Down to the Wire races to deliver the latest Equine and Equestrian news to Counter-Canter Culture
Just when you think the high profile sports have overlooked equestrian pursuits, along comes not one but two proposed integrations of horses and big business sports. Last week, Longines announced that its show jumping series will take on a soccer/football club-style format in 2015 (read about it here), and now Bill Hanstock, writing for SB Nation, has a modest proposal to spice up the Major League Baseball Postseason with horses!
And before you experienced equestrians dismiss this suggestion as pure fantasy, take note that some baseball fans have wanted to see this for centuries. No kidding! Just take a look at this antique engraved print entitled “Baseball of the Future,” issued by Harper’s Weekly 1883.
Without further ado, Mr. Hanstock’s ‘modest proposal.’
A Modest Proposal: Play the MLB Postseason on Horses
By Bill Hanstock for SB Nation
Non-baseball fans complain about the postseason being boring. Baseball fans complain about a perceived lack of parity. Here’s a suggestion that would please everyone.
It’s not too late, you know. Bud Selig isn’t out the door just yet. He could make one last, revolutionary move that would make people remember his legacy forever. And not just for the “steroids” stuff or the “war on steroids” stuff or “heck, maybe the All-Star Game should end in a tie! “No, I’m talking about one simple, effective move that would revolutionize an entire sport and make MLB the most can’t-miss television in history.
Put the players on horses. If it sounds absurd, that’s because it is absurd. But that’s because this is a new, faster, hectic era. You’re not playing with baby boomers and grandpas anymore, MLB. You need to hook those millennials, with their notoriously short attention spans. So slap those players on some thoroughbreds and let’s step forward into a bold new era of baseball excitement.
Here’s a thorough breakdown of how it would work:
1. Everything is exactly the same, except all of the players are on horses. That’s it. I told you it was simple. Nine players, all on horseback. If you eventually expand this rule into the regular season (and you should), every team can scout and draft an elite class of horses tailored to every situation and every player’s style. You’ll have a 25-man roster and a 25-horse roster. It’s simple. For this postseason, though, we’ll just have Budweiser lend you some of its Clydesdales. You’ll be in St. Louis anyway, so it works out. Plus, #synergy.
You can put the umpires on horses, too. That part’s not as important. What is important is that you play baseball exactly the same, but everyone is on a horse. Think of the stolen bases! A catcher on horseback trying to throw out a horse that’s galloping at another horse? AMAZING. I’m buying another TV so I can tune in twice!
And think about the plays at the plate!
[NOTE: In this mock-up, the catcher is not on a horse. In the real game, the catcher would also be on a horse. We apologize for this oversight, but we believe our artist’s conception really captures the majesty and thrill of a horse sliding into home plate.]
You need to do this, MLB. You can’t not do this. Round up some stallions. Get ’em shod. Let’s make horseball a reality.
If for no other reason, play postseason baseball on horseback because it’s the only possible way to make Hunter Pence look more awkward and unsettling than he already is.
The ball’s in your court, Bud. Play horse.
Images by James Dator
Read this and more on SB Nation here: www.sbnation.com
P.S. – Thank you Mr. Hanstock and James Dator for this amusing story, but heads up! You need to think of a new name for this sport. Horseball already exists! Check it out here: Horse-Ball Exhibits at the WEG.