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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of MLB’s New Rule Changes

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Major League Baseball is over 100 years old, and like anything that old, whether it be a sporting league, house, or great-grandparent, sometimes it just needs to be tweaked. MLB just approved some new rule changes, each making various levels of sense.


The Good

Managers will have 30 seconds to decide whether to challenge a play and invoke a replay review.

With some exceptions, replay officials in the Replay Operations Center in New York will have two minutes to render a decision on a replay review.

These go hand in hand, because it slows down what is sometimes an excruciatingly long wait for a replay verdict to come back. It improves the speed of the game, and helps both the pitcher who is getting cold on the mound and the guy sitting on his couch holding in his dump until mid-inning.

Teams may not use any markers on the field as points of reference for fielders’ defensive positioning. This issue became newsworthy last May, when the Mets contacted MLB about a Dodgers’ request to make marks on the Citi Field grass to identify desired positioning for their outfielders. Rules 3.09 and 3.10 prevent clubs from leaving equipment on the playing field, but this modification makes it more clear that these specific kinds of markers are prohibited.

I’m not one of those old-timers who’s anti-defensive shifts, but if you need markers in the field to be doing it, you deserve to fuck your shift up.

The Bad

The adoption of a no-pitch intentional walk. Managers will signal to the home-plate umpire their decision to intentionally walk a batter, and the umpire will immediately award first base to the batter.

Congrats, MLB, you both saved 45 seconds in game time, yet robbed us of potential excitement. Whether it be the off chance that a dude pulls a Kelly Leak and pokes a misfired IBB pitch down the line, or a mental lapse sends one over a catcher’s head, there’s always the slight chance that the IBB makes us jump out of our seats. You robbed us!

The Ugly

An addition to Rule 5.07 stipulates that a pitcher may not take a second step toward home plate with either foot or otherwise reset his pivot foot in his delivery of the pitch. If there is at least one runner on base, such an action will be called a balk under Rule 6.02(a). If the bases are unoccupied, then it will be considered an illegal pitch under Rule 6.02(b). This adaptation would appear to be a response to Padres reliever Carter Capps’ unusual and controversial hop-step delivery.

Carter Capps’ delivery is a fucking thing of beauty:

Yeah, it provides an advantage to him, but if it were that easy to roll out with that unorthodox motion, then everyone with a good arm would do it. Let the guy be free to showcase that uncanny ability to awkwardly hop-step with consistency, as opposed to crushing innovation.

Be better, MLB.


Image via Shutterstock

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Kyle Bandujo

I do most of my damage on PostGradProblems

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