Jackie Robinson West wins

Jackie Robinson West's Pierce Jones (No. 23) is congratulated by his teammates after hitting a home run against Cumberland, R.I., during first inning Monday at the Little League World Series. (Chris Knight / For the Chicago Tribune / August 18, 2014)

Jackie Robinson West's dream lives on.

The Morgan Park youngsters squeaked past Cumberland, R.I., 8-7 on Monday at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. JRW next faces Pearland, Texas, in an elimination game Tuesday night.

Pierce Jones led off the game with a home run and starting pitcher Trey Hondras smashed a three-run bomb in the second to pace the Chicago team's offense in the early going.

After Cumberland retook the lead, JRW's Joshua Houston singled with one out in the fifth put his team ahead 8-7. Marquis Jackson and his blazing fastball closed it out in the sixth.

West's exciting run in Williamsport reminded us there are plenty of rules/adjustments Major League Baseball can copy from the youngsters' version of the sport, too.

Shorter games

OK, so maybe shortening major league games to six innings is a bit extreme. But can they force players to cut out all the excess scratching and batting glove adjustments so we can move along? Please?

Metal bats

At least let the Cubs use these, even if it's for only three innings per game. At .238, the North Siders have the third-worst batting average in baseball. Javy Baez can't do it all by himself.

Hill sliding

Basically, it's sledding during the summer. Genius! Fans at the Little League World Series have popularized this activity, riding cardboard down the grassy hill outside one of the stadiums. We suggest building slides that let fans bypass those dizzying ramps.

Pitch counts

This applies mostly to the White Sox bullpen. Perhaps if they're not allowed to throw as many pitches, they won't be able to squander so many save opportunities.

Nicknames

MLB has a long tradition of spectacular nicknames. "The Iron Horse." "The Splendid Splinter." "The Big Hurt." However, nationally recognized nicknames for some of the game's best players are harder to find. They need more "Neons" and "Swag Daddys."

Special pinch runners

This rule would be mostly for guys like Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn. Think of how many more runs could be scored if speedsters were introduced to the base paths more often.

 

ELIMINATION GAME

Jackie Robinson West vs. Pearland, Texas

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, ESPN

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