Rewriting the Rules

Despite putting more pressure on the pitcher, batter and basemen the new rules that the MLB has added to the baseball rulebook make the game more exciting.

It’s a 3-2 count, the bottom of the ninth inning, bases-loaded, tie game and everyone on their feet anticipating the pitch. STRIKE THREE, but wait, there was no pitch thrown. The batter was called out because he didn’t look at the pitcher in a certain amount of time. The pitch clock is one of three new rules the MLB has added to supposedly make the games quicker, more exciting and safer.

The new pitch clock brings a certain amount of time for the pitcher to pitch the ball and for the batter to be ready to hit. Because this is new, major leaguers are having trouble getting ready in the fifteen seconds they are given to pitch. In early spring training, multiple pitchers and batters have experienced the penalty for taking too long to pitch and get ready to hit. As a pitcher, if you take the fifteen seconds you will be given an automatic ball, and as for the hitter if not ready by seven seconds they are charged with a strike.

Personally, I love the new pitch clock, and so far, despite the rules imposing more pressure upon the players, I am all for these great additions to the game. This is mainly because data already shows the clock shortens the length of the game time by 25 minutes compared to last season, which didn’t have a pitch clock. This is a great thing because it allows for players to have more energy, as a 162-game season can probably get tiring. However, I do believe that there is one downside: I feel that in the eighth and ninth inning, the pitch clock will just put even more pressure on the pitcher and batter, to not choke or screw up. Also, a world series champion pitcher in Luis Garcia has always had a very long and complex pitching routine, which he will not be able to do because of the limited time. Now because of this Garcia’s pitching will probably get worse along with others with long routines. However, overall, I believe that the pitch clock allows for more exciting games.

The pitch clock is not the only new addition to the league that I don’t discourage. As the MLB decided to make the bases bigger to reduce players’ injury rates, the injury percentage dropped by 13%. I don’t see anything wrong with this new addition, and I think that seeing teams’ star players stay healthy will make games more exciting and better to watch. In the MLB, in past years, we have seen players overstep the bases and wind up tearing an ACL, but with the larger bases it is probable that this won’t happen as often as it used to.

The final rule the MLB added is putting shift restrictions into the game. A shift is when the infield moves to one side of the infield to lower the hitter’s likeliness of getting a hit; if the hitter has a tendency to hit the ball to the right side, the shortstop, second baseman and the first baseman will all be on the right side of the infield, and the third baseman will be alone on the left side. This is vice versa for a hitter with a tendency to hit it to the left side. The new rule calls for the separation of the two sides of the infield, two positions on the right side of second base and the left side so now the hitter has easier places to hit the ball. This is meant to raise the batting average and make the game more exciting by putting more runners on base.

I believe this is a great rule change, seeing as sometimes I’ll be watching a game in crunch time and a player will hit a ground ball up the middle, which should be a hit. However, with the shift there is always an infielder standing there, just waiting for the ball, turning a hit into a routine ground ball. The restriction on shifts in the game of baseball will lead to better averages, more clutch hits, and more baserunners, leading to more excitement within the games.

Overall, I believe the new rules are beneficial in many ways, when it comes to adding more excitement to a so-called “boring game.”