new baseball rules for 2023 (and other musings)

Baseball is instituting several new rules for the 2023 season. I wrote about them before the 2022 season when they were just proposals, but now that they are official and set in stone I thought they were worth revisiting. I thank Jorge Castillo for his article on the topic in the Los Angeles Times last week.

  • Pitch clock. I’m not sure how I feel about this. It may be OK, but it depends in part on whether the clock will be visible to the television viewer. I’ve seen this in women’s college softball and found it distracting. Still, I regularly watch women’s college basketball where the shot clock is an integral part of the game (as it is in all of basketball). So perhaps it will be all right.
  • baseballPickoff limit. This is a limit on the number of times a pitcher can throw to first when a runner is on base. Castillo says this is tied to the pitch clock. I think this makes sense. It should help speed up the game.
  • Ban on the shift. I like this one. What in the hell is the third baseman doing over there between first and second base? Let’s ensure that the players play their positions.
  • Larger base size. The idea is to make it easier for the baserunner to steal a base. To me this removes some of the finesse from the game. Baseball needs finesse.

As a Dodger fan, I suppose I need to comment on Trevor Bauer, the elephant in the room. My take: Do not bring him back. Do not even think about it. End of discussion.

Dodgers pitchers and catchers report on February 13 or 15, depending on whether or not they are participating in the World Baseball Classic (WBC). I am counting the days. Speaking of the WBC, don’t get me started on that. I hate it. It distracts from spring training and team cohesion. Opinions differ, but I believe it can have lingering effects into the regular season.

What’s important, however, is that we have a full season of baseball in 2023. I’m looking forward to that.

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