“Ball Four: The Final Pitch,” which will soon be released in trade paperback, he says. Told that the book has already been updated numerous times, Bouton laughs.
“I promise this will be the last time,” he says.
As commissioner, Bouton also would cut down the times of games.
“I would eliminate Velcro — that would eliminate 45 minutes right there,” he says.
He’d also make batters stay in the box.
“Get into the batter’s box for Chrissakes and stay there,” he says. “If you want to step out, fine, but the pitcher can pitch the ball. If the batter chooses not to step in, that’s his problem.”
He’d curtail ballpark noise.
“They’re pounding you with advertising from the moment you walk in the stadium,” he says. “You can’t even think anymore. When I went to ballparks like the Polo Grounds, it was like a holy place. Quiet. You could hear the crack of the bat at batting practice.”
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