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Rule Changes: What do we want/not want to see.


mnfireman

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There was discussion on today's game thread about rules changes to try to improve our favorite sport, some for, some against. I would like to hear people's ideas on the subject and the reasoning for their decisions.

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Get rid of the extra innings rule or at least wait until say the 13th inning or later. Maybe its time to start getting serious about an electronic strike zone. I have been against it up until the last couple of years but the current umpires are so far off that something needs to change. Not a big fan of 7 inning double headers either.

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My opinions can basically be boiled down to "does this rule change speed up the game and/or increase action?" If yes, I'm probably in favor of it. If no, I'm probably against it.

The easiest rule to change that will make the game better without impacting the on-field strategy/play at all is "the batter cannot step out of the box during a plate appearance". If that's too much, then eliminate the rule where the pitcher cannot pitch if the batter isn't in the box (basically, force the batter to be ready and in the box at all times).

And then actually enforce the pitch clock, for god's sake.

Those are rules that have zero impact on game theory/strategy (though players will surely try to claim otherwise) but will keep the game flow accelerated and fans more engaged.

Because while three true outcomes can be boring, what really drags down a baseball game is watching the batter and pitcher take 25 second breathers between every. single. pitch.

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5 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

My opinions can basically be boiled down to "does this rule change speed up the game and/or increase action?" If yes, I'm probably in favor of it. If no, I'm probably against it.

The easiest rule to change that will make the game better without impacting the on-field strategy/play at all is "the batter cannot step out of the box during a plate appearance". If that's too much, then eliminate the rule where the pitcher cannot pitch if the batter isn't in the box (basically, force the batter to be ready and in the box at all times).

And then actually enforce the pitch clock, for god's sake.

Those are rules that have zero impact on game theory/strategy (though players will surely try to claim otherwise) but will keep the game flow accelerated and fans more engaged.

Because while three true outcomes can be boring, what really drags down a baseball game is watching the batter and pitcher take 25 second breathers between every. single. pitch.

I've only been somewhat facetious in saying, "Eliminate batting gloves." With no gloves to fiddle with, stepping out of the box wouldn't be any fun. As I watched games from the '60s and '70s being replayed on MLB Network all winter, that was the single thing that stood out the most as a difference compared to today's games.

(Followed next by the immediate chucking aside of any ball that had hit the dirt.)

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20 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

 

The easiest rule to change that will make the game better without impacting the on-field strategy/play at all is "the batter cannot step out of the box during a plate appearance". If that's too much, then eliminate the rule where the pitcher cannot pitch if the batter isn't in the box (basically, force the batter to be ready and in the box at all times).

 

This is it. This is the biggest issue right here with pace of play. 

When I watch a game the next day on MLB.tv, I fast forward 20 seconds between every pitch. I find I'm starting to do 25 seconds as the pitches seem to be coming even slower this season. 

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Eliminate the runner at 2nd in extra innings.

Eliminate the minimum batter requirement for pitchers.

I would like to have the same rules between AL and NL regarding DH.  I would prefer no DH for added strategy but I realize that very few people share that view.  My desire for parity between the leagues is strong enough to be on board with universal DH.

Go back to the previous rules of expanding the roster in September to the 40 man roster.

 

Basically undo the Manfred era rules.

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Batters stepping out and then pitchers stepping off. They should definitely enforce the time-limit on pitchers. Some pitchers fiddle around for 20 seconds and in the meantime, the batter steps out right when the pitcher finally gets set. Then, everyone has to readjust again. Then the batter puts his hand up and we have to start all over again. I know their will be a lot of whining by both hitters and pitchers but they will quickly adjust--just like they did in tennis.

On the other hand, the notion that a pitcher needs to face three hitters as a time-saving device is somewhat shortsighted. Take today's game. How much time was really saved by having Stashak stay in the game? He walked one and gave up three hits amongst his three outs. The inning lasted an eternity and a half. Besides that, I just don't like taking that strategy away from the manager.

As for starting the runner at second. I've never liked this rule at any level--not just because the Twins suck at this. I'd prefer the post-12th inning tie rule like in Japan to keeping the present rule. However, I noticed that some of the talking heads mentioned how they were starting to appreciate the rule more each day (on one of the few Twins broadcasts we received here in Japan). Such statements lead me to think that pressures from above are pushing the idea as being sound. I think the rule damages the fabric of baseball.

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PS-What is the limit on warm-up pitches a reliever can throw upon entering a game? It seems strange to have a reliever warm-up for two innings out in the bullpen then come in and throw a bunch of warm-up pitches again. Maybe we could cut it to five max unless the reliever was forced into the game because of injury.

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1- 15 seconds between pitches with noone on base. 20 seconds with a man on

2- Have a designated runner (only 1 player who cannot bat during the game) that can be used once an inning.

3- Allow managers to change their lineup in the ninth inning (only) if they desire. Example- If the 7,8 and 9 hitters are do up, the manager can choose to start with the #3 hitter then go on from there.

4- Allow catchers to block the plate on throws home.

5- Put the DH in both leagues.

6- Stop the nonsense of position players pitching in blowouts. The last bullpen pitcher needs the work and experience.

7- Change the balk rule (actually eliminate it) to allow pitchers to do anything.

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Eliminate the home run. Its time has passed. When my brother and I hit the ball in our backyard as kids, we called anything over the fence an out, because one neighbor owned prized rose bushes and she didn't like us coming over to retrieve the ball, and the other neighbor had an aggressive dog. We should make the batter ring a doorbell and ask the fans in the cheap seats for permission to climb up the wall and get the ball he hit out, then politely hand it to the umpire who registers the out.

J/k, but not entirely. The reward for a long fly ball is vastly out of proportion in today's game. It results in uppercut swings, and pitches that exploit that, and an unwillingness to swing at anything not launchable. Time for a reboot.

Babe Ruth didn't kill the game, as it turns out. Dave Kingman did.

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1] Move the 2B extra inning runner rule to the 12th inning.

2] Enforce a 20 second pitch clock. I can go along with 15 seconds with no-one on base. But you also have to enforce the batters staying in the box as well or you've done nothing. Give the batter 5 seconds to step out and adjust. Your fault if you didn't put enough pine tar on your bat before you stepped in.

3] Eliminate the 3 batter rule. I think it's been proven to have no positive effect. 

4] Shifts are fine. Extreme shifts are just boring! Everyone should be required to have TWO players on the dirt on either side of 2B. You can cheat all the way to 2B, but not 3 on any one side.

5] DH in both leagues. It's time. And I think even those who aren't crazy about the DH realize it's time for uniformity.

6] A 27 man roster with a cap on 13 pitchers. Similar to 2020. The game has changed. It's time to change with the times. Not everyone has their AAA club across town or a couple hours away. There are still minor injuries that happen but don't warrant an IL stint. Platoons and situational baseball has changed. An extra bench player to provide PH, PR and depth options makes too much sense in today's game. 

7] Eliminate the STUPID September limited roster roster promotion rule. This was done as a ridiculous "integrity of the game" idea that losing teams, out of contention, wouldn't load their lineup with prospects against a team still playing for a post season spot. How in hell is a bad team that much worse auditioning a player or two at the end of the season? Further, how about a playoff team that wants to audition a player or two for the future and maybe rest a couple guys getting ready for the playoffs to be ready for optomim performance? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!

Maybe I'm just being an experienced and opinionated jerk, but I think all of these points are logical, needed, and easy, and cheap, to implement. And they ALL improve the game.

A pair of final considerations:

A] I am not against robot umpires. But you go down a rabbit hole to milb, college baseball, etc. It may happen. And that's fine. But I'd still rather see education, more review and grading and control. MLB and the players union have more control than the umpire union does. I'd rather start with better evaluation and promotion-demotion.

B] This one is just tongue in cheek and silly and having a bit of an old school love, but since there are so many uniform rules in all sports already, how about some rule where pants have to be so many inches above the shoe, or below the knee? LOL! I know it sounds stupid, but there is still something fun about actually seeing the traditional look of the socks.

Accept everything posted and give me all the crap you want to about the uniforms.

 

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