1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday “Baseball’s New Rules-Different Game Now”
“Baseball Rules Changes:
It’s a small sample size, a couple of weeks into the season, so draw your conclusions.
But everyone will be talking about the MLB Rule Changes imposed by Commissioner Rob Manfred to speed the game along.
The Pitch Clock; the Batter’s Box Rule; the Pickoff Moves; the Stolen Bases and the Shift Ban rule.
As we roll into the 2nd week of the season, the pitchers seem rushed and uncomfortable. The hitters seem settled into a new routine. The base runners are swiping bases at a record pace. And the games are shorter, really shorter.
Baseball has given us the Babe Ruth era (60HR). It gave us the dead ball era. It bought us Ted Williams (.406) season. Bob Gibson arrived with (1.12ERA) in the 60s. We had the Bonds-McGuire-Sosa steroid era.
Here’s a quick synopsis of where we are at this hour as the Padres head to Atlanta to start a road trip.
Last year, games played at (3:01) in length. Games thru this weekend were being played at (2:35) per outing, a 26-minute improvement.
The shift ban has not really changed what is going on at home plate yet. Team batting averages as of this hour are at (.250), a bump up from the last three seasons (.243-244-245)..all shift years.
The highest batting average since 2000, was a steroid driven (.270) mark in that year of 2000..
The all time single season record was (.296) all the way back to the Hack Wilson years of 1930.
Dead ball batting averages were as low as (.226) in the 1920s.
This season’s marks find the Cardinals with a (324) team average so far this spring, followed by Toronto (294)..White Sox (288)..Tampa Bay (284).
Sixteen teams are hitting under (.250) led by the Royals’ anemic (170) mark, the A’s (201)..and Detroit’s (204).
The limits on pickoff moves have driven stolen bases numbers thru the roof. In the first day of the season last Thursday, teams went (21-for-23) on stolen bases. Last year’s opening day, there were just 5-swipes on base paths. A-la-Lou Brock, look for games to change because of the limits on pick off moves and the daring of those guys taking leads. It’a already happened.
The pitch clock has worked because pitchers went thru the spring training games knowing what they had to do.
Aside from Manny Machado’s ejection for misinterpreting the (:08) rule, there have been few ‘automatic strike calls’ made on batters, and even fewer ‘ball calls’ against pitchers
Balks seem non existent, at least in week one of the schedule.
Faster games, speed on the basepaths, and improved batting averages all seem positive .Small sample sizes for sure but a trend I think you can embrace, to make the game better.