Game changer

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Joshua Busby

What a beautiful day to be able to get out and play some baseball.

Joshua Busby, Plaid Truth Staff

 

Why change something when things are going well? People and baseball spectators are trying to speed the game of baseball up. Baseball can be a long game, but people pay for tickets to watch a long game. Why change the game now?

Spring training so far this spring has looked different compared to the last few years. We are not talking Covid-19 wise, but more so with the rules and some other regulations that have been put in place. One of the rules is that the coaches for both teams can call a game after five innings of a spring training game. They can call a game after the fifth inning to keep their players fresh and because this year there are not as many minor league guys at spring training. 

Another rule this spring to help move the game along is that after a pitcher has thrown 20 pitches, the manager can pull the pitcher that started the inning and put in another pitcher. In the next inning, the manager can put the pitcher that started the last inning back in the game. This prevents the pitcher from racking up so many pitches in innings they pitch. 

This rule was enforced to prevent the innings from becoming long innings and to protect the pitchers arms. This rule is good for the starting pitchers because they can go longer into spring training games without having high pitch counts. Senior and varsity baseball player Riley Feigenbaum said, “The whole point of spring training is to get the players ready for the regular season. Most players agree that spring training is long and dragged out, so by calling the game it allows teams to protect their players.” 

Watching a game and seeing a pitcher hit is a great sight to watch. During spring training pitchers get hit to prevent themselves from getting hurt before the season starts. This is a good thing because it allows the pitchers to concentrate on doing their job for the game as well as not getting hit while up to bat. 

Bigger bases have been proposed to prevent the infielders from being stepped on when the runner reaches a base. It mainly happens to the first basemans when the runner runs through first, they end up clipping the first baseman or a collision can happen. By increasing the bases from 15 inches square to 18 inches square it allows for less contact between the runners and the infielders. 

The defensive shift is a big controversial thing in the MLB. Some people think that the shift is great because it is designed to play where the hitters are most likely to hit the ball. Others think that the shift is bad because hitters have learned how to beat the shift by bunting and hitting the ball where the fielders are not playing. A new rule that is implemented in the MiLB is that all of the infielders have to have both feet on the infield dirt and have two fielders on each side of second base. 

The final rule that will be implemented in the MiLB as well this season is the pick off limitation rule. A pitcher can only pick or step off twice per batter. If the pitcher only picks off once and then has a new batter come up, he can then pick off twice while that new batter is still up. Royal baseball alumni and baseball coach Tyler Abbott said, “All right handed pitchers and the left handed pitchers with predetermined pick off moves would have to vary their hold times and look tendencies in order to control the running game.” This helps speed up the game because some pitchers like to pick off a lot and do it as many times as they want per batter, which tends to drag the game out even more than it should.