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Major changes to MLB reportedly discussed by Manfred, MLBPA


WeatherWonk

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Based on several news reports, Manfred apparently did propose some specific changes to baseball. This happened in January. Some of these would be graduated in over a few years. These are the most prominent.

-require a relief pitcher to face at least three batters

-institute the DH in the NL

-reduce a team's drafting position if they don't achieve an average number of wins over a specific number of seasons

-reducing the overall number of mound visits from the dugout in the course of a game.

-increasing rosters to 26 and reducing the September roster size to 28. 

The union has also made proposals about changing service length designations. Apparently, there is nothing related to banning infield shifts.

Here is one of the articles I found on it.

https://nypost.com/2019/02/05/mlb-union-propose-changes-to-rules-that-could-alter-baseball/

What do you all think of these changes? Personally, I am onboard with requiring pitchers to face three batters and with instituting the DH in the NL. I also like the roster size changes. I am ambivalent on the mound visits proposal.

 

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1 minute ago, arch stanton said:

Hate the 3 batter rule

Hate the DH

One of the articles I read pointed out that baseball has the fewest come-from-behind wins of any of the major sports. And, obviously, those create a lot of excitement. The lack of these is supposedly attributable to the increase in the dominance of the relief pitcher.

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I don't care about the other major sports or anybody else's sense of excitement. If you start knee jerking rule changes every time the wind blows you end up with the tuck rule and in the grasp calls and you spend all your time watching officials huddle up and listening to "rules experts" babble about minutia. What's next, a clock?

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1 hour ago, WeatherWonk said:

-reducing the overall number of mound visits from the dugout in the course of a game.

-increasing rosters to 26 and reducing the September roster size to 28. 

I can get behind these two, the others I think might be a mistake, or not the right solution to the problem they are trying to address. 

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4 minutes ago, m0nkey said:

Why do pitchers have to hit? We should keep one league different from the other because it’s been that way forever so no need to change it?

Why should any defensive player have to hit? Why not just have five or six designated hitters cycle through the batters box when your team is up? We could then line the field with the best defenders at every position and dramatically increase the roster size to make the union happy. This might take another 200 years but it will happen eventually I imagine.

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I don’t know how to get the game back to what it was like when I was growing up, but those games were simply better and the only reason I feel that way is the pace of play.  People that are afraid of changing the game are looking at it backwards.  This game has somehow changed itself.  In the 80’s a game was two and a half hours long.  Now it is over three hours long.  

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1 minute ago, Stradling said:

I don’t know how to get the game back to what it was like when I was growing up, but those games were simply better and the only reason I feel that way is the pace of play.  People that are afraid of changing the game are looking at it backwards.  This game has somehow changed itself.  In the 80’s a game was two and a half hours long.  Now it is over three hours long.  

Fewer teams? The talent was less watered down.

Definitely fewer pitching changes. While I'm not sure about a "3-hitter" rule for relief pitchers, I can see the reasoning, to keep the game moving along.

 

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The whole style of play now is just boring.  Chicks might dig the long ball, but slogging through a bunch of strike outs and pop ups waiting for a home run is boring.

Think about the 2002 team that scored a ton of runs by stringing hits together.  With the style of play and the shift, that just doesn't happen anymore.  Contact hitters barely exist, they are replaced with low BA oafs that occasionally make contact and hit it a long way.

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I think the game needs to evolve, its time.  Todays world is much more fast paced instant gratification and baseball is not that.  It doesnt matter if we can no longer compare it to historical greatness in my view, we no longer live in that world.  Baseball must catch up to the times, or its going to become part of history it cherishes. 

Now that the rant is over, I like most of these actually, but one thing i think is a bit odd is the assertions that slow play is always the pitchers.  We put pitch clocks, limit changes, mound visits... all things im OK with, but there are also batters that do the macarena between every pitch as well.   Its not as bad as it once was for the most part but in youth leagues for example they cannot leave and walk around the batters box and must keep one foot in the box to keep the game flowing.  If they do not they are charged a strike just as pitchers get charged a ball for violations. 

@Stradling is right though, the game has changed, the rules need to change to bring it back.  Excessive analytics, shifts, the rise of the one batter relief pitchers specialist, the loss of baserunning, loss of fundamental hitting skills, so many things you can point to that have sapped the energy out of the game.  Ive made the joke that its become live action strat-o-matic on many occasions, and i think its pretty accurate.  

The one thing i wish there was more of in that list was anti-tanking stuff.  The game needs a legit salary cap AND floor.    There are 10 teams in this league spending under 100 million.  Only 12 that are above league average (which by the way is only 121 M), even though thats skewed some by the extremes.   The whole handful of teams with no budget restraints to rule them all thing has to be ended.  As ive said before if the Angels cant compete with the supposed big dogs money wise, then who can really? 

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I’d be in favor of DH in both leagues and rules about shifting.  The umpire should control the batter and the time he takes.   

Ive also heard there’s an anti tanking rule being proposed.   If you win less than 70 games two years in a row you get dropped ten spots in the draft order.  If it happens a third year it’s with a 15 or 20 spot drop.   

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34 minutes ago, Stradling said:

I don’t know how to get the game back to what it was like when I was growing up, but those games were simply better and the only reason I feel that way is the pace of play.  People that are afraid of changing the game are looking at it backwards.  This game has somehow changed itself.  In the 80’s a game was two and a half hours long.  Now it is over three hours long.  

As a kid i was at an Angels game in 62 that was played in 1hr 47m. Angels lost 2-0. I remember Ted Bowsfield was the Angels pitcher. More games like that would have fans crying that they didn't get their money's worth.

 

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-require a relief pitcher to face at least three batters

Interesting...nothing kills momentum of a game like watching an endless parade of mound visits and warm up tosses

-reduce a team's drafting position if they don't achieve an average number of wins over a specific number of seasons

Not sure I'm in favor of this...but if we start to reach the point where half the teams are tanking/rebuilding might be something to keep an eye on. In general I think there are bigger issues related to competitive balance than this.

-institute the DH in the NL

why hasn't this been done already

-reducing the overall number of mound visits from the dugout in the course of a game

The 6 visits this year seemed to help...not sure many teams bumped up against that cap anyways

-increasing rosters to 26 and reducing the September roster size to 28

Sure...why not...it becomes less of an issue if you remove the DH in the NL and require relief pitchers to go 3 batters so this is more about offering the union some benefits

 

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15 minutes ago, Stradling said:

I’d be in favor of DH in both leagues and rules about shifting.  The umpire should control the batter and the time he takes.   

Ive also heard there’s an anti tanking rule being proposed.   If you win less than 70 games two years in a row you get dropped ten spots in the draft order.  If it happens a third year it’s with a 15 or 20 spot drop.   

i would 100% support this, unless a team can absolutely prove they cannot do more than they did financially and made their best possible effort.. which would require them opening their books, at least to the league offices.

I am though completely on the fence about shifts.  To me its part of the evolution of the game, do we limit formations in the NFL or picks in the NBA?  if a team wants to take such drastic action the other side needs to figure out how to counter it.  Yes its easy to say just bunt or go the other way but of course thats hard to so on an inside slider, i get that, but adjustments have to be made.    If you want to limit it i would suggest something like saying a player on the left side cannot go further right than the second base bag or some invisible line splitting the field in 2 or something, or that an outfielder cant go further than 2/3 one side or the other.

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