Rule Changes Newsbeat
Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Major League Baseball plans on testing a rule change in the lowest levels of the minor leagues this season that automatically would place a runner on second base at the start of extra innings, a distinct break from the game’s orthodoxy that nonetheless has wide-ranging support at the highest levels of the league, sources familiar with the plan told Yahoo Sports.
A derivation of the rule has been used in international baseball for nearly a decade and will be implemented in the World Baseball Classic this spring. MLB’s desire to test it in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and Arizona League this summer is part of an effort to understand its wide in-game consequences – and whether its implementation at higher levels, and even the major leagues, may be warranted.
“Let’s see what it looks like,” said Joe Torre, the longtime major league manager who’s now MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer and a strong proponent of the testing. “It’s not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch. As much as it’s nice to talk about being at an 18-inning game, it takes time.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Norwich Bulletin, January 30, 1917:
Rule alterations [to help batters] might have the desired effect, yet the best plan ever offered for the bettering end of baseball, as the writer views it, was proposed 10 years ago, by Billy Fox, then second baseman for the Lincoln baseball club…
The Fox foul line, starting from the home plate, would pass first base a foot outside the sack. On a field in which the outfield fence is 360 feet distant from the plate, the Fox foul line would be four feet outside the old standard.
Billy Fox argued that in almost every ball game the batters hit line drives and sharp grounders or lay down bunts which go foul only by inches; he maintained that as much batting skill is required to hit one of these drives which goes foul by a slender margin as in lining the leather onto safe territory within the present lines.
What a terrible idea. If you move the foul lines, you’ll still have batted balls that just barely land in foul territory. It’s just that they’ll be different batted balls. That’s not a bug, that’s a feature. If you don’t want foul balls, play cricket.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Imagine a scenario in which the Orioles are in need of a left fielder, like this season began, but where they could borrow a player much closer to the majors than Joey Rickard. Maybe a veteran being forced out of his starting position (like Desmond Jennings), or a prospect who might have had a few call-ups, but was protected on the 40-man roster when the Rule-5 draft occurred.
For example, Rays outfielder Mikie Mahtook has shown major league competence, but was blocked by Brandon Guyer and Desmond Jennings when the season began. Mahtook would have been just the sort of adept prospect the Orioles were looking for when they turned to Joey Rickard.
The Rays could have sent Mahtook to the Orioles to get a season of major league time without having to toil in the minors, while also retaining Joey Rickard in their system where he needed more time to develop. At the end of the season, the rights to Mahtook would transfer back to the Rays, but one might assume a trade or sale could be worked out if the stint is successful.
Tampa Bay keeps both contracts, both players get a chance to play at the level that best suits their development, and the Orioles get a far better player to contribute in their own playoff hunt.
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