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Padres 8, Pirates 2. Or: Suggestions to improve Major League Baseball's appeal to young audiences

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Look, I'm just saying I'm concerned. I'm worried about the health of the game. Baseball is a 19th-century sport in a 21st-century world, you know what I mean? Young audiences today crave immediacy! Baseball games are so very long and slow. Nothing happens in them! How can we expect baseball to compete with Candy Crush, or Kik, or One Direction, or WhatsApp, or Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter?

It's time for a change. Let's make baseball better. Let's make it more relevant to the younger generation, the kids with their ROTFLMAOs and their Skrillexes and their Shaun Whites or what have you. This is important. We need baseball to survive.

Here's what I propose. If a team is losing, it should be able to unlock hidden levels. Who wants to watch an 8-0 game? Baseball games last three hours, which to a teen is like 18 days! Why should young fans pay attention when their teams are getting blown out? Baseball is entertainment! What cool middle-school student thinks Jeff Locke repeatedly missing the strike zone at 91 MPH is entertaining?

So let's make baseball more marketable. Let's attract the young fans! Let's add a Monster Energy jolt to the game, am I right? Let's get the youth of America Twittering and SnapChattering until their thumbs turn blue!

Let's say the following conditions all occur.

1) It's after midnight.

2) A team is down 8-0.

3) Its lineup has waved at 62 breaking balls.

4) Its starting pitcher has thrown 85 pitches in three-plus innings.

5) Its opponents have hit 45 ground balls right under the gloves of fielders.

That's quite a series of events! That's like the "up up down down left right left right B A start" of Major League Baseball! So when that happens to the Pirates, I propose the following possibilities, all of which I believe to be entirely practical.

1) Andrew McCutchen gets a cape, and after a running start, he can fly into the air and collect coins that are hidden in the sky. When he gets 100, the Pirates get an extra run. This idea was inspired by a video game! The younger generation loves video games, and I can totally assure you that I have played them in the last twenty years.

2) The Pirates can substitute any player with a prime-era star from their past. When the Bucs are in San Diego and they're down by eight runs, they can sub David Freese for 1923-era Pie Traynor. I know some teens don't care about Pie Traynor, but what if Pie Traynor got vampire superpowers?! How would 1923-era Pie Traynor fare against Kevin Quackenbush if Quackenbush had to drive a stake through Traynor's heart before Traynor drank his blood?! LET'S FIND OUT.

3) The Pirates can create an app called BurghBord that allows teens to vote to remove players from games if they're, like, totally ruining them. Imagine the opportunities to cross-post to a variety of social media platforms! Now, instead of posting duck-face selfies, your teens can post "I got Bord with Jeff Locke," and they'll actually be making the world better.

4) The Pirates can create franchise mode players who hadn't previously existed. The Padres already did that with Adam Rosales, who they used this series to hit a huge home run last night and make a great defensive stop tonight. Then they tried it again with someone named "Travis Jankowski." I see no reason why the Pirates shouldn't get that same ability. For example, I don't see why the Bucs can't have a starting pitcher named Jaff Lock who hits the edges of the strike zone more often than he misses them and actually gets batters to swing and miss every once in awhile. You could even sell naming rights to those players to teen-oriented brands! Gap Joyce! Wii Garcia! Imagine the possibilities!

The Pirates played until 1:00 in the morning tonight. They lost 8-2, and even after loading the bases in the ninth, the game never seemed particularly close. But imagine the possibilities! Imagine Andrew McCutchen flying, or shooting fireballs! Imagine the excitement of the Pirates adding a fanged, 1992-era Barry Bonds to their lineup! Imagine if a bot named Josh Taco Bell had been allowed to play! If those things had happened, tonight's game would have been a thriller to rival Goosebumps -- am I right, teens?

And think of the sponsorship opportunities! Jack Links Beef Jerky! Axe Body Spray! Major League ballparks would smell like horse-flavored insect repellent. That, and money. Yes. Let's do this.