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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Rule changes to be tested in Minors this year

The changes—and the leagues in which they will apply—are as follows (more detail on each can be found below):

• Slightly larger bases with a less-slippery surface (all Triple-A leagues)

• A requirement that all four infielders have their cleats within the outer boundary of the infield dirt when the pitch is delivered (all Double-A)

• A requirement that pitchers must step off the rubber to attempt a pickoff (all High-A)

• A limit of two pickoff attempts per plate appearance (all Low-A)

• A 15-second pitch clock (Low-A West only)

• An automatic ball-strike system (Low-A Southeast only)

The rules are scattered through the various levels and leagues in order to help clarify the effects of each one. MLB has previously partnered with the independent Atlantic League on some experimental rules, but the sport’s new Minor League structure allows for analysis within games that more closely align with the Major League product.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2021 at 04:49 PM | 98 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues, rule changes

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   1. Baldrick Posted: March 11, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6008286)
Larger bases: great.
Banning shifts: no thank you.
Pickoff rules: I'm skeptical, but go ahead and give them a shot to see if anything works.
Having a pitch clock: great.
Enforcing the pitch clock: please just do this, literally all of these other things combined matter 1/100 as much as this.
   2. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: March 11, 2021 at 05:07 PM (#6008288)
• Slightly larger bases with a less-slippery surface (all Triple-A leagues)

- Jose likes. Frankly I'd like first base to use the softball system of the double base but this works.

• A requirement that all four infielders have their cleats within the outer boundary of the infield dirt when the pitch is delivered (all Double-A)

- This is dumb. Not sure what this does.

• A requirement that pitchers must step off the rubber to attempt a pickoff (all High-A)

- Meh whatever. Don't care enough about this one.

• A limit of two pickoff attempts per plate appearance (all Low-A)

- Moderately intriguing I guess.

• A 15-second pitch clock (Low-A West only)

- YES FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CAN WE STOP TALKING ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE AND JUST ####### DO THIS???

• An automatic ball-strike system (Low-A Southeast only)

- NO
   3. Tin Angel Posted: March 11, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6008293)
Why don't they do something fun like make third base first and first base third or make pitchers pitch every third inning blindfolded or something like that?
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2021 at 05:26 PM (#6008294)
A requirement that all four infielders have their cleats within the outer boundary of the infield dirt when the pitch is delivered (all Double-A)
How is that going to work? The 1st & 3rd base umpires eyeballing the infielders, rather than the pitch or the baseline? How many balks & fair/foul calls are they going to get wrong because they were prioritizing foot faults?
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 11, 2021 at 05:34 PM (#6008295)
make pitchers pitch every third inning blindfolded
Maybe Bauer has inside info.
   6. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 11, 2021 at 05:34 PM (#6008296)
Make the batter stay in the box, give the pitcher 15 seconds. Does the ump really need a clock to enforce this? Get the ball, throw the ball...done. Every player should watch footage of pretty much any game in the 70's or 80's and they'll get it right.

Banning the shift stinks. I like the shift. I think it's clever and if you shift all the time, hitters will adjust at some stage.

Roboumps would be awesome. Hopefully when this is prominent I can swipe down for my autonomous vehicle to take me to a game, whilst enjoying a beer on the way there.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: March 11, 2021 at 05:37 PM (#6008297)
Jose likes. Frankly I'd like first base to use the softball system of the double base but this works.


I like that idea too, it just seems like a safer option than what we have now.
   8. tonywagner Posted: March 11, 2021 at 05:42 PM (#6008298)
What’s the penalty on the shift one?
   9. Walt Davis Posted: March 11, 2021 at 05:46 PM (#6008300)
Technically speaking it's not a ban of the shift, it's a ban on the 2B stationed in short RF whether shifted or not (as well as the SSs with guns who are regularly on the edge of the OF grass). Is there a rule on where the OF grass has to start cuz it only works (to achieve whatever it's trying to achieve) if there is. But I kinda like it as an experiment, should increase BABIP on GBs and LDs a bit and restricts positioning but not entirely. I agree the enforcement might be impossible and all the technicalities like "the full foot or just a portion."

I'm fine with a pitch clock, I wonder if 15 seconds is too "short." What's the average these days?

I thought they had changed the stepoff rule for LHP a year or two ago.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2021 at 05:50 PM (#6008302)
I'm fine with a pitch clock, I wonder if 15 seconds is too "short." What's the average these days?

Oh God no. The current rule is 12. 15 seconds is forever when nothing is happening.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: March 11, 2021 at 06:03 PM (#6008304)
Larger bases: Not sure what the point is, but obviously curious what exactly it means. Are all three bases larger? Is the extra base size added into foul territory at first and third, and how will that affect calls down the line? Does second just become slightly closer to first and third (which, as the foremost champion of reduce the size between the bases movement, I would see as a step in the right direction).

Banning shifts: No.

Pickoff rules: Hard no. The stepoff rule is worse than the limit, but I hate any efforts that limit pickoffs. Controlling the running game/getting some extra outs via pickoffs is one way lesser stuff guys like Buehrle or Terry Mulholland compete against the flamethrowers. Dumbing down the process of holding runners on is awful.

Having a pitch clock: please do.

   12. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 11, 2021 at 06:19 PM (#6008306)
I don't understand the obsession with pickoff throws. The Dave Collins Era is over. Pitchers just don't throw over to first nearly as much as they used to.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: March 11, 2021 at 06:45 PM (#6008307)
Banning shifts: No.

Again, and to clarify, there's nothing in the rule as stated in the excerpt that bans shifts. You can still have 3 (or more) IFs on the same side of 2nd base. What the rule states is the "infielders" must be positioned on the infield (implying at least 4 players, other than the pitcher presumably, must do so). Getting the 2B out of short RF is the main effect of the rule.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: March 11, 2021 at 06:53 PM (#6008309)
Again, and to clarify, there's nothing in the rule as stated in the excerpt that bans shifts. You can still have 3 (or more) IFs on the same side of 2nd base. What the rule states is the "infielders" must be positioned on the infield (implying at least 4 players, other than the pitcher presumably, must do so). Getting the 2B out of short RF is the main effect of the rule.


I get it, just don't see any reason for it. Situational defensive positioning is a good thing, we've seen teams in tie game extra innings bring in an outfielder to the infield etc. I do not get peoples fascination with trying to ban teams trying to do anything they can to improve their odds.

I wish they would practice some rules that discourages three true outcome baseball, and works on trying to get the ball in play more often. Not sure what rules would do that, but I'm sure some people have thought about it enough to try something (I've pushed for smaller gloves, calling the proper strike zone, and a few others, and of course there are radical ideas such as reducing the distance of the bases or moving the mound back a foot or two)
   15. Zach Posted: March 11, 2021 at 06:54 PM (#6008310)
And the Low A Western league becomes the most popular league in America.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: March 11, 2021 at 06:56 PM (#6008312)
Again, and to clarify, there's nothing in the rule as stated in the excerpt that bans shifts.


OK, I'll clarify. I don't care. I don't like banning teams from deploying their defensive players where they want to, regardless how the rule is written. Does that help?

   17. tonywagner Posted: March 11, 2021 at 06:58 PM (#6008313)
How much have double-A teams been shifting anyway?
   18. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: March 11, 2021 at 07:01 PM (#6008316)
You know, they’ve already experimented with this stuff in the Atlantic League.

Larger bases is partly for safety and, as I recall, pretty much everybody in the game likes this.
Pitch clocks are great. Roboumps are inevitable and fine by me, just get the kinks out first (this will take years). Don’t like the anti-shift stuff (which might be outlawed in the 2nd half of the AA season - or at least not having two infielders on either side of second might). The Atlantic League’s pickoff changes though... steals EXPLODED. I don’t recall the percentage change in steals but it was maybe ... 80%? I am pro more steals, so I’m intrigued.

One experiment that didn’t carry over (thankfully) was trying to steal first base.
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 11, 2021 at 07:08 PM (#6008319)
Walt, you are taking our issues regarding the shift too literally. Sure, we all should have said, no we don't want them regulating the type of shift you are allowed to do.
Is that more clear?
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: March 11, 2021 at 07:47 PM (#6008327)
Is the extra base size added into foul territory at first and third, and how will that affect calls down the line?
I have to assume that the base remains snug with the existing foul line, and the extra size goes on the fair and outfield sides.
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: March 11, 2021 at 07:52 PM (#6008330)
I have to assume that the base remains snug with the existing foul line, and the extra size goes on the fair and outfield sides.


I guess that can help a little on slow rollers in front of the plate, in that it pulls the first baseman a little further inland, but I'm struggling to see where the benefits are on the other bases (unless this really is an effort to reduce the distance between the bases, however slightly, as I've long pushed for).
   22. The Duke Posted: March 11, 2021 at 08:02 PM (#6008331)
larger bases: I think they serve two purposes: less foot injuries and it makes the distance between bases smaller this encouraging SB and taking the extra base
New shift language: a good start. While it only moves the 2B in, it may also change massive shifting - its Probably not a great idea to have 4 guys so close together on the infield dirt so it will move the SS back towards the middle of the field.
Pickoff rules - unnecessary. To the extent you need a limit on throws it should be 5.
Automated ball-strike: yes
Having a pitch clock: fine
Enforcing the pitch: yes

What are the various penalties here?
   23. Walt Davis Posted: March 11, 2021 at 08:37 PM (#6008336)
I don't particularly care. But we're talking rules and words are key to understanding rules. In the past when contemplating "banning shifts", as far as I recall, we have only discussed potential rules such as "two IFs on each side of 2B." This rule is not that and I don't recall ever discussing the potential impact of "all IFs positioned in the IF." If somebody uses the term "ban the shift" in response to this rule, I assume they haven't bothered to read the thing properly. Instead it seems you guys have just decided that "the shift" doesn't have its traditional meaning of 3 guys on one side of the IF but rather means "any IF positioining."
   24. sanny manguillen Posted: March 11, 2021 at 08:48 PM (#6008337)
don't understand the obsession with pickoff throws


I think this gets filed under "can become tedious if we're 2 1/2 hours in and in the top of the seventh."

Robo-ump: is this all settled now with respect to the top and bottom of the strike zone? They'll just use some formula based on height?
   25. Baldrick Posted: March 11, 2021 at 09:49 PM (#6008350)
I guess that can help a little on slow rollers in front of the plate, in that it pulls the first baseman a little further inland, but I'm struggling to see where the benefits are on the other bases (unless this really is an effort to reduce the distance between the bases, however slightly, as I've long pushed for).

Someone reported that this is in fact one of the central purposes of this move. Cutting the distance by even six inches should improve the odds of beating the throw on a non-negligible number of plays.
   26. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 11, 2021 at 10:10 PM (#6008356)
Presumably larger bases also slightly reduce the odds of the “foot-faults” where guys come off the bag for a split second during their slide and get called out on replay. Although I don’t even know if they use replay in the minors.
   27. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: March 11, 2021 at 10:12 PM (#6008357)
I'm fine with a pitch clock, I wonder if 15 seconds is too "short." What's the average these days?


Oh, about 75 minutes.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: March 11, 2021 at 10:19 PM (#6008360)
Someone reported that this is in fact one of the central purposes of this move. Cutting the distance by even six inches should improve the odds of beating the throw on a non-negligible number of plays.


Neat. I don't know if it will move the needle enough, but it's a step in the right direction.


I don't particularly care. But we're talking rules and words are key to understanding rules. In the past when contemplating "banning shifts", as far as I recall, we have only discussed potential rules such as "two IFs on each side of 2B." This rule is not that and I don't recall ever discussing the potential impact of "all IFs positioned in the IF." If somebody uses the term "ban the shift" in response to this rule, I assume they haven't bothered to read the thing properly. Instead it seems you guys have just decided that "the shift" doesn't have its traditional meaning of 3 guys on one side of the IF but rather means "any IF positioining."


Apparently it didn't.
   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2021 at 10:31 PM (#6008364)

Again, and to clarify, there's nothing in the rule as stated in the excerpt that bans shifts. You can still have 3 (or more) IFs on the same side of 2nd base. What the rule states is the "infielders" must be positioned on the infield (implying at least 4 players, other than the pitcher presumably, must do so). Getting the 2B out of short RF is the main effect of the rule.


FWIW, the release from MLB says "Depending on the preliminary results of this experimental rule, MLB may require two infielders to be positioned entirely on each side of second base in the second half of the Double-A season."


You know, they’ve already experimented with this stuff in the Atlantic League.


Here's an interesting article on the effect some of these rules had when they were implemented in the Atlantic League. The pickoff rule could be really hard on lefties.

The rule disproportionately impacts left-handers, who have designed their deliveries around deceptive leg lifts. Now, the moment a lefty’s right foot moves, baserunners are clear to take off. Rewiring those deliveries for pitchers who have never used a slide step is more than a quick adjustment.

“A guy gets to first base, two or three pitches later he’s on third. And then he’s getting in with a sac fly,” said Ducks right-hander Joe Iorio. He said that within the clubhouse there’s been some playful debate over who has it worse with the new rules — pitchers or position players — but the truth is, it’s no contest.

“It feels like a disadvantage to them. It’s not easy as a pitcher to have a guy get on first and then pretty much have second base,” Rivera said. “Not only that, then he’s taking third with ease ’cause there’s no inside move. So you’re pretty much giving a stolen base guy, with two extra pitches, he’s got third.”


Stolen bases rose from 1.03 per game to 1.07 in 2019.

   30. flournoy Posted: March 11, 2021 at 10:41 PM (#6008368)
So a failed second pickoff attempt during a plate appearance amounts to giving away a stolen base, right? There would be nothing to stop the runner from just jogging down to second base as soon as the pitcher steps on the rubber.

I think I would modify that to limit the number of times a pitcher can throw behind a runner. So, for a runner on first, you can only throw over to first twice. But you can freely throw to second base, so if he just starts running to second, you can still throw him out.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: March 11, 2021 at 10:41 PM (#6008369)
The rule disproportionately impacts left-handers, who have designed their deliveries around deceptive leg lifts. Now, the moment a lefty’s right foot moves, baserunners are clear to take off. Rewiring those deliveries for pitchers who have never used a slide step is more than a quick adjustment.

“A guy gets to first base, two or three pitches later he’s on third. And then he’s getting in with a sac fly,” said Ducks right-hander Joe Iorio. He said that within the clubhouse there’s been some playful debate over who has it worse with the new rules — pitchers or position players — but the truth is, it’s no contest.

“It feels like a disadvantage to them. It’s not easy as a pitcher to have a guy get on first and then pretty much have second base,” Rivera said. “Not only that, then he’s taking third with ease ’cause there’s no inside move. So you’re pretty much giving a stolen base guy, with two extra pitches, he’s got third.”


This sounds awful, from every angle.

I like stolen bases as much as the next guy. But they're only interesting if there's significant risk involved. If 1/2 of the attempts result in the catcher not even attempting a throw, for instance, that would be much worse.

   32. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2021 at 10:52 PM (#6008370)


So a failed second pickoff attempt during a plate appearance amounts to giving away a stolen base, right? There would be nothing to stop the runner from just jogging down to second base as soon as the pitcher steps on the rubber.


You get two free pick off attempts. You can throw over a third time, and if you get the guy, he's out. But if you don't, it's a balk, and he advances to the next base.

I was wondering about pickoffs, and they've been going down for years. Seems silly to limit them now.

There were 0.07 pickoffs per team game in 2019, which is where we’ve seen them plateau in recent years. Overall, they’ve gone down -- there were 0.08 per team game in 2015 and 0.09 per team game in 2012. The last time there were 0.1 per team game or more was in 1997.

That’s pickoffs -- not the attempts. Pickoff throw tracking goes back to 1995. The 14,971 pickoff throws by pitchers in 2019 were the fewest in any season in that span. The highest total in that span was in 1998, when there were 23,781 pickoff throws by pitchers.

   33. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2021 at 11:10 PM (#6008376)
More info on the pitch clock:


A 20-second pitch clock has been in effect in the Double-A and Triple-A levels since 2015. But while the clock did, in its first year, have a tangible impact immediately (reducing game times by 12 minutes from the previous year), game times have risen in years since as players found workarounds -- most notably by restarting the clock by stepping off the rubber.

This change will be a more aggressive, 15-second pitch clock. One timer will be located in the outfield and two behind home plate, between the dugouts. Inning breaks and pitching changes will also be timed.


Stark:

• A 15-second pitch clock, down from 20 seconds at the upper levels of the minors. Pitchers have 15 seconds to begin their windup or come to a set position from the stretch. Otherwise, the umpire can call an automatic ball.

• The batter will be required to be “attentive” to the pitcher with 8 seconds left on the clock. Otherwise, it’s an automatic strike.

• There will now be a 30-second clock between batters in mid-inning, and the time between innings will shrink from 2 minutes, 15 seconds to exactly 2 minutes.
   34. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 11, 2021 at 11:18 PM (#6008377)
You get two free pick off attempts. You can throw over a third time, and if you get the guy, he's out. But if you don't, it's a balk, and he advances to the next base.

That's how I'd modify that rule. It would stop the base runner from taking a running lead as soon as the pitcher stood on the rubber after two pick-off attempts, but still stop the endless pickoffs.
   35. DFA Posted: March 12, 2021 at 12:13 AM (#6008381)
If I gamed out the shift issue, what would that look like? If the letter of the law is that there can be 3 infielders with their feet on the dirt, when, exactly? During pitch? Which allows one fielder to shuffle back during the pitch?


I think banning the shift is dumb. As hitters have become increasingly pull happy, defenses have adapted. It's up to the hitter to adapt. If they won't, why should defenders be punished?

And bring on the robot ump. It would be nice if umpires could get the tough calls as right...
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 12, 2021 at 12:19 AM (#6008382)
game times have risen in years since as players found workarounds -- most notably by restarting the clock by stepping off the rubber.
Genius! If only there were a way to prevent that.
   37. base ball chick Posted: March 12, 2021 at 01:59 AM (#6008389)
the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 11, 2021 at 05:34 PM (#6008296)

Make the batter stay in the box, give the pitcher 15 seconds. Does the ump really need a clock to enforce this? Get the ball, throw the ball...done. Every player should watch footage of pretty much any game in the 70's or 80's and they'll get it right


- YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

no stepping out of the dammm box neither. none of that stupid nomar shtttt. you get 12 seconds with no one on base between pitches like the rule book ALREADY sez. 15 sec with runners on and no stepping off the dammm rubber unless you are throwing to a base. none of this stepping off and walking around the effing mound delaying the game. between all the endless Ks and walks, it makes the game beyond BORING

watch the oswalt/buehrle matchup from 06. 2 hrs 5 min. now THAT is how it's done

- i have timed a some games and not redsox/yankees ones neither and with no one on base it averages between 20 - 35 seconds from one pitch to the next - not including fouls. it is so B O R I N G. and it is that bad in college too, the games i've watched. i'd put up with them being so significantly much worse than major leaguers if they could step up the pace. but noooooooooo
   38. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: March 12, 2021 at 06:34 AM (#6008391)
Slightly larger bases

They need the extra room for the Spiderman ads, y'know.
   39. McCoy Posted: March 12, 2021 at 07:55 AM (#6008395)
Just move the mound back 2'6".
   40. Rally Posted: March 12, 2021 at 08:22 AM (#6008399)
Stolen bases rose from 1.03 per game to 1.07 in 2019.


Caught stealing remained about the same, so the success rate went from 76% to 79%. Not a huge change, but looks like a good one to me.
   41. Rally Posted: March 12, 2021 at 08:27 AM (#6008400)
The top basestealer was a 32 year old CF named Darian Sanford, who stole 74 bags in 84 tries. He was a 47th round pick by the Royals in 2010, played 2 years of Rookie Ball, and then went on to a long independent league career. No bat at all, a .299 SLG in mostly indy leagues, but he does have 606 career steals and a high of 99.

Royals must have signed him to compete for the big league roles that Jarrod Dyson and Terrence Gore ended up winning.
   42. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6008407)
Now that the harmless fun and excitement of in-game gamification is coming to Major League Baseball thanks to our good friends and corporate partners at Bally's, I would expect our feckless commissioner to continue futzing around with pointless do-nothing changes under the guise of Pace of Play while requiring a minimum of 30 seconds between pitches so the rubes fans can place their bets.
   43. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: March 12, 2021 at 10:38 AM (#6008413)
My 80%? was high but here's corroboration ($) for my steals exploded line:
"In the Atlantic League last year, the pickoff rule change did lead to a dramatic increase in stolen base attempts. Stolen bases attempts went from 1.03 per game in the first half of the season before the rule change to 1.69 per game in the second half of the season with the rule change. The success rate also increased. Atlantic League basestealers were successful 75 percent of the time in the first half and 81 percent of the time in the second half."

Note - those #s don't seem to fit with what I see (overall) in b-ref so - I'm a bit confused there.
   44. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2021 at 10:52 AM (#6008415)
I guess that can help a little on slow rollers in front of the plate, in that it pulls the first baseman a little further inland, but I'm struggling to see where the benefits are on the other bases (unless this really is an effort to reduce the distance between the bases, however slightly, as I've long pushed for).


Someone reported that this is in fact one of the central purposes of this move. Cutting the distance by even six inches should improve the odds of beating the throw on a non-negligible number of plays.
The news release mentions these benefits, so my earlier assumption was wrong and the base expansion will head towards home plate - thereby making the home-to-first distance 89'9".
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: March 12, 2021 at 10:54 AM (#6008416)
The news release mentions these benefits, so my earlier assumption was wrong and the base expansion will head towards home plate - thereby making the home-to-first distance 89'9".


It's a start.

Of course, MLB is more likely to adopt the abomination that is that step-off rule instead.
   46. Phil Plantier's Famous Toilet Seat Stance Posted: March 12, 2021 at 11:01 AM (#6008417)
A requirement that all four infielders have their cleats within the outer boundary of the infield dirt when the pitch is delivered (all Double-A)


What do the current rules of baseball have to say in terms of defining positions?

I know that the rules are sprinkled with references to shortstops, second basemen, etc. but as far as I can remember these positions are not defined in any way. There is no set "lineup" of fielders and there is no reference that says there must be four infielders and three outfielders. Other than rule 5.02(c) which says that "Except the pitcher and the catcher, any fielder may station himself anywhere in fair territory" I'm not sure what else the existing rules say about defined positions.

So why do there have to be four infielders? Can I call in an outfielder and have him position both feet on the infield? Can I move my shortstop

   47. Ron J Posted: March 12, 2021 at 11:06 AM (#6008418)
#46 It's another attempt to imitate the NFL. Position based number ranges and a need to report to the ump every pitch if you're going to be shifting.

How can this not make the game more popular?
   48. Zach Posted: March 12, 2021 at 11:59 AM (#6008437)
If you want a faster paced game with more small ball, you've got to give baserunners some advantages. Otherwise they'll just sit still and wait for the home run.

80% success rate doesn't sound so bad to me. Breakeven is about 2/3, so on average a steal is attractive proposition, and a few stealing specialists will have a reliable offensive weapon.
   49. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 12:08 PM (#6008440)

So why do there have to be four infielders? Can I call in an outfielder and have him position both feet on the infield? Can I move my shortstop


Yes, that's what this rule is trying to discourage. Teams have been employing four outfielders at times (with one infielder playing shallow right field in an extreme shift). You also sometimes see five infielders in situations where a sac fly would win the game.

Seems like banning the shift will continue to reward pull-happy power hitters, instead of forcing hitters to adapt to spray the ball over the field. Isn't that against what baseball should be trying to do?
   50. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 12:24 PM (#6008442)
Stolen bases attempts went from 1.03 per game in the first half of the season before the rule change to 1.69 per game in the second half of the season with the rule change.


If MLB attempts go up by the same amount, we'd have our highest SB attempt rate since 1992.
   51. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 12, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6008450)
If MLB attempts go up by the same amount, we'd have our highest SB attempt rate since 1992.
Rickey would like teams to know that Rickey is still in playing shape...
   52. Phil Plantier's Famous Toilet Seat Stance Posted: March 12, 2021 at 02:38 PM (#6008462)
Yes, that's what this rule is trying to discourage. Teams have been employing four outfielders at times (with one infielder playing shallow right field in an extreme shift). You also sometimes see five infielders in situations where a sac fly would win the game.


I think I'm just stuck on the wording in the article (ok, to be fair, the excerpt above). If the rule is that:

all four infielders have their cleats within the outer boundary of the infield dirt when the pitch is delivered (all Double-A)


then do we not need to first amend the rules to actually state that there are "four infielders"?

I think I'm just stuck on word usage and being obtuse.
   53. SandyRiver Posted: March 12, 2021 at 02:41 PM (#6008463)
larger bases: I think they serve two purposes: less foot injuries and it makes the distance between bases smaller this encouraging SB and taking the extra base


The distance between bases need not change. The added size at 1st/3rd could be toward the corners and in foul territory, maybe the latter a darker color to aid in fair-foul calls. The increased area of 2nd could be toward LF/RF. I don't think there's a requirement that the center point of each base (except home plate) must remain where it is now.
   54. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 03:12 PM (#6008464)

then do we not need to first amend the rules to actually state that there are "four infielders"


I think you could just say "six players must play within the infield dirt boundary."
   55. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2021 at 03:30 PM (#6008465)
The distance between bases need not change. The added size at 1st/3rd could be toward the corners and in foul territory, maybe the latter a darker color to aid in fair-foul calls. The increased area of 2nd could be toward LF/RF. I don't think there's a requirement that the center point of each base (except home plate) must remain where it is now.
Hypothetically, yes, but the official press release mentioned shorter distances between bases.
   56. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6008467)
Cutting the distance by even six inches should improve the odds of beating the throw on a non-negligible number of plays.

"Challenge accepted," say Angel Hernandez and C.B. Bucknor.
   57. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 12, 2021 at 03:47 PM (#6008468)
A requirement that all four infielders have their cleats within the outer boundary of the infield dirt when the pitch is delivered
So, no effect if infielders play with cleatless shoes? The shoe changes accompanying each shift should do wonders for pace of play.
   58. Space Force fan Posted: March 12, 2021 at 05:56 PM (#6008477)
And bring on the robot ump. It would be nice if umpires could get the tough calls as right...


In the endless discussion about umpires, the pro-human side has constantly said that getting the call " textbook right" is less important for an umpire as being consistent with their personnel strike zone. The biggest advantage to robot umpires isn't getting the call correct as much as it will be 100% consistent. I'm not sure even the robot umpires will get all the calls right. Tennis has shown with their Hawkeye replays that there are some balls that are so close that it is likely impossible to be sure what the correct call is.
   59. cardsfanboy Posted: March 12, 2021 at 08:07 PM (#6008486)
I know that the rules are sprinkled with references to shortstops, second basemen, etc. but as far as I can remember these positions are not defined in any way. There is no set "lineup" of fielders and there is no reference that says there must be four infielders and three outfielders. Other than rule 5.02(c) which says that "Except the pitcher and the catcher, any fielder may station himself anywhere in fair territory" I'm not sure what else the existing rules say about defined positions.


As far as I can remember, the only other rule about positions has to do with the first baseman glove, but who knows, I was probably drunk when I read that and may be mis-remembering it.

Edit: rule 1.13
1.13 The first baseman may wear a leather glove or mitt not more than twelve inches
long from top to bottom and not more than eight inches wide across the palm, measured
from the base of the thumb crotch to the outer edge of the mitt. The space between the
thumb section and the finger section of the mitt shall not exceed four inches at the top of the
mitt and three and one-half inches at the base of the thumb crotch. The mitt shall be
constructed so that this space is permanently fixed and cannot be enlarged, extended,
widened, or deepened by the use of any materials or process whatever. The web of the mitt
shall measure not more than five inches from its top to the base of the thumb crotch. The
web may be either a lacing, lacing through leather tunnels, or a center piece of leather which
may be an extension of the palm connected to the mitt with lacing and constructed so that it
will not exceed the above mentioned measurements. The webbing shall not be constructed
of wound or wrapped lacing or deepened to make a net type of trap. The glove may be of
any weight


and 1.14
1.14 Each fielder, other than the first baseman or catcher, may use or wear a leather
glove.....
with the remainder of the rule being about the dimensions non-first baseman and catchers can have their glove.
   60. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: March 12, 2021 at 08:29 PM (#6008487)
Roboumps are inevitable and fine by me, just get the kinks out first (this will take years).

The biggest kink with robo-umps will be the flip side of the biggest benefit of human ball/strike calls: the strike zone as called currently shrinks on pitcher-favoring counts and expands on hitter-favoring counts. You think we have a lot of TTO now? Wait until the sharp increase in four-pitch walks and three-pitch looking strikeouts when the robots take over.

(I agree they're inevitable, and people will adapt eventually. But I don't know that they'll make the game a more entertaining product.)
   61. Mayor Blomberg Posted: March 12, 2021 at 08:37 PM (#6008488)
The only benefit I see to the infielder rule is that it bans the return of sliding boxes. Otherwise I don't like it or the two-pickoff rule
   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 09:17 PM (#6008491)

The biggest kink with robo-umps will be the flip side of the biggest benefit of human ball/strike calls: the strike zone as called currently shrinks on pitcher-favoring counts and expands on hitter-favoring counts. You think we have a lot of TTO now? Wait until the sharp increase in four-pitch walks and three-pitch looking strikeouts when the robots take over.

(I agree they're inevitable, and people will adapt eventually. But I don't know that they'll make the game a more entertaining product.)


Concur. With robo umps, the league has to be willing to constantly tinker to get the balance right. They've shown no willingness or ability to be that proactive.
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: March 12, 2021 at 09:30 PM (#6008495)
I don't know about robo umps... meaning that they call everything, but I'm absolutely fine with robo strike and ball callers.

And I would be fine with the MLB then saying that the human umps are designed to call the human aspect of the game, from getting rid of instant replay over turning a call because a guy bounced off a bag during a slide to intent when it comes to hit by pitches etc... things a computer can't do accurately.

There is, and should always remain a place for human umps, but strikes and balls is one issue where they shouldn't exist.
   64. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6008496)
There is, and should always remain a place for human umps, but strikes and balls is one issue where they shouldn't exist.

Except the alternative may be worse. "Getting the call right" at 2B has definitely made the game worse. First they got rid of the area play, forcing MI to hold the base, and leading to some grizzly injuries. So, then they needed a new rule to fix that, but then we still have the 1 MM separation being monitored and encouraged by IF tags.
   65. Meatwad Posted: March 12, 2021 at 10:17 PM (#6008497)
Fwiw they changed how robo ump calls balls and strikes. Its a 2d plane at the front of the plate.
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 10:21 PM (#6008499)
Fwiw they changed how robo ump calls balls and strikes. Its a 2d plane at the front of the plate.

That's bad. Now we're changing the def'n to suit the robots. It will only encourage nibbling.
   67. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 13, 2021 at 02:42 AM (#6008507)
And the current system does not encourage nibbling? how so?
   68. McCoy Posted: March 13, 2021 at 11:56 AM (#6008514)
The answer for not getting injured at second base is to not go for the double play. Seems pretty simple.
   69. dejarouehg Posted: March 13, 2021 at 01:03 PM (#6008517)
Tried watching one batter in Mets game yesterday. Lucchesi was facing some scrub back-up catcher. The AB took forever before the batter was caught looking. Unbearable.

The easiest to have a genuine immediate impact are a) & b).
a) pitching faster
b) batters must stay in the box
c) video impact is brutal - must be dramatically limited. Accordingly, institute a hover rule over the bag. IF you slide into bag safely and then become detached due to momentum but still hover above the bag w/in (____) inches (yeah, I know, who's going to have a tape measure), then you are, in effect, still in contact with the bag. Or, in the alternative, this is not a reviewable event; only the initial tag is reviewable or if the runner goes completely past the bag.
d) if you can't decide a replay w/in 45 seconds, the play stands as called. (Not applicable for post-season.) The arguments with managers and umps was shorter and more entertaining. I'd do away with video altogether except on plays at the plate after the 7th inning.
e) I keep hearing that batters will adjust to the shift. For some reason, the shift hasn't had the Darwinian effect on hitters that many of us would have hoped and I don't want to have to watch Kyle Schwarber go from what should have been a better version of John Kruk, to a worse version of Matt Stairs, because he became an all-or-nothing player. Two infielders on each side of second base, on the dirt. If you want to go with a 4 outfielder set-up, then must be 4 across with the LF and RF equal distances from HP and the same for LCF and RCF. Is it bastardizing the game, it sure is. But the way the game has been played for 99+% of the time for the last 50 years that I've been watching - up until the shift reared it's boredom-inducing head - had conventional alignments and resulted in an exponentially more entertaining product than what we now have.
f) no need to throw out the ball every time it touches the dirt.
g) I used to hate the idea of an automated strike zone, but much like my antiquated enjoyment of watching pitchers hit, I have to concede on both of these. (With the DH, at least have a DH for a designated pitcher that must appear in the game.)
h) not having the softball bag at 1B is just stupid. This would save injuries and the outer bag could light up when contact is made to make the call easier.

That the pitch clock is taking so long is an embarrassment. It should be a hard 15 seconds and there should be no discretion for the umps. If the pitcher doesn't start his delivery w/in 15 seconds, then a bell goes off and it's a ball. IF the batter isn't in the box, then it should be a strike, regardless of where the ball is caught.
   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2021 at 01:17 PM (#6008518)
The answer for not getting injured at second base is to not go for the double play. Seems pretty simple.

That's stupid. The answer is basically what they adopted. You have to slide to the base, you can't throw yourself at the fielder, or slide through the base.

Baseball shouldn't allow the baserunner to run into the fielder. The home plate changes have been good too.
   71. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: March 13, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6008520)
69 - I think your suggestion D (45 second limit) fixes the problem in suggestion C (hover over the base). Those calls where the player is a couple of millimeters off the base seem to be the ones that take the longest.

RoboUmps behind the plate are inevitable and I am highly skeptical it’s going to be any kind of improvement. I think it’s likely to be worse not better.
   72. McCoy Posted: March 13, 2021 at 02:18 PM (#6008522)
Fielders shouldn't be blocking the bag and putting themselves in dangerous situations.

If there is contact and the fielder is over or on the bags/plate the runner should be declared safe and the fielder ejected.

Fielders shouldn't be allowed on the basepaths or on the bags. They should only be allowed to step on the bag during a force play.
   73. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2021 at 04:00 PM (#6008525)
Fielders shouldn't be blocking the bag and putting themselves in dangerous situations.

If there is contact and the fielder is over or on the bags/plate the runner should be declared safe and the fielder ejected.

Fielders shouldn't be allowed on the basepaths or on the bags. They should only be allowed to step on the bag during a force play.


Have you actually watched a game of baseball?

That's when the fielders on on the bag. Touching 2B on a DP, waiting to tag the player when there's no force (esp. at home), hell even catching the ball at 1B. Fielders have to be allowed on the bags.

Why can't we just mandate a straight in, feet first, slide by the runner? That way the fielder will never try to block the bag. If he does, he gets spiked.

Why should the runner ever be allowed to intentionally run into the fielder? Why that and not the ARod play where he slapped the glove? Hell, let's let the catcher shove the batter as the pitch is being delivered, if we've got a contact sport now.
   74. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 13, 2021 at 04:13 PM (#6008526)
Fielders shouldn't be blocking the bag and putting themselves in dangerous situations.
That's exactly what the Posey rule says (in part).
   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2021 at 04:30 PM (#6008528)
That's exactly what the Posey rule says (in part).

Right, but blocking the base is a specific thing that does not mean just tagging it or trying to make a tag on the runner. The fielder can't block access to the bag with his body. He can be on or near the bag while making a play.
   76. McCoy Posted: March 13, 2021 at 06:17 PM (#6008535)
Re 74. No. I'm saying fielders shouldn't be allowed in the basepaths period. Regardless of whether or not they have the ball. They shouldn't be allowed to stand on the basepath or even have a foot on the bag. The only time they should be allowed to touch base is if they have the ball and it's a force play or a first baseman with a runner coming from the batters box.

The pathways for the runners should remain clear at all times. Am errant throw takes you onto the path of a runner? You better let the ball sail by otherwise the runner gets an extra base.
   77. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: March 13, 2021 at 06:23 PM (#6008536)
As I've said before ad nausem, you can fix 80% of the problems with baseball if you just:

(1) Get in the damn box.
(2) Throw the damn ball.

Again, you're welcome.
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2021 at 10:20 PM (#6008548)
Re 74. No. I'm saying fielders shouldn't be allowed in the basepaths period. Regardless of whether or not they have the ball. They shouldn't be allowed to stand on the basepath or even have a foot on the bag. The only time they should be allowed to touch base is if they have the ball and it's a force play or a first baseman with a runner coming from the batters box.

The pathways for the runners should remain clear at all times. Am errant throw takes you onto the path of a runner? You better let the ball sail by otherwise the runner gets an extra base.


Why would you ever want to change baseball in such a strange way? Again, make the runners slide straight to the bag, and the issue goes away.
   79. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: March 13, 2021 at 11:09 PM (#6008551)
I'm saying fielders shouldn't be allowed in the basepaths period.

[...]

The pathways for the runners should remain clear at all times.


Which means everywhere else should remain clear for fielders. So baserunners may never leave the base paths. Now imagine a player hitting a double or a runner going first to third or second to home without leaving the base path. We may never see a triple again.
   80. McCoy Posted: March 14, 2021 at 09:08 AM (#6008557)
The basepath is not a 6 inch line. Should be something like a 3 foot area and if the runner is out of that area while running and makes contact with a fielder or interferes with a fielder he's out. If he goes out of that area to evade a tag he's out.

And yes the runners should slide straight to the bag. And yes fielders should get out of the way. It isn't an either or and it isn't even a radical strange change.

The issue isn't injury. I don't care if a fielder injures himself. That's his choice. The issue is a lack of action in baseball.
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2021 at 11:05 AM (#6008560)
The issue is a lack of action in baseball.

And your proposal does absolutely nothing to address that. Free bases and ejections for contact are not the sort of "action" anyone wants. We all want faster pace, and more balls in play.
   82. sanny manguillen Posted: March 14, 2021 at 11:09 AM (#6008561)
Robo-ump: is this all settled now with respect to the top and bottom of the strike zone? They'll just use some formula based on height?


I'm quoting myself from upthread: again, does anyone know how this will work? It seems the Atlantic League used some mix: if your ball/strike data had previously been tracked by the system, then it would estimate top and bottom from those calls. If you were new to the system, though, it would just set a strike zone based on height. Is that how it worked? If so, it seems eventually everyone will end up with a top and bottom calculated from their height.
   83. McCoy Posted: March 14, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#6008575)
Re 81. Except of course will do more than absolutely nothing. So it's got that going for it.
   84. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 14, 2021 at 05:19 PM (#6008578)
gain, does anyone know how this will work?


Haven't seen many details. From Stark:

This is said to be an “improved” version of the ABS used in the Atlantic League and Fall League. But what baseball needs to study most closely is what definition of the strike zone needs to be plugged into the computer to produce a zone that resembles what current hitters and pitchers think of as a strike. When the Atlantic League used the rulebook strike zone in 2019, the robots called strikes on pitches that not a single human in the park thought was a strike. That has to change for this system to work in the big leagues.

So there is some thought that ultimately, baseball might need to shrink the top of the electronic zone significantly, bring the bottom of the zone up slightly and expand the corners microscopically. But those adjustments might also be used to produce more balls in play. So this is a highly significant work in progress.

Hidden wrinkle: One of the issues with the previous version of the ABS was sweeping breaking balls that were called strikes but didn’t look like strikes to anyone but the robots — because they barely nicked a corner of the strike zone as they crossed the back of the plate. Hitters rightly complained that those pitches were never hittable, even though they were technically rulebook strikes. To address that glitch, this version of the electronic zone will no longer be three-dimensional, theoretically eliminating those optical-illusion strikes.
   85. sanny manguillen Posted: March 14, 2021 at 06:39 PM (#6008583)
#84: thanks, that's really interesting.
   86. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: March 14, 2021 at 08:24 PM (#6008587)
If you're going to actually enforce the pitch clock, you're going to have to have a stiff limit on throwing to bases. Otherwise, anytime a runner's on base, the pitcher will reach 13 seconds, decide he ain't feelin' it, and toss over to the base to reset the clock, rather than merely stepping off as he does now.

Personally I'm in favor of ditching the balk rule altogether, allowing the pitcher to deceive the runner however the hell he wants short of actually faking a pitch delivery, but awarding the batter a ball whenever the pitcher throws to a base and doesn't get a runner out.

Seems like banning the shift will continue to reward pull-happy power hitters, instead of forcing hitters to adapt to spray the ball over the field. Isn't that against what baseball should be trying to do?


Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

If we're going to use the minor leagues to conduct experiments, I'd like to see an experiment with heavier bats (thicker handles), flatter seams on the ball, and smaller fielding gloves. But of course you can't try such things in the affiliated minors; the major league teams would, quite justly, scream bloody murder about ruining prospects, and the major league players' union will never allow such a fundamental change to equipment to pass.
   87. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 14, 2021 at 08:24 PM (#6008588)
The moment an "infield dirt" rule is passed, teams will start changing the depth of their infield dirt. It'll start creeping out into RF.

   88. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 14, 2021 at 08:44 PM (#6008592)
I do like the pickoff rule, even though it is radical. Encouraging stolen bases seems like one concrete step away from TTO and back towards a more athletic game.

They really need a culture change on pace. All the other stuff like a clock is window dressing.

   89. dejarouehg Posted: March 14, 2021 at 08:50 PM (#6008595)
The moment an "infield dirt" rule is passed, teams will start changing the depth of their infield dirt. It'll start creeping out into RF.


That's an easy one to handle. $2 Million fine if the back of the dirt is found to be beyond the allowable limit. (I confess, I have no idea if that's even a uniform distance by rule or not.)

Seems like banning the shift will continue to reward pull-happy power hitters, instead of forcing hitters to adapt to spray the ball over the field. Isn't that against what baseball should be trying to do?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.


No, No, Ten thousand times NO! The teams ARE NOT pushing hitters to take this approach. They want their hitters to hit it over the shift.

The teams have a micro focus and have determined that they can win more games with this unbearably dull approach. That's why we need MLB to take a macro approach and recognize that making the game more entertaining, even if that's to the chagrin of the MLBPA, its members and/or specific teams, is the single most important item on the agenda.
   90. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 14, 2021 at 10:48 PM (#6008603)
That's an easy one to handle. $2 Million fine if the back of the dirt is found to be beyond the allowable limit. (I confess, I have no idea if that's even a uniform distance by rule or not.)

right, because they strictly enforce everything else to the inch.


   91. bunyon Posted: March 15, 2021 at 08:57 AM (#6008623)
Re: 84. To me, that just confirms what we've all suspected for years. The rule book strike zone isn't called by anyone.
   92. SoSH U at work Posted: March 15, 2021 at 09:08 AM (#6008629)

Re: 84. To me, that just confirms what we've all suspected for years. The rule book strike zone isn't called by anyone.


Of course not. The rule book calls for a much higher strike zone than anything that's been called.

I'm with snapper and others. It's possible the robo ump at home will lead to a better game. But it's just a guess.
   93. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: March 15, 2021 at 09:10 AM (#6008632)
Rob Manfred's entire life is a solution in search of a problem.
   94. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: March 15, 2021 at 09:35 AM (#6008637)
No, No, Ten thousand times NO! The teams ARE NOT pushing hitters to take this approach. They want their hitters to hit it over the shift.

The teams have a micro focus and have determined that they can win more games with this unbearably dull approach. That's why we need MLB to take a macro approach and recognize that making the game more entertaining, even if that's to the chagrin of the MLBPA, its members and/or specific teams, is the single most important item on the agenda.


Yes, one hundred percent agree.

I evidently did not communicate well in my previous post: I was emphatically agreeing with the sentiment that rewarding pull-happy power hitters is the opposite of what MLB policy should be. That's why I went on to talk about flattening the seams and thickening the bats: the All Three True Outcomes, All the Time strategy is correct strategy under current playing conditions, and teams and players will continue to eagerly pursue more and more of it regardless of where the fielders line up; the fielders are irrelevant because the only goal is to either hit a home run or draw a walk. The only way to steer them away from that philosophy is to render it ineffective and counterproductive. By, for example, altering the equipment to make it a lot harder for pitchers to get a lot of strikeouts, and for all but the best power hitters to hit a lot of home runs.

I don't think deadening the ball will accomplish much of what we want to accomplish. It will reduce home runs, yes, but it will also turn more balls in play into outs instead of hits, and too many balls in play are outs already. And it will do nothing to reduce strikeouts. Unless you deaden the ball so much that most hitters give up on trying to hit home runs every time up, in which case you're not trading home runs for doubles and triples; you're trading home runs for outs. That would suck.

You can't make pitchers stop throwing hard, but you can handicap their ability to make the ball move so much at 90+ MPH. That would reduce strikeouts. Some league, somewhere, should try it, at least.
   95. dejarouehg Posted: March 15, 2021 at 02:56 PM (#6008671)
That's an easy one to handle. $2 Million fine if the back of the dirt is found to be beyond the allowable limit. (I confess, I have no idea if that's even a uniform distance by rule or not.)

right, because they strictly enforce everything else to the inch.


Well, at some point, if the owners agree (since the rule enforcers are their employee,) that this is in the best intere$t$, then they will agree to its enforcement. If not, then everyone is just doing business as usual and baseball will continue to abandon future fans in droves.
   96. dejarouehg Posted: March 15, 2021 at 02:56 PM (#6008672)
That's an easy one to handle. $2 Million fine if the back of the dirt is found to be beyond the allowable limit. (I confess, I have no idea if that's even a uniform distance by rule or not.)

right, because they strictly enforce everything else to the inch.


Well, at some point, if the owners agree (since the rule enforcers are their employee,) that this is in the best intere$t$, then they will agree to its enforcement. If not, then everyone is just doing business as usual and baseball will continue to abandon future fans in droves.
   97. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: March 16, 2021 at 03:02 PM (#6008825)
The moment an "infield dirt" rule is passed, teams will start changing the depth of their infield dirt. It'll start creeping out into RF.


I don't necessarily think that would be bad. A little variation in parks might be fun. Grass slows balls down more than dirt, so maybe a few more hits scoot through. Shifts should not be banned, but this is a harmless measure to me.

All of the others: "meh", except obviously a pitch clock is badly needed.
   98. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 16, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6008838)

I don't think deadening the ball will accomplish much of what we want to accomplish. It will reduce home runs, yes, but it will also turn more balls in play into outs instead of hits, and too many balls in play are outs already.


I dont think you're thinking this through all the way. The idea is that deadening the ball ala what they did in Korean league is that it will also decrease strike outs. This was mentioned in another ongoing thread. Not sure how it works, but that's the starting assumption.

OK.? If you take out say 1/2 the KOs, that's 10% of current ABs, you turn all those into balls in play.

If BABIP remains at .30 then you've just increased overall league ba by 30 pts.

Even if BABIP is not the same as you and McCoy (I think) are suggesting. What then .250 babip?

Even if we assume a nonsensical .25 BABIP, you've still increase league ba from .250 to .275.

So I totally disagree with what you're saying here.

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