In a surprise press release yesterday, the MLB announced that they had invented a groundbreaking new sport. Rob Manfred, Commissioner of the MLB, took to Twitter to share his thoughts on what he later called “the crown jewel” of his career, tweeting, “At the MLB, we’re constantly looking for the next big thing. That’s why today we’re proud to reveal our
greatest sport yet: Baseball 2.”
Original baseball (now called Baseball 1) fans will be glad to know that most of the features and rules have stayed the same. However, there have been a few significant changes in order to set the new sport apart from other sports, including its predecessor. According to Manfred, “The size of key
objects such as the ball, bat, and even the bases, have been doubled. While this may seem like a massive advantage for players at first, Baseball 2 has leveled the playing field.”
The size of the field itself has reportedly been doubled as well, leading to a whopping 180 feet (58.9 meters) between bases. The distance between home plate and the outfield is now 640 feet (190 meters) which is astronomical in size. However, to compensate, teams now consist of 18 players on the field at once, a stark change from Baseball 1’s original nine-player teams. Players have been encouraged to spread themselves out everywhere they can, just for the simple fact that positions no longer matter when the field is the size of a small aircraft carrier.
So why create a new sport in the first place? According to the MLB’s press release, the inspiration for Baseball 2 was simple – Baseball 1 just wasn’t big enough. In a recent interview, Manfred stated, “People love bigger things! Consider the fate of headphone jacks – they’ve been a staple of smartphones for years, but as long as you make the phone itself bigger, people will keep buying it. I mean, I could double the price of stadium beer and beer sales would increase exponentially … actually, that gives me an idea!”
The MLB itself offered an alternative, yet reportedly equally relevant, reason for Baseball 2’s existence. “By doubling pretty much everything,” the MLB stated, “We feel like players will have increased agility and athleticism, and viewers will be more entertained.”
The MLB’s logic seems to have precedent, as a study conducted last year found that sports fans reported increased satisfaction when they saw players running around a large field from far away. “Otherwise,” the study concluded, “why would people like soccer so much?”
Not everyone is happy with the announcement. Most notably, Baseball 1
players themselves are angry at the MLB for “phasing them out.” Their complaints aren’t ungrounded – the last season of Baseball 1 is scheduled to end in October of 2017. It also appears as though the MLB will be preparing for Baseball 2’s season (now year-round, because the season length has also been doubled) as early as April of 2018.
Unlike the players, many fans are looking forward to April. Ann Webb, an avid Dodgers’ fan, said, “You know, I’m a fan of the MLB’s logic! I do enjoy watching people run on fields! It reminds me that we’re all just steadily running away from the inevitability of death!”
Similarly, Mark Nelson, a self-described “semi-fan” of sports, stated “You’re tellin’ me I get to pay double for beer? Sign me the hell up!”
Regardless of popular opinion, Baseball 2 is coming soon. The MLB’s official Twitter made a post which succinctly summed up the organization’s thoughts on the matter: “Baseball 2: it’s bigger, it’s batter, and it’s totally out of control.”