Speak Up: Responses to question on new baseball rules


Major League Baseball has new rules this year, with the goal of speeding up the game and creating more action. One is the use of pitch clocks, which allow 15, 20 or 30 seconds to make a pitch, with hitters being required to be in the batter’s box with eight seconds remaining. Another limits infield shifts, when a team will move most of their fielders to one side to stifle batters. Will the new rules make for a better game? What other changes should MLB consider?

  • Love ’em! — Peter Giaquinto
  • Glad to see baseball trying to speed the game up. Now, football finally needs to do the same. Ten minutes can turn into a half-hour in football! — Stan Sipple
  • I watched my first spring training game, which I suspect are usually even slower than regular season games. It seemed “peppier.” As for the shift, I used to be anti-shift, reasoning the batter can “hit ’em where they ain’t,” but that really isn’t true anymore. Velocity, spin rate, less innings meaning fresher pitchers — this helps restore the balance. — Larry Josefowski
  • Ten seconds is long enough between pitches. — Jeffrey Eichelberger
  • The pitch clock was really something that needed to be implemented. Some batters and pitchers are human rain delays that, prior to this year, would take 30 seconds or more between pitches. Timing between pitches is nothing new, as this is even covered in Little League, where a ball should be pitched within 20 seconds. Today’s game, where teams routinely use four to five pitchers per night, is far different from 30 years ago, where you expected a starter, a middle reliever and a closer. MLB could offer to shorten the time between innings from 2:30 or 2:40 to 1:30. That, in itself, would shorten the game by at least 15-16 minutes, but then again, that is TV advertising revenue lost for them. They could always scroll ads on the edge of the TV screen, though, throughout the entire game to make up for it. The termination of the infield shift should result in an overall increase in the league batting average, as defenses can no longer align to one side of the infield. Though, don’t be surprised to see the outfielders shift. The increased size of the bases from 15 inches to 18 inches effectively shortens the distance between bases by 3 inches. In a game already defined as a game of inches, you have increased the potential for teams to steal bases and effectively put the umpires under more scrutiny, as a result of an increased number of bang-bang calls. Limitations in the amount of pickoff attempts will also lead to an increase of the running game. We may see an increase in the use of pitchouts to assist in throwing out base stealers. — Wayne Hurd
  • Although I agree with most of what you are saying about speeding up the game, I don’t agree with using the rules to do it. It will change the ballgame as we used to know it. I will have you look at the sport of NASCAR. They had so many rule changes so fast that it changed the race. Lost a lot of fans. — Bryan Bailey
  • I agree. Too much at one time. — Wayne Hurd
  • Ok, what is it with all these major professional sports? NASCAR every race changes rules. Guess what? Fans are tired of it. Now, baseball. And all the professional sports want to and do charge super-high ticket prices. A family can’t afford to go see it in person. All sports need to stop and go back to the old days, when seeing a game was affordable. Fun. Easy to understand. So change these rules. Raise ticket prices and look at all the empty seats. Hmm. — Denise Sloboda Deskiewicz
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