MLB Needs to Make Changes but not All the Changes they are Talking About
Okay, can we all agree Major League Baseball needs to tweak some of their sort of antiquated rules?
MLB seems to be fixated on pace of play, which arguably does need to be improved, but is baseball really as slow and painful to watch as an NFL Football game or Basketball with their 3 billion TV timeouts?
Yeah, sure we get breaks between innings, we get stoppage when pitching changes...and batting changes happen. We slow down when hitters call time before a pitch and when catchers go to the mound.
But do we need all the things the league is trying to negotiate with its Players Association?
You can make an argument for a tighter, 20-second pitch clock, I get that. Experimenting with a 20-second clock in Spring Training is a good idea to see if or how much of an impact it makes. Makes perfect sense.
That's not the point of contention---it's ideas like a 3-pitch minimum for pitchers entering the game where I have a problem. It's not adding a couple of players to the active rosters either.
The pitch minimum is dumb. It's a bad idea, it's not necessary.
Do I like watching an endless parade of relief specialists walking into the game to face one-batter? No, not really, but if that is what a team wants to stock their roster with and use during a game--they should be allowed to do it.
The other "Pace of Play" change---mound visits, is barely noticeable to the casual fan. The past couple seasons, it's been limited to 6, the count is expected to lower to 4 in the next couple of seasons.
Listen, I get the overlords of baseball want the game to be exciting, fast paced and fun to watch. They want it to be attractive to the younger--more distracted, short attention span crowd. I get it. It's a legitimate argument.
By doing that they forget what makes the game the game. It's the strategy, the battle between hitter and pitcher, the positioning of the defense. Baseball is largely a game of skill, the ability to hit a small object being thrown at a high rate of speed while moving up or down, left or right. It's not easy to do.
At three hours, baseball games are yes, kind of long. NFL games are just as long. Sure, the NFL has more exciting plays---more movement, more action, but add in the gazillion and a half commercial breaks and stoppage between plays and you have a 3-plus hour ordeal too. NFL Football, at least to me, is harder to watch in person then on TV for that very reason.
ESPN reported on Tuesday MLB and the MLBPA agreed to not make any significant changes until their next Labor Negotiations in 2022.
Unspoken in all of this is Free Agency and a seeming unwillingness by the Billionaire owners to fork over bigger contracts to Free Agent players. That friends, is a totally different conversation and different issue. Ultimately when 2022 comes along, THAT likely will be the biggest issue facing the game not shaving seconds off of game times by implementing a variety of rules that will change the way the game is played....