
1) Their perception of his effort in the outfield
2) his lack of perceived performance in "the clutch
I am proposing the following adjustments to the rules of Major League Baseball:
1) The "Effort Rule" By this rule, fielding will no longer be judged by something so mundane as actual catches and throws, but rather by the amount of "hustle" a player demonstrates while getting to the ball.
a) Running into the wall in an automatic out, even if the ball cleared the fence.
b)Diving for the ball will never be penalized, so those who dive for the ball and miss it, resulting in a triple rather than a single, can require the runner to return to first.
c) Any catch which results in the fielder making a bad initial read, adjusting, and running down an otherwise routine fly ball with a last second jump, bobble and/or catch will result in two outs instead of the regular one (also know as the "Web Gems" rule).
2) The "Clutch Rule" By this rule, hits will no longer be judged in absolute terms of singles, doubles, runs, etc., but rather by the overall perception of the "clutchiness" of the hit.
a) Any hit in the first 6 innings will not be counted for a player's official stats, as those inning clearly do not contribute to a team's winning or losing the game.
b) Hits in the later innings will be awarded extra value for the situation. A single with a runner on and two outs, home team down by one in the seventh inning will be counted automatically as two "clutch points," which will be compared at the end of the game with the other team's "clutch points." The team with the most "clutch points" will automatically win the game.
c) Any player who is perceived to be "un-clutch" will be excused from hitting in later innings. Thus, if Bobby Abreau is coming up to bat, the manager may substitute him for a player the fans feel has more of a flair for the dramatic. Players such as Kirk Gibson
will be available for any team for such occasions, without taking up roster space.
I think we can all agree that these rules will result in better play, more recognition of "clutch" performances, and an overall improved attitude of hustle all around.