Intended to speed up the game and produce more action. They include:
Pitch clock – 15 seconds with the bases empty, 20 seconds with runners on base. Batters must be ready to hit with 8 seconds on the clock or a strike will be called.
Limit of stepping off the rubber (including pickoff throws) three times per batter. If the third throw does not result in a pickoff, a balk will be called. After the runner advances a base by whatever means, the limit resets.
No shift. Infielders must be on the dirt or inside, and two on each side of second base.
Larger bases, which should both reduce injuries and increase stolen bases.
However, the one that is sticking out to me is the stepping off the rubber rule.
If a base-stealer takes your typical larger-than-average lead, you throw over to try and shorten up or force him to show his hand. (This doesn’t even include just trying to get new signs.) If you get the pitcher to throw over two times (or once and include a step off), can’t the runner basically just go as soon as the pitcher gets back on the rubber? If the pitcher steps off, it’s a balk.
It’s early enough in the morning for me that I might be misreading. I’m still on my first cup of coffee.
MLB obviously wants more runs. Kinda like the NFL rules to help the O. I love old school baseball. Pitcher duels (IMO) are the most interesting. I was at a Braves game when Greg Maddox threw a shutout and was never behind in the count. They won 1-0 (against Toronto I think). The other pitcher threw a similar game but gave up a homer that gave the Braves the win. The game was the shortest that year at 1 hour 45 minutes. My wife said it was boring. I told her for a baseball fan it was wonderful
Yeah, they want more runs, but they also want shorter games. That 1:45 game you saw basically can’t happen now. It won’t happen with the new rules either, but it could take 20-30 minutes off the average game. Last year the average MLB game took 3:11, the longest ever. This year it’s down to 3:07, but they want a few more minutes shaved off that.
And the vote has happened. All the rules changes were approved. The vote was not unanimous; player representatives voted against the pitch clock and the ban on the shift. The voting panel was 6 people from the ownership/management side (including the Cardinals’ owner), four player representatives (one was Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals) and one umpire.
If the defense violates the shift rule, the offense can accept the outcome of the play or take an automatic ball; if the batter grounds out, the out is nullified, but a homer or double would stand.
Agree, of those proposed rules the balk thing is most bothersome to me. BTW, these rules imo if passed will do less to speed up the game (see the xtra innings auto base runner rule) - which needs nothing of the sort, and more to whittle away at the uniqueness of the game. Baseball has no clock unlike many other popular sporting competitions. Beating the clock is not in the game…and in a world where everyone and everything is arguably in too much of a hurry, lets leave baseball and its “unhurried” state alone.
Baseball attendance is not hurting. And these days, owners do not have to rely on butts in the seat as much for revenue. And with live stream, strict tv scheduling is not even as big a problem. I’ve yet to see any source citing a general outcry from baseball consumers over length of game.