Steve Chapman: Baseball and the Spirit of Innovation

If players are being outsmarted, the solution is for them to wise up, not the game to dumb down.

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Baseball
Roberto Coquis / Flickr

Baseball, being the noblest sport, has many lessons to teach: the value of daily persistence, the inevitability of failure and the likelihood that luck will not override ineptitude (Looking at you, Cubs.). But, as a creation of humans, it is also prey to human imperfections, like the urge to suppress useful changes to spare those who resist adaptation.

Part of the game's appeal lies in what George Will calls its "soothing continuities." Discontinuity can be jarring. It wasn't long ago that the Cubs had to fight to install lights in an ancient stadium that had hosted only day games.

But ingenuity is not something to outlaw, writes Steve Chapman. So fans and anyone who admires the creative spirit should be alarmed that the new commissioner of Major League Baseball is open to penalizing the clever and protecting the obstinate.

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