The great American pastime of baseball returned last week. Beyond the wafting smells of fresh cut grass and hot dogs on the grill, there's a lot to be excited about where baseball is at right now.
The Cubs are defending World Series champions for the first time in 108 years for crying out loud! And given the soaring ratings during the postseason last year baseball fans are enjoying the "lovable losers'" new found success and the challenges coming from several other quality teams.
So you think Major League Baseball would be pretty excited about the state of it's game, right?
Apparently not, because commissioner Rob Manfred and the league keep expressing their interest in tinkering with the game.
Baseball announced in February it will experiment in some minor leagues this summer by starting all extra innings with a runner at second base. The goal is to increase the chances of teams' scoring runs in extra frames in an effort to prevent marathon extra-inning battles that last hours and can deplete bullpens for days to come.
But that fundamentally changes the game. Imagine if The Masters decided Sunday's playoff between Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose by just sending the golfers back to the 18th green for a putt-off.
Even worse, Manfred told the New York Daily News over the weekend he's in favor of a rule that would limit the number of relief pitchers a team could use. The Commish suggest that relievers have become so dominant they, "actually rob action from the end of the game."
Hold on. Dominant power pitchers rob action from your fans?
Is there anything more electric in baseball than watching Aroldis Chapman blowing a 105 MPH fastball by someone?
The bottom line is that Manfred wants to leave his mark on the game by making games shorter. But what the third year commissioner doesn't understand is that the people who watch baseball games - his sport's fans - don't care if he can trim a few minutes off the length of a game, but will most certainly notice if he changes the rules.
Baseball, more than any other sport, relies on it's tradition and history. The suggested rule changes would fundamentally change the way the game's been played for many years.
And why? To shorten games from three hours to 2:50?
Baseball fans love the game and are happy to still sit down and watch in the ballpark and at home.
If only the man in charge would quit trying to fix what isn't broken with the game they love.
Watch Steve's Takeaway above. Plus, Jon Burton weighs in on whether or not the Titans should pursue outspoken Seahawk Richard Sherman if Seattle is willing to part with it's star cornerback.