baseball rule changes for 2023

On Friday major league baseball made some expected rule changes official for 2023, for the most part over the objections of the players. I wrote about these when the lockout ended, but since they’re official now I thought it worth revisiting.

  • baseballThe pitch clock. I’ve seen this in other forms of the game, for example, in women’s softball. Obviously it has been tested in minor league games, but I haven’t had the opportunity to watch any of those. When I did see it, I found it annoying and distracting. And there’s all kinds of fine print as to when it is reset, when it is suspended, and so forth. I think it’s adding an unnecessary layer of complexity.
  • Increased base size. Base sizes will increase from fifteen to eighteen inches square. I don’t really like the idea, but if it helps reduce injuries (that’s debatable) perhaps it’s not so bad.
  • A ban on the shift. I like this one. When the pitcher throws the ball the infielders must be on the dirt, two on each side of second base. The idea of the third baseman playing on the grass between first and second base is just goofy.

These changes don’t fundamentally alter the nature of the game, but they do make it more complex and they add to the number of rules the umpires have to know. I’m not sure the result will be worth the implementation.



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