Opening Day of the baseball season offers the chance to reflect on the arrival of spring, the childhood pleasures of skipping school for the ballpark—and, for people like me, who think about creativity and innovation, how hard it can be to change an institution that is in desperate need of reimagination and renewal. Most everyone agrees, as a recent Sports Illustrated analysis made clear, that Major League Baseball games take too long and move too slowly, that the so-called unwritten rules of on-field behavior wind up ruling out fun and spontaneity, and that the rise of analytics has replaced human drama with algorithmic tyranny. No wonder MLB now ranks behind the NFL and the NBA in terms of popularity and star power.

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