The Yale Alumni Weekly announces two interesting changes in the playing policy of the Yale Baseball team this year. Only the captain and catcher of the nine will be permitted to talk while the team is playing in the field, and the coach will not direct the men when they are at bat or on the bases.
This experiment is especially interesting in view of Dean Briggs' remarks on baseball in his report on Athletics some time ago. He said, "Baseball is on trial as a game for gentlemen. If it is the duty of patriotic students to make all the noise they can while the visiting pitcher is facing their representatives, if it is the duty of the catcher to 'steady' the pitcher by remarks that (incidentally) unsteady the batsmen, if baseball must, as the Yale Alumni Weekly puts it, 'degenerate into vocal competitions on the part of the players, or into efforts to rattle the opposing pitchers on the part of the grandstands,' the sooner we have done with the game the better."
In that they attempt to eliminate unnecessary chattering and efforts to rattle the opponents by the players in the field, these new rules at Yale are extremely interesting. Whether it will be possible for the players, in the excitement of the game, to refrain from encouraging their pitcher, or for the coach to throw all the responsibility on the team the minute the playing begins, remains to be seen. A great deal depends on the character of the players. While much can be done by the players themselves to improve the ethics of baseball, it remains for the spectators to apply the rules of fair play to cheering. Properly organized cheering has great possibilities. But first, last, and all the time spectators themselves are responsible for making baseball what it should be in American colleges.