Good morning from a not so secret place here in Missouri!
I was reading an article this morning on the www.mlb.com website featuring some feedback from Andrew Miller of the Cleveland Indians. As a member of the player’s committee, he was talking about the proposed rule changes to help ‘speed up the game’ in Major League Baseball. First off the league needs to back off. Do they not see how the NFL has been negatively affected by tinkering with the product too much? And most importantly do real baseball fans care if a game lasts 2 hours and 50 minutes or if it last 3 hours and 2 minutes? Ten minutes or so…who cares? If you are a fan of baseball, you are a fan of baseball and you are not counting down the minutes until it is over. It is not the last minute of an NBA game that lasts ten minutes because of stupid fouls and time stoppages.
OK that is my two cents worth on the topic. But woven into the thread of the piece there was a mention of the beloved ‘Bullpen Cart/Car’. In one of my favorite sports movies, Major League, one of the players commandeers the bullpen car to follow the love of his life back to her home (read stalker level 7). The actor drives this modified golf cart with over-sized Cleveland Indians hat on top through the city streets as he follows her. Once home, she parks her car and goes inside. He pulls up to the curb behind her car, parks the bullpen car and follows her into the building. That movie was from 1989 and at the time there were some teams that had bullpen carts/cars. But not every team did and for practical reasons. The Chicago Cubs had their bullpens inside the stadium along the foul territories behind first base and third base so the relievers didn’t have all that far to go to enter the game. But for other teams where the bullpens are situated beyond the outfield fences, the concept of a bullpen cart/car did make at least a little sense; the pitcher would not get worn out running in from that distance plus the cart could certainly get there faster.
So at what point did ALL of the carts go away? The information online is incomplete and vague on the subject as there are no decommissioned bullpen cart/car reports. But I think Major League baseball is missing out on a networking business opportunity with the makers of these modified golf carts. Each team could have like three or four team golf carts adorned with their team colors, logos, mascots, etc. and have then available to zip players to and from the bullpen, the pep squads can use them in between innings to distribute t-shirts or bubble-wrapped hot dogs or whatever. Obviously the makers of the carts would also have their branding prominently displayed like every other commercial advertisement in society today. I know some of the stadiums have golf carts that are already in use for various purposes but I think they need to be more prominent! Bring the bullpen car back! I implore you! OK it’s just a silly suggestion but it is not the worst idea is it?
I digress. I was merely trying to bring attention to a thing that my brain seized upon for a few minutes. For this I ask your forgiveness and wish you a pleasant continuance of your day.