The current climate of Major League Baseball paints a picture of selective indifference. A point in time, fighting to remain relevant in today’s world. So many of the aspects of baseball that have defined the game for so many years have lately fallen by the wayside as our society becomes increasingly fast-paced. From pace-of-play complaints from younger fans who do not have the attention span to sit through a game that lasts three-plus hours, to those who think the “human element” of umpires should be replaced by technology, the game of baseball is and has been fighting an uphill battle to remain relevant in today’s society. The league office has long been criticized for its reluctance to embrace change or new ideas in order to keep the game moving forward. Recently, however, the league has addressed one of its biggest areas of need by announcing the implementation that will bring the game back to prominence once and for all.
The bullpen cart is back.
Yes, your favorite part of baseball, last seen in prehistoric 1995, is officially back. The Arizona Diamondbacks announced recently that they were bringing the bullpen cart back starting this season. Whenever a team needs to make a pitching change and bring in a fresh arm, nothing keeps the crowd excited quite like a massive baseball with wheels burning rubber at over 10(!) miles per hour while carrying the next pitcher from the bullpen to the mound.
Not since the Milwaukee Brewers had a motorcycle with a sidecar for the reliever to ride in back in the ‘90s have we seen the bullpen cart truly utilized by a major league team.
There has been much speculation regarding how exactly the bullpen carts will be utilized this season. Several players on the Diamondbacks have expressed that they would want to use the bullpen cart, but some would rather simply jog out to the mound like they have done in the past.
Personally, I believe there is only one way to truly utilize the bullpen cart and all its glory. Allow me to paint the picture:
Two outs. Ninth inning. Home team clinging to a one-run lead. The bullpen gates open up, as Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blares over the speakers. As the crowd rises to their feet and the energy in the stadium skyrockets, the place is an absolute electric factory. From the fog in the bullpen emerges a comically-large baseball with an unironic baseball cap on top of it, carrying the closing pitcher. After a couple of precautionary beeps to clear any obstacles out of its path, the bullpen cart zooms in from the outfield and drops the pitcher off directly on the mound. The pitcher, without a doubt experiencing a level of adrenaline we could only dream of, safely exits the cart and promptly gets the save to win the game.
Just like the closer, the bullpen cart has been tasked with saving the game. Here’s to hoping it can get the job done.