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Buster Olney Newsbeat

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Baseball keeps getting slower, but change will come by 2018

The preference on both sides is for a negotiated solution—a common ground found through conversation and an exchange of ideas. Manfred spoke about this in March, about how he wants to have more dialogue from the players, more input on how to improve the pace of games. But some players recognize that one way or another, rule changes are coming. One player told teammates recently that they better get used to the idea of a pitch clock “because it’s inevitable.”...

But MLB wants a formal mechanism to push along the pace of action, and by holding the power to change rules on its own, it’s in a strong position to negotiate the terms of a pitch clock and to restrict the number of mound meetings between teammates.

Through negotiation, the players would be in position to get something in return, and in recent weeks some have privately mentioned their hope that the union will push for an automated strike zone, with balls and strikes determined electronically. This would remove the constant debate over strike zone decisions, according to players.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Buster Olney: MLB Must Rewrite The Foreign-Substance Rule

Olney thinks MLB should do something before players get stuck together on a play at the plate:

The folks in uniform, as well as the reporters, could be rescued from this ridiculous dance if Major League Baseball and the players’ association would quickly rewrite the foreign-substance rule. The needed changes would relieve the players of the inevitable and silly accusations of cheating, something that Molina is wading through right now, by providing a cover of legitimacy to a common practice. And this possibility has been discussed by baseball officials who recognize the inconsistency.

The truth is that in every single game—every single game—you can see pitchers break baseball’s existing rule against the use of foreign substances. A lot of pitchers—dozens and dozens and dozens, across both leagues—shave the forearms of their gloved hands and cover that spot with glistening sunscreen or some mix of pine tar. When the pitchers receive a new baseball, or receive a return throw from the catcher, they will quickly wrap their pitching hand around that forearm, to cover their hand in sunscreen to help with their grip.

Can you use sunscreen for night games? What about the darker-skinned players?


 

 

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