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Proposed MLB Rule Changes Will Not Make Baseball Better

Robert Franklin

Posted on February 7, 2019 10:51

1 user

I normally write about politics and current events, but this time I thought I'd pivot and write about baseball. Specifically, proposed MLB rule changes that may come into play over the next few years.

It's no secret that of the four major North American professional sports -- football, baseball, hockey, and basketball -- baseball is the slowest-paced. That doesn't really bode well for the emphasis on action that is pervasive among sports fans. The days of "defensive contests" are slowly fading away, leaving fanbases rabid for fast-paced, high-scoring affairs.

For all intents and purposes, offense rules.

Full disclosure, I don't think that way. I love a good defensive contest, hence why I seem to be in the minority regarding my affinity for this year's Super Bowl, even though The Injustice League won.

But it's my love of defense that has me skeptical of some of the proposed rule changes for Major League Baseball, including:

Pitch Clock. Part of what I have found intriguing about being a pitcher is that playing the position requires a cerebral approach to winning what is, for all intents and purposes, a duel with the hitter. Part of that approach requires time. While I understand that pitchers utilizing time to get under a hitter's skin leaves a fair amount of the game free of action, I don't look at that time as wasted. That's time where the pitcher is communicating with the catcher, noting the positions of any runners, and staring down his opponent. Instituting a pitch clock, I feel, would cripple a vital piece of the psychology at work in baseball.

Universal DH. I have never been a fan of the designated hitter. I prefer pitchers hitting ninth. I think it makes baseball more strategic. Ridding baseball of the designated hitter would force pitchers to develop their hitting skills, while keeping baseball games more strategic. After all, who better to get into the mind of a pitcher than another pitcher?

Lowering the Mound. The last time the pitcher's mound was lowered was in 1969 and if the league in looking to put more balls into play (as seems to be case), this would absolutely be one way to do it. Lowering the mound reduces a pitches gravitational momentum, which would significantly impact the deceitful nature of off-speed pitches. The thought process here seems to be "more hits, more runs."

Earlier Trade Deadline. While I've been opposed to the previously mentioned rule changes, this one I might be able to get behind. While I understand the MLB trade deadline is when it is because at that time teams should have a strong idea of where they'll likely finish at the end of the season, I feel that the drama of trades and free agency would be better served with a deadline earlier in the season. It makes the moves more risky. Moving the trade deadline back to, say, mid-June, still allows teams around two full months to determine needs and still have meaningful games in the back half of the season.

Of course, if baseball wants more meaningful games at the end of the year, how about expanding the playoff format?

Robert Franklin

Posted on February 7, 2019 10:51

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Source: Yahoo Sports
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New York Mets' pitcher Noah Syndergaard is firmly against a universal designated hitter rule taking away his at-bats.

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