Steve Phillips: The new rule changes are exactly what baseball needs

The Major League Baseball Competition Commission on Friday approved rule changes that will have a significant impact on the future of the game. The goal is to increase the amount of movement in the game while decreasing the amount of time between that action. The changes are exactly what baseball needs.

Baseball fans love this sport regardless of the speed and movement of any given game. But the fan base is getting older, with the average age of a baseball fan being 57 years old. I often hear from young fans that the game is very slow and boring.

Speed ​​of play has been a nuisance to Commissioner Rob Manfred since he succeeded Bud Selig in 2015. Remember that speed of play does not necessarily mean how long a game takes to complete. Speed ​​is more about the time between an event. A game played at a faster pace with more action may last as long as the games exist now, but it will be more interesting to watch.

Analytics has changed the game in many ways. One of the most notable is how the team on the field defends the hitters. Moving intruders to one side of the second base or the other side has become rampant. If the stats indicate that the hitter drags the ball to the ground, the defense compensates for it accordingly. For a large left-handed draw hitter, it is fairly common to see a short baseman or third baseman move to the right side of the field. Attackers are also moved to the outside turf to give them better range to disable ground balls or capture sinking line engines. Some teams, including the Blue Jays, implemented a four-man defense with sometimes no one at the base.

These defensive alliances greatly affected the average hits in the game. The league’s batting average is 0.243, the lowest since 1968, which was known as the pitcher’s year.

The three rule changes below have been made to stimulate more offensive action on the field. I think they will work great. They had a huge impact when tested in the minor leagues.

Shift ban

The new rule states that there must be two players on either side of the second base while all attackers must have their feet on the playing court before the ball leaves the bowler’s hand. This rule will add more singles to the game. The defense will have fewer players in the path of the balls being put into play and less range to reach them. If the defense violates the rule, the offense can take the score of the play or add a ball to the hitter’s count.

Bigger bases

There will be more movement due to the larger bases, which increase in size from 15 inches to 18 inches. Base runners on first base will be four and a half inches closer to second base now, as will runners on second for third base. This will result in a greater success rate on stolen bases. Think about how many times a runner goes out in a bang bang. These runners will be safe next year. Stolen bases have shrunk dramatically over the past several decades. The threat of eviction didn’t justify the attempts when everyone else started hitting the house.

This rule change will also bring speed and sports back into the game. It will change the way teams discover and develop players. It will change the way they build their teams. Manufacturing will revert to offensive tactics rather than relying entirely on local range.

The extra three inches on the bases will also reduce the number of time the base players step on the first baseman’s foot on the base. It will also create a little more distance for the first baseman to hit a baseline foul, which could result in a defender getting hurt initially.

Limit launch attempts

Since the expectation is that loot base attempts will increase, there is a reasonable assumption that clubs will make an adjustment to defend the stolen base by having shooters shoot to occupied bases more to keep runners close.

The Competition Commission has added another rule that limits the number of times a bowler can withdraw from a hitter. Any time the shooter makes an attempt to shoot, fakes, or rams off, as well as when the defense asks for a time, it will be considered a disengagement. Pitchers are allowed to disengage twice per board appearance without penalty.

Therefore, if a bowler throws back to first base twice while hitting, he may not throw the ball again without adding the ball penalty to the hitter’s count. This will allow core players to be very aggressive in their off-base leads.

stadium clock

Once more actions were added to the game, the Competition Commission moved to legislate less time between events. One of the great things about baseball has always been that there is no clock – until now.

Shooters are allowed 15 seconds between throws with no one at base and 20 seconds with runners at base. If the pitch is not delivered on time, a ball will be added to the hitter’s count. The hitter’s responsibility is to be in the hitter’s chest with at least eight seconds remaining on the clock. If he is not in the box by then, a hit will be added to his balance.

In minors, assigned pitch hour times are 14 seconds for no one on base and 18 seconds with runners. They shaved over 20 minutes per game with this mod. I expect MLB games to average around two hours and 45 minutes next year, down from three hours and four minutes this year.

I fully expect shooters to complain about the clock next season. Baseball players don’t like change and don’t like rushes, but they will adapt and adapt. We already have several players in the big companies who have been performing with a more aggressive hour on the field in the juniors.

I expect these rule changes to be historic. They will improve the product in the field, making it more attractive to sponsors, network partners, and fans alike. I think we’ll see the average age of fans move towards younger people. Commissioner Manfred will put these changes in his autobiography and will forever be revered for their impact.