SWINGING FOR SLOTS
Scobe’s New Baseball Slots
By Frank Scoblete
Baseball is (or was) the American pastime since it started in the 1800s but there have been very few baseball slot machines. I’ve decided to ﬁx that and oﬀer you a new machine that will put baseball back in its primary position in the world of slots/sports.
Major League Baseball has suﬀered from a few major mistakes in the past 40 or so years. I am not talking about drugs enhancing a player’s performance or causing their bodies and heads to expand. I’m guessing that would be a criminal matter. But other things have hurt the game.
Pitchers have dominated the game as never before and hitters rarely hit over .300 or even .250 for that matter. And the number of times batters strike out can make Babe Ruth appear to never strike out.
The games almost seem interminable at times. Really, three or more hours per contest with mostly batters swinging and missing? Or ﬁxing their batting gloves and armor against getting hit by a pitch?
In the early days of baseball—digest this fact—catchers never wore masks! Now batters sometimes look as if they are knights preparing to joust.
Goodbye Designated Hitter
My new slot machine is titled Scobe’s New Baseball and will encourage a more exciting game by doing away with the “designated hitter,” a concept that was supposed to increase hitting but really just added another either “washed-up” batter or just a so-so hitter to take his chance against a pitcher.
Does baseball really need this hitter? No. This designated hitter should go the way of pitchers hitting. Goodbye. They aren’t usually players the crowd is looking forward to see hitting, even if such a player was at one time a great one.
“Wouldn’t you rather see Mike Trout or Aaron Judge get an extra turn at bat each game instead of “who’s that guy” or “the always injured one” coming up to the plate to waste our time?”
In my Scobe’s New Baseball the designated hitter is now gone and the team only sends the eight batters to the plate, those players who play the ﬁeld. No so-so hitter will be taking up a lineup space. Wouldn’t you rather see Mike Trout or Aaron Judge get an extra turn at bat each game instead of “who’s that guy” or “the always injured one” coming up to the plate to waste our time?
Now, the so-called baseball purists can have their own websites (as they do now) and keep any kind of statistics that they want but fandom will welcome my changes to the game.
Goodbye Most Percentages
Next, we do not need the cascade of percentages concerning who is doing what, when and where. I am doing away with the concept of batting averages based on hits that exclude errors made by the other team, and exclude walks, and exclude a batter getting hit by a pitch— no! All of these possibilities mean that the batter got on base. And now we go with a concept called On Base Averages, or OBA.
How many times does so-and-so get on base? That’s the key. Does this batter get hit by pitches a lot? Good. He’s on base. This batter walked? He got on base. The other team made an error on this guy’s batted ball? The guy made it to base.
Doesn’t matter how he gets on base. He got there!
The error could put him on, a walk could put him on, a wild pitch could put him on, a hit on his body could put him on. If he gets up 100 times and gets 25 hits, three walks, one hit on his self or an error by the other team, he is now considered 30 for 100 with an OBA of .300.
Getting on base is the key to baseball and how it is done is irrelevant. Yes, home run hitters will still be celebrated but OBA now becomes a key to a player’s worth.
The Bottom Line of New Baseball
Okay, here goes: Eight players bat and the new OBA dictates what a player is generally worth. The question is simple: How often does he get on? Not how does he get on but the mere fact that he gets on is the key.
The runs batted in (RBI) and scoring runs (R) will be combined under the Runs label. Being on base and scoring is as important as a home run with no one on base. A run is a run! You get on base and someone bats you in or you steal home—that is every bit as important as a home run. Again, a run is a run.
Speed Up Pitchers’ Delivery
In the real game of baseball, not my slot game, pitchers should have a time limit on how fast they have to serve up the next pitch (this is now used). On the slot machine I will have three-time limits on when pitchers should pitch the ball. Players of the slot game should be able to relax if they don’t want pitches to come one after another at too fast an interval.
I will also have speed spreads for pitchers so if a batter can hit the devastatingly fast pitch, those batters will get more hits overall.
All the best in and out of the casinos!
Frank Scoblete’s website is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.