Baseball Showing Signs of Life?

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Baseball has been struggling against its own weight for years. The perennial charges: too slow, too boring, unappealing to anyone under the age of 50.

Well, there’s proof this week that the tide may be turning. Dodgers’ pitcher Brandon McCarthy, out for the year with an ulnar collateral ligament tear, tweeted this:

McCarthy penis

And, as far as we can tell, he didn’t get in trouble for it. This is an encouraging sign for Major League Baseball.

Although it IS mildly disconcerting about Brandon McCarthy, because dudes shouldn’t be taking baths. But, okay, we’ll write it off to either (A) he’s still on heavy drugs following the surgery or (B) he’s just REALLY bored now that he’s out for the rest of the season.

Another cool development for baseball this week also occurred at Dodger Stadium. Two dudes were captured on the ballpark’s Kiss Cam. They kissed and the crowd gave them an ovation. It’s about time baseball fully embraced alternative lifestyles and baseball fans became comfortable with the reality.

As for the two guys, we’re betting they’re BIG Brandon McCarthy fans.

When it comes to creative promotions, minor league baseball teams are on top of their game every day and night. Yesterday was Star Wars Day. You know: May the Fourth Be With You. And the Round Rock Express in Texas was one of at least three minor league franchises unveiling special Star Wars-y uniforms, like these R2D2 beauties:

Round Rock2

Don’t worry, the Express batters won’t wield lightsabers at the plate Friday night when they debut the new duds.

Major League Baseball’s Honorary Bat Girl Program began in 2009. This year Utica’s Rebecca Doolen, who’s battling breast cancer, gets the honor at Yankee Stadium on Mother’s Day. Many clubs will use pink bats this Sunday and official Rawlings game balls will feature pink stitching.

Charitable promotional initiatives like this are vital to baseball’s efforts to recast its sluggish image. Now baseball needs to work harder on streamlining its games. There’s been a bit of progress this season. After an all-time high of 3:08 in 2014, the average length of games is under three hours again.

Not bad. But a country mile away from the 2-1/2 hour games of the simpler 1960s, when relief pitchers sat in the bullpen the whole game, dammit, instead being deployed every few batters.

To take it a step further, baseball needs to impose the countdown clock it experimented with in spring training this year. Also think about cutting the standard length of games to seven innings. Take it from someone who watches a LOT of youth baseball and softball games: seven innings is PLENTY.

If all else fails, require every player to tweet regular penis observations. Dickie Thon would be proud.

Dave Coombs is a longtime morning radio host who takes showers instead of baths.

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