But walk into any major league clubhouse after a game, and you will see an array of food that would have made the late Colonel Sanders blanch. The food is provided by clubhouse men, who are only following the wishes of the players. Maybe a sign ought to be posted above each clubhouse door: YOU PLAY WHAT YOU EAT.
Syd Thrift, the Yankee general manager, has some ideas on the subject of injuries: "I suspect what we have to look at is a combination of conditioning and nutrition. We also ought to look into equipment innovations—different shoes for different surfaces. Catchers could use a knee brace similar to the ones in football so they can withstand the crash blocks on the side—look at what happened to Mike LaValliere. And what about pepper? I see signs preventing it, but I always thought it was useful.
"But these are just opinions and theories. We need facts. We must find ways to reduce the number of DL days in a 162-game schedule. I've asked the last three commissioners for a research and development program to find a way to prevent injuries. I know of no billion-dollar business that doesn't have one."
Such a study might be a start. In the meantime, baseball might want to think about the following:
1) Restoring the 25-man roster.
2) Drawing up a schedule with humanity in mind. Perhaps the number of games should be reduced.
3) Discouraging those card games in air-conditioned clubhouses just before game time.
4) Scrutinizing weight-training programs more closely.
5) Conducting annual inspections of artificial surfaces.
6) Putting Cal Ripken Jr. on the spring training lecture circuit.