Before Tuesday's Mike & Mike, host Mike Greenberg had an interesting idea, a concept he borrowed from an ESPN.com piece last week about the NFL: What would be nine ideas to improve baseball?
This isn't about fixing the game -- the revenues generated by MLB indicate there's no need for that -- but about tweaking it in places that might help, and commissioner Rob Manfred has indicated repeatedly he is open to change, if it can help. And whether it's an in-season alteration to instant replay, the extension of protective netting or a rule change to protect players, Manfred has backed up his words with action.
With help from the audience, these are the starting nine we generated, and at 9:30 a.m ET on Thursday, Manfred will join us to give his thoughts on the list. Some would affect the structure of the sport, others are more about the fan experience.
1. Reduce the games to seven innings. A longtime executive mentioned this idea to me a couple of years ago, a dramatic change that would accelerate the adrenaline of the game and greatly reduce the time of game, something MLB has aimed for in recent seasons. You can shave the commercial time between innings or ask batters to stay in the box, but those are minor adjustments that make a small difference. This change would get the time of game closer to between two and 2 1/2 hours.