Posted: Tuesday November 8, 2005 11:52AM; Updated: Tuesday November 8, 2005 4:45PM
It's Election Day and we were thinking: What measures could be enacted to make the games we love even better? So we came up with five sports referendums. As with any political issue, there are two sides to every story. Should our measures pass? That's up to you.
Proposition 1: Universal Steroid Testing
Pro: Sports have been tainted by some athletes' use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs, and save for the International Olympics Committee, no organization has done enough to get the problem under control. America has waited too long for the leagues to get their acts together and something needs to be done before another kid dies trying to emulate his hero.
Con: Congress doesn't run sports for a reason. It is up to each league to develop its own policy, one that is fair and tailored to its sport. A universal policy isn't fair and sports shouldn't policed by the government.
Proposition 2: College Football Playoff
Pro: Three letters: B -- C -- S. College football has become a national punch line with its arcane computer ranking system that nobody understands. The good 'ol boys love the bowls so much because they stand to make a ton of money off of them. Enough already! Get rid of the computers and let the championship be decided on the field.
Con: College football is filled with tradition, and what makes the sport so great is that the regular-season means something and each week we have important and exciting games. The bowls are unique to college football and to take them away would hurt the sport more than it would help it.
Proposition 3: Instant Replay in Baseball
Pro: No, umpires aren't perfect, but if they're evaluated (and influenced) on balls and strikes calls with Questec then why can't we have instant replay? Playoff games are too important to be decided on an error that was correctable. We should never have a recurrence of the called third strike fiasco of Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS.
Con: Human error is part of the game. Plus, there are four umpires (six for the playoffs) for a major league game and most of them are seasoned veterans. If one isn't sure of a call, they can huddle together and more often than not they get it right. Games are slow enough and we don't need technology to make games last -- gasp! -- five hours.
Proposition 4: An NBA Farm System
Pro: The NBA should be more like baseball. Yes, the league has the NBDL, but is a joke because: a) there's no guarantee kids will play or get any instruction; b) it gets little attention from teams; c) coaches in the NBDL are trying to win games. This is the poorest excuse for a feeder system in all of sports. The fundamentals of players coming into the league is at an alltime low and young players coming into the league need some instruction at the highest level.
Con: The system works and the new age requirement will stop the exodus of players going directly into the NBA out of high school. And there is the NBADL for players who aren't ready for primetime.
Proposition 5: Ban Metal Bats in College Baseball
Pro: Metal bats are like wooden bats on steroids: checks swings become base hits and warning track flyouts become home runs. Is this really a fair indication of how good a player can hit, or do metal bats inflate the statistics of college and high school players? Furthermore, metal bats are dangerous, and it's only a matter of time before a line drive up the middle off a metal bat back does some serious damage.
Con: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Metal bats have been a part of college baseball for the last 30 years, and the sport is stronger than ever. Although college players must forego their metal bats once they start playing professionally, plenty of college players have successfully transitioned to wood and carved out successful major league careers. It's also important to remember that the most difficult part of playing baseball is hitting the baseball, not what kind of bat one uses to hit it with.