This past week there were some rule changes proposed by the MLB to be implemented in the 2020 season. Some of these are feasible like the pitch clock, which could be used to speed up the game and is already being implemented in the minor leagues.
The between inning clock has already been implemented into major league action and last season shaved off an average of five minutes per game league wide (for nine inning games). However, the average MLB game still took 3:00 to complete. This obviously doesn’t take into account the boringly long games in the playoffs such as the Dodgers-Red Sox 18 inning affair. Which was too long for even the most passionate baseball fans to sit through.
There is simply no getting around it, baseball games are not entertaining enough for the younger crowd’s attention span. Moreover, in these extra inning games there is not enough action. No one wants to sit through multiple three up three down innings with just strikeouts and walks. I would make the argument the responsibility falls on the players to change their approach at the plate, but that’s neither here nor there.
Call me a traditionalist or old fashioned, but there are just some of these rule changes that, as a baseball fan, I can simply not get behind. For example, the lowering of the mound. Do we really need to make it that much easier for hitters? I understand it’s difficult to hit 104 or 105 mph fastballs, but once again, if hitters aren’t trying to go long on every single swing, the number of strikeouts would go way down. Last year was also the first time in the history of baseball that hitters struck out at a higher rate than pitchers in the National League.
The rule about draft advantages for winning teams and penalties for losing teams is mainly just to combat teams from tanking. Most notably the Houston Astros did it successfully and it lead them to a world championship in 2017. However, other teams like the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres have been stockpiling young talent in their farm systems and are poised to make their move to relevancy in the coming years.
The final proposed rule change that I would like to discuss is the universal DH. I know this is a point of contention among many baseball fans and has been so for years. I am not a fan of this proposed change; I understand watching pitchers hit may not be more exciting
I think the problem of pitchers not being able to hit is easily fixable by simply having them take batting practice once or twice a week on their days off if they are a starter. Just enough to keep the skill that they develop all through high school and college there enough that they will be competent at the plate. To conclude, I understand that sports go through changes, but I think it is the responsibility of the league office to come up with rules that don’t dramatically change the way baseball is played…it’s fine as is.