Yes, MLB should let managers bat anyone they want if their team is trailing in the ninth inning.
1. Before you scoff, hear me out.
According to Rich Eisen, one MLB exec recently told him that there is a rule being discussed by some in the game that would basically cause a riot. It goes like this: In the 9th inning only, the manager of the trailing team would be allowed to send up any three players he wants for the first three at-bats of the inning. It doesn't matter where a team is in the batting order during the game. The skipper can send up anyone he wants in any order for the first three at-bats in the 9th.
I know that would be a radical rule change, and I'm normally a traditionalist in every way, but after thinking about it, I say implement the rule for one season and see what happens.
Yes, this changes everything about the game, but baseball needs a shakeup. The NFL and the NBA are the dominant sports in this country right now, especially with younger viewers. This would be a way to generate buzz and excitement on a daily basis. It also would put pressure on managers and involve a lot of strategy. Do you send up your .260 hitter who has three hits that day or do you send up your .320 hitter who is in the middle of a 2-for-20 slump?
I know this would be a shock to the system of many baseball fans. The league's idea of cutting edge and getting wild and crazy is allowing players to wear nicknames on the back of their jerseys for a weekend. But this is sports. Why not have fun? Why not take a chance? Why not do something outlandish and see what happens? Do it for one season and re-evaluate. (Here's my Twitter if you'd like to bash me for this opinion.)
2. LeBron James and Stephen Curry were mic'd up during the All-Star Game, which resulted in these amusing videos. Be sure to check out the Tracy Morgan cameo in Curry's version.
3. Last night, Jimmy Kimmel tried to explain why exactly he was caught laughing hysterically during Fergie's bizarre performance of the national anthem at the All-Star Game.
4. Everyone's favorite college basketball team this season should be the Nebraska Cornhuskers and here's why.
5. For my Chris "Mad Dog" Russo fans out there, his performance on Dave Portnoy's latest pizza review video is a must-see. Everyone should use "tuxedo pizza" in their lives going forward.
6. Longtime ESPN broadcaster, Mike Patrick, is no longer with the network after 36 years. For many, his most memorable moment was his bizarre shoutout to Britney Spears during overtime of an Alabama-Georgia game.
7. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: I'm currently in the middle of the Something To Wrestle With podcast on Goldust. Hosts Conrad Thompson and Bruce Pritchard go in-depth on the time Goldust, aka Dustin Runnels, imitated his father, Dustin Rhodes, on Monday Night Raw. This was just wrong.
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IN CLOSING: There have been stories the past few days about DirecTV raising the price of Sunday Ticket. Just call and say you're canceling and they'll basically give it to you for half price. Happens every year.