Leading Off: Imagine no DH, and higher NBA rims, too

Five things we’d like to see in 2014, but we won’t hold our breath:

• The NFL pulls the plug on the Pro Bowl. If Commissioner Roger Goodell really wants to treat the best teams and players – and give Hawaii a legitimate game – the league should schedule an annual Super Bowl rematch in Honolulu to kick off each season.

• The National League adopts the designated hitter or baseball abolishes it from the American League. Sure, pitchers need to be accountable when they plunk the opposing team’s best hitter, but nobody comes to the ballpark to watch the No. 8 batter getting walked to bring a .031-hitting pitcher to the plate.

• The NBA raises its rims by 6 inches to make dunking a bit more challenging. The game was not created to be a slam-dunk contest, but one of endurance and skill that includes –


– shooting the ball with accuracy. Players today are so big and talented that dunking takes very little skill.

• Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen are fired as Raiders general manager and coach, respectively, and replaced by John Madden and Jon Gruden. A “Commitment to Excellence” is restored and the Raiders not only have their first winning season since 2002 but return to the playoffs.

• The NFL makes a sober commitment to its fans for a safe and enjoyable experience by banning alcohol sales at all stadiums. Yeah, that’ll happen when Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval reports to spring training under 200 pounds and becomes a spokesperson for Jenny Craig.

– Victor Contreras

What to watch

Rose Bowl, Stanford vs. Michigan State, 2 p.m., ESPN : It might not be as big as it once was, but it’s still “The Granddaddy of Them All,” played annually in Pasadena since 1916.

Today’s poll

Which would you like to see happen in 2014?

• NFL halts Pro Bowl.

• N.L. adopts DH.

• NBA raises rims.

• Madden, Gruden restore Raiders’ “Commitment to Excellence.”

• NFL bans alcohol sales.

To vote, go to

Tuesday’s results

Who will win Sunday’s NFC wild-card playoff?

• Packers: 29%

• 49ers: 71%

Total votes: 220