Letters: The world has changed, but let’s keep baseball the same

U.S. women's soccer and the fight for fair pay.
(Jim Thompson / For The Times)

Here’s my take on TV executives making “refreshing” changes to baseball:

No. No. No. No. No.

Baseball is the national pastime for a reason: It’s summer, it’s a way to enjoy an afternoon in the sun and it’s been essentially the same since 1903.

There’s no clock for a reason.


So, please, do not add the DH to the National League.

Cut the number of games to 154 from 162 so we can start playing on April 15, not March 31.

Cut the number of playoff teams via wild cards.

Cut the number of rookie ball and Class A teams throughout the system.

And, finally, insist that sportscasters stop referring to Clayton Kershaw as “a crafty southpaw.”

Bob Gavin
San Diego


Please don’t change the way baseball is played. If the game proceeds at a faster pace I may not have time to read chapter of my book between pitches.


Peter R. Pancione
Thousand Oaks


MLB owners will be in no rush to begin the season since unlike other major sports, half or more of their income is from ticket sales. So for every game played without fans they’ll incur almost all of their costs, player salaries, but only half or less of their revenue. Imagine how that sits with Dodgers ownership.

Jack Wishard
Los Angeles


The Dodgers’ Justin Turner and his wife Kourtney have delivered more than 500,000 meals to the needy since March. He’ll be a free agent this winter.


With careful management, major league baseball could reopen its parks, and play could resume if crowd size and distance issues could be resolved.

Dodger Stadium has about 54,000 seats. Management could hold a lottery among season ticket holders, of which I am not one, to see which 5,000 to 9,000 seats could be occupied on a restrictive basis. This basis would involve non-related parties to sit at least six seats apart, for fans to wear masks when entering and leaving the stadium, walking in the runways, using the bathrooms and ordering food.


This would take a lot of management by the team to enforce, but it could be the key to resuming play with some audience, all to the benefit of the team ownership, players and in-person fans, along with those of us watching on TV.

What do you think?

Gary Wartik
Palm Desert



In order to make baseball more interesting and provide a public service at the same time, I’d like to offer the idea of the “crotch scratch” or “groin grab” penalty. Each time a player on the field scratches or grabs himself, he would be fined $200. His name would be flashed on the scoreboard and a running count would be kept, same as for hits and errors. The money collected would be used to fund cures for diseases.

Not only would fans pay better attention to what was happening on the field, but there would, in all likelihood, be a cure for the COVID-19 virus prior to the first pitching change on opening day. Oh, and the player donating the most money would receive a year’s supply of an antifungal cream.

Ron Fogel
Lake Sherwood



A fan last week wrote that this was the best baseball season ever because he was now able to watch Dodger games on SNLA and that the Dodgers were undefeated. It turns out that the Angels are having equal success on FSW. The Freeway Series should be fierce.

Brad Nelson

Still in a Blue funk

I’ve been quiet for a while because there is no baseball. I did however just listen to the podcast where Orel Hershiser talks about what it meant to him and to his life to win in ’88. He also expressed his sadness for the 2017 Dodgers, including the players, fans and clubhouse guys.

His description of how knowing what pitch is coming changes a game and the stats from the series are fascinating. You will never convince me that if not for the cheating the Dodgers would have won it all in ’17. I wear my 2017 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers T-shirt with pride and conviction and my advice to Astro fans comes straight from the world of fishing. What you won was too small, so throw it back.


And for his lack of leadership and refusal to raise up the sport of baseball by his lack of appropriate punishment for the Astros franchise and players let me just say that Rob Manfred has more to be ashamed of than those cheating Astros.

Larry Weiner
Culver City

Mix it up

The parade of old basketball broadcasts has been a mixed bag. However, programmers take note: there are many more games out there. Sure, Game 7 of the Lakers-Celtics 2010 NBA Finals was the clincher, but the 2010 Finals had better games than Game 7. Why not broadcast those? Also, any of the 2002 Finals games vs. the New Jersey Nets would be great as it caps a rare three-peat. Not to mention excellent playoff action in 2006 for the Lakers and Clippers each having a round vs. the Steve Nash-led Phoenix Suns.

Programmers, please show some variety. We have the time!


Luke Aiello

Two sides of story

I could not ignore the stark contrast between two cover stories on the front page of the May 2 sports section. Above the fold is a mostly upbeat story about USC’s football recruiting efforts even with coronavirus constraints. Below the fold is a much darker negative story about fans having mixed feelings about returning to the Rose Bowl to watch UCLA football games.

While I do not question the accuracy of either article, I do question the purpose of singling out one school in a positive way and the other in a negative way in the same issue. I am sure the UCLA coaching staff is working just as hard as the USC staff to recruit with the same limitations and challenges just as I am sure many USC fans have the same hesitations and concerns about attending a game in person.


Les Birken

Nixing the deal

LZ Granderson’s saying that Daishen Nix was “UCLA bound” covers up that in going pro instead, he broke a promise on which others relied. That Granderson never even mentions the word “promise” or “commitment,” but rather simply praises the reneging is an unfortunate sign of our times.

Richard Agay
Los Angeles

UFC you later

With my fear of going to the grocery store because of the small but real risk I may contract a deadly virus making me think twice about putting the key in the ignition, I was deciding what food is essential to my family. I just finished reading about a super-rich person willing to risk the lives of others for something as non-essential as fake wrestling. It is a statistical certainty that some attendee will spread disease at this event, even if only a common cold. So after a few, maybe dozens of people contract or unknowingly spread COVID-19, Dana White, the bearded and bald ringmaster, should visit a local ICU, where 3,000 Americans are going to die today.


Kevin H. Park
Westlake Village


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