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Raise the Mound and Level the Playing Field

Like most everyone else, I've gotten tired of the Mitchell Report, the incessant who's taking what and how it has adversely affected the game. Don't get me wrong, it has. But when I hear so-called journalists lamenting about how steroids and HGH have distorted the game, when I hear Rich Gossage plead with those who have taken the drugs to "come-clean", and restore a level playing field I laugh.

You see, the playing field was forever altered when, on December 3, 1968 MLB voted to lower the pitching mound from 16" to 10". This act, I contend has done more to alter the game of baseball than any amount of HGH. Before I get into my reasoning, go back with me to 1968--peace, love and all that. In the baseball world, 1968 was "The Year of the Pitcher". Both league ERAs were scant 2.98. The National league was averaging only 3.5 runs a game, and batting averages were plummeting with attendence.

League officials taking note of the wealth of flamethrowing pitching talent on the scene decided it best to literally "level the playing field" by dropping the mound's height.

Almost immediately, runs, batting averages, era's and attendence jumped. So too did injuries--to pitchers.

By lowering the mound, the great minds of the game lessened the leverage which allowed pitchers great and small to throw with higher velocity and less strain. "A flatter throwing surface severely taxes the shoulder," says a noted orthopedic physician.

Over the last 40 years, players have seen dramatic improvements in training techniques, nutrition, etc. Players today are stronger, faster, and more explosive than ever. Pitchers, who are still throwing off a 10" mound, are being asked to get these hitting behemoths out--an increasingly difficult task as the playing field continues to skew toward the hitter.

The time has come to raise the mound to 13" to level the playing field. Such a move would restore the balance of power. It would also create a greater plane of leverage--allowing for greater velocity with less strain. Less strain would translate into less injuries.

Forget about HGH and what it has done to taint the great game we love. Raise the mound to 13" and truly level the playing field.