What's wrong with the MLB changes

From an opinion post in the Washington Post:

Already gone are the perfunctory balls thrown in an intentional walk, which means that one of baseball’s great, rare delights — seeing a batter lean over and hit a lazy pitchout — has disappeared forever. MLB officials have threatened to ban position players from pitching. And they’ve instituted a rule by which pitchers must face three batters or complete an inning before being removed from a game.

Worst of all, the National League recently adopted the designated hitter. (Never mind that this change is likely to make games longer, not shorter.) The NL has, since the American League adopted the DH in 1973, offered the far more complex, strategic game. AL baseball — and now all professional baseball — is a game for a TikTokified America that amuses itself to death, that craves empty action without time to debate strategy, consider the art of lineup-making or appreciate the beauty of a well-placed bunt.

All these rules changes rob baseball of its idiosyncratic joys. Fans who live and breathe the sport, who luxuriate in its weirdness, are seeing an ever more streamlined game — a more boring game. Most of the best things about baseball are unpredictable; its special character lies in its ability to yield, a few times a season, a play or an inning where there’s no possible response but to marvel, “Baseball!” But Manfred and his cronies are convinced that a less weird game will appeal more to the non­-fans whom they want to fill ballparks (and will protect increasingly fragile players), so we’re stuck with the changes. Lovers of the sport will just have history to remember.


I surely agree. And one rule I consider stupid is they outlawed the defense from loading one side of the field when it is believed to help the defense. I remember Ted Williams and Joe Dimaggio? both getting a defensive shirt by the defense and I have no idea why it is thought be be unfair.

But frankly baseball has become a boring sport.

I had not seen anything about a pitcher having to face three batters, talk about stupid.

That’s been in effect for at least the 2021 season, so it’s not new. What was stupid was the constant parade of managers trooping to the mound to remove pitchers who had faced one batter.

One thing that I found interesting was an interview with some of the Razorback players. Several of them said that they liked the traditional game. I was impressed that such young people were not in favor of some of the garbage changes.

I understand. This is from a guy who has built BB fields, for churches, towns etc. Pretty conservative but the game on TV is boring, live is different. To keep pace with this instant gratification younger society is mind boggling. Listening to a group of college BB kids might not reveal the true flavors of their generation. I hate change but something has got to change for the better. Now what that is will take longer for me to come up with some solutions. But there’s a problem, IE “we have a problem Houston”

Wait, no more pitch outs for intentional walks? So what does pitcher do, point to first base if he intends to walk a batter?

Actually I think so…

It’s been that way for several years in MLB, NCAA, etc.

The only pro sport (other than golf or rodeo) that I like is MLB. But unfortunately I’m not a close follower of it. In my youth I could pretty much recite every teams starting 9, had most of their trading cards and never missed the game of the week. It’s unfortunate. I love college baseball on down to kids baseball.

Manager tells the Catcher ----> tells the UMP. :sunglasses:

In my youth I could write down every starting lineup in MLB, but there were only 16 teams. My interest faded after several teams moved and a bunch more were added.
To me now the playoffs are boring.

But as a young kid I loved MLB, even minor league.


They have screwed up a great game. It started with the DH. The moves required with the pitcher were special and added so much. Look how much a pitcher could help himself with a hit (Mr. Gibson was a very good hitter). A lot of games could be won by a sac bunt. If you are a baseball player, you need to bat!

You should be able to position your defense any way wish. Heck, if they are all on the left side, place the ball in play to the right and run forever.

If you wish to use up your pitchers one player at a time, so what?

One of the unique beauties of the game is that there is no clock. You have to get 27 outs. Some games can be played in 2.5 hrs. Some take 4 hrs. That is the way it should be. TV should adjust. The game should not be screwed to adjust to a time slot.

I use to never miss a Cardinal game usually on the radio. I knew every BA and ERA. I knew who was better going to the right or to the left. I updated all that every night. Now I have no idea who plays in St. Louis or even for The Rockies who are right down the road. I was so excited when the Rockies came to CO. I would get to see a game regular and since it was in the NL, it would be real baseball. Now, I understand the season was delayed because the millionaires were in some sort of fight with the billionaires. Really? Millions of $ to play a little boys game?

Rant over but it is so sad.

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1st this issue about the games are too long. I say “bollocks”. Look at how long SEC games take. Those on CBS push 4 hours easily. NFL games are shorter.

In the fall of 1981, I bought box seats at Busch Stadium for $8 and bleacher seats for $3. Games lasted between 2 and 2.5 hours. Now the same tickets cost $125 dollars and $31 respectively. If I am taking the family to a game that game should last for more than 3 hours for those prices. This restricts the number of games can go to. Thank goodness for the MLB extra innings. Of course I live outside the Cardinals market.

For some positives, in the new contract, starting in 2023 every team will play every team. The NL teams will play 3 games against each of the other AL 15 teams. It will be a home-and-away series over a 2 year period. The division games reduced so fewer Cards-Cubs games. Oh well, there must be a sacrifice. This is great to see all the teams every year and not have to wait 6 years to see the Red Sox or Yankees.

A few other thoughts:

I am not a fan of relievers having to face 3 batters and the international tie rule in extra-inning games. The DH, I am resigned to it but still think that teams can play small ball.

Not a huge fan of the shift. Would prefer to see the 2 fielders between 2 and 3rd and 1 and 2nd. Also, the infielders have to have at least 1 foot on the dirt. Generally the 2nd baseman.

Finally, glad to see the game back and to celebrate the final year of Wainwright and Molina.

Attendance is up at college and minor leagues where fans like the environments. I have bet with friends what the food costs will be this year at Cardinal games. Heard big changes coming. Not sure if food costs more or size of items have changed to smaller sizes. $ 10 beers and $5 bag peanuts is not my cup tea.

SEC games are quicker because of the pitch clock and the quick turn around between innings. MLB games may have a pitch clock, but I bet that the time between innings will still be long. I mean you can’t shorten those commercials!

I think the playoffs are great TV. You don’t get those types of atmospheres for regular-season games, and the players play hard when their season is on the line.

I’m not sure I like adding more teams to the playoffs, though. It waters down the product.

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The game times for college football are probably going to become a lot more like NFL if the proposed clock rules are adopted.

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College football is getting more like the NFL in a lot of ways… :smirk:

Sorry I was making a comparison to the length of SEC Football games not college baseball.

I am in the minority, baseball is my favorite sport by far. The length of time doesnt bother me.

Oh I agree with that. I’m just a baseball traditionalist. I guess that makes me older than dirt. I dislike the DH, I do like the pitch clock, I dislike the automatic intentional walk (I remember a Hog game when the pitcher threw an intentional ball to the back stop and a run scored), etc.

I think that MLB could fix a large part of the long game times by simply shortening the commercial times. Yeah right, like they would do that.

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