Anti-List: The Baltimore Orioles Weighed in on 2019 MLB Rule Proposals
Every offseason, owners and executives of all 30 MLB franchises exchange proposals for potential rule changes with the MLB Players Association. It’s a grueling period for baseball, where both sides are equally trying to spice up the game, while also working to keep everything balanced competitively.
Two seasons ago, we saw the no-pitch intentional walk introduced. This past season, we saw teams being limited to only six mound visits per game. And this season, it looks like at the very least, we’ll see 26-man rosters implemented.
What we don’t see though, are these rules being proposed to the MLB offices from each franchise individually. Because behind closed doors and covered walls, the various major league franchises are attempting to get rule changes they favor turned into proper legislation — rule changes that will make the game more enjoyable for fans but, more importantly, changes that will keep the parity within the league equally balanced.
Twenty-nine of the 30 teams think this way. The Baltimore Orioles do not.
This past season, the century-old Orioles franchise set a negative achievement for most losses in team history with a record of 47-115. This offseason, the Orioles decided they wouldn’t be bringing back their clubhouse leader/fan-favorite/star outfielder Adam Jones. Somehow, they still owe the “walking strikeout” Chris Davis almost $90 million over the next four seasons. And as of now, Vegas projects them for another season of more than 100 losses.
The Baltimore Orioles need help. So when the opportunity arose to propose some rules to the MLB committee, the Orioles proposed a new set of rules they called the “Camden Yards Commandments,” a set of ordinances that would act basically as “house rules” whenever the Orioles play games at their home.
Let’s take a look at their proposal:
The Camden Yards Commandments
1. Any Orioles hitter with a batting average below .450 is obligated to use corked bats.
2. The Orioles are given four outs on offense every inning and an extra out for every run by which they trail.
3. Any opposing pitcher who throws a pitch faster than 92 mph will be immediately ejected and have his game check donated to a financially needy organization of the Baltimore Orioles’ choosing. Most likely the organization of the Baltimore Orioles.
4. Any opposing position player who is not considered a rookie must wear an eye patch while batting.
5. Any opposing position player who is considered a rookie must also wear an eye patch while batting.
6. No opposing pitcher, position player, or coach is allowed to chew gum, tobacco, or sunflower seeds. Instead, they will only be permitted to chew Old Bay Seasoning.
7. If a game goes to extra innings, any opposing baserunner must keep an actual oriole on his shoulder while on the base path. If the oriole falls off the baserunner’s shoulder, he is considered out.
8. Any fan caught cheering for the opposition will be taken to the “wire room” (a dark room where fans will be forced to watch the entire series of “The Wire”) for the rest of the game or until they gain a sense of love for the city of Baltimore.
9. If either JD Martinez or Aaron Judge, who have career OPS’s vs. the Orioles of 1.241 and 1.170, are in the opposing team’s lineup, that team forfeits and that player must play a game for the Orioles.
- 9a. The opposing team will be compensated with Orioles designated hitter Chris Davis for that game (including his game check).
10. Any fan who doesn’t like crab cakes forfeits his ticket at will-call.
11. The Orioles will be given a lead of 10 runs to start the game.
Following the proposed rules by the Baltimore Orioles, all 29 other franchises agreed that even with the so-called “Camden Yards Commandments,” the Orioles still probably wouldn’t win more than 60 games anyway and therefore still wouldn’t hurt the parity of the league. Unfortunately, the Orioles were hit with a technicality during the discussions as Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLBPA, indicated a typo in the legislation that was declared as the Baltimore Oreos (perhaps autocorrect?). The proposal was promptly scrapped.
When notified of the short-sighted mistake that cost the team their “Camden Yards Commandments,” Orioles owner Peter Angelos stood up from his Viper Deluxe wheelchair, raised his fists to the sky, and screamed “Oreos!”