2023 a season that will live in infamy. Yea I know I get a little extra when we talk about changing the rules to the greatest game in the world, Baseball. Hell we can't even call it The 90' anymore. But here we are living in an age where if it isn't nonstop action you have to fix something. You know, for the kids. Here is what MLB and Theo Epstein have instore for you in 2023
The Pitch Clock
MLB games as always will be determined by innings, and score, not minutes. Hazzah no ties yet. But to pick up the pace, in 2023 Pitchers will be required to begin their motion 15 seconds after receiving the ball with the bases empty or 20 seconds after receiving the ball with runners on base. If they don’t, they will be charged with an automatic ball. Can’t wait for the first game to be decided by a time ball four with bases jacked.
Pitchers will also be limited to two “disengagements” from the mound; this is both pickoff attempt or step-offs per plate appearance with at least one runner on. Each disengagement resets that moronic clock. oh and if he forgets and steps off a third time ? Auto Balk. again hope no one is on third.
Batters are also on the clock; each on deck batter has 30 seconds to get into the box from the end of the last play and must be in the batter’s box and “alert to the pitcher” by the 8-second mark on the clock after each subsequent pitch, or else be charged with an automatic strike. Also can’t wait for this to be called strike three. Can you feel the sarcasm ? Batters do get ONE timeout per plate appearance. David Ortiz would have a stroke.
2. Shift restrictions
On defense teams must have a minimum of four players on the infield, actually in the dirt. with at least two infielders completely on either side of second base. These restrictions are intended to increase the batting average on balls in play. ( because no one can bunt or hit the other way in the 2020’s) This should put a premium on rangier players in the infield. Especially up the middle.
First I think I hate this rule change the most. No, I know I hate this rule change most. Theo and his competition committee has changed MLB into Gym Class. First, second and third base have been blown up from 15 inches on each side to 18 inches on each side. Who ordered the medium pizza ? While home plate remains unchanged at 17 inches square. The powers that be will tell you the reason why the bases are bigger is safety, to avoid collisions. But let's be honest, they want more stolen bases. And bigger bags will also add baserunners to each game because more men will beat out singles and avoid double plays. Are you ready for “ he was out in 2022” twitter wars ? oh i sure am. This new rule could actually be counterintuitive to shortening games.
Have ballgames gotten a bit long in this century ? Sure. In 1972 the average nine inning game took 2;23 minutes in 1982 2;35 minutes in 2022 it took 3:03 minutes. Three hours of Baseball became too much for the kids and the beat reports to handle. That's why we are here. I grew up clambering for double-headers. But this generation of fans and professionals who cover the game just can't handle that half hour. For most of us another half hour at the ballpark is a joy. Rest assured these shortened games won't affect how many commercials you see.
As always you can follow / give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207