Slow Ballplayers/Fans Of Tennis Replays Rejoice At MLB’s Latest Plan

One of my favorite things about a baseball manager’s tantrum is when he covers up home plate with dirt. I don’t know why. It makes me laugh every time. Soon, in the independent Atlantic League, a robot might have to clean it off. That’s just one of many changes coming to the league this year.

OK, I’m exaggerating, but only slightly. A computerized balls and strikes program called, “Track Man” will be used to assist the home plate umpire. This is a trial run by Major League Baseball. The umpire will still be responsible for dirty looks, yelling into the dugout, and throwing players out of the game.

The new program, and the partnership with the Atlantic League, is Major League Baseball’s effort to change the game for the better. I like Track Man. Cool idea, bitchin’ name, and Lord knows I can see at home when the ump has a blown a ball/strike call. Maybe, it’s time we help him see it too.

Bigger bases? Yeah, no. They’re fine the way they are and managers don’t want to steal much anyway lately. Also, Manny Machado will still find a way to find the back of someone’s leg on an 18-inch bag, just as well as he can find it on a 15-incher.

But, the shorter distance would give some of the slower players an idea to try to steal. At least once before they’re thrown out, seven feet from the base they left. Former catchers like Mickey Tettleton have to be wondering how many bags they could steal under the new rules…no they don’t and no, they aren’t.

Also from the brain trust at MLB, another two feet from the mound to home plate. Somehow, making it harder to throw strikes will help speed up the game…uh…no it won’t.

No mound visits unless a pitching change is being made. Can’t argue with this one.

Pitchers would be required to face a minimum of three batters. Totally moronic. What’s next? A fielder has to play eight innings? A manager gets to use his personnel the best way he can to win a game. Period.

No more defensive shifts: two players on the left side of the infield, two on the right. This is crap, too. If you can stop the other guy from getting a hit by putting all seven fielders in right field, you do it. End of story. And if you don’t like it, learn how to hit the ball the other way. Why don’t we make that a rule? Or mandate a certain number of bunts every game?

Hey, I appreciate the effort here, really I do. But some of these are just plain dumb. Let’s ditch screwing with the field and focus on the stopwatch and the definition of the strike zone. It’s that simple.

One comment

  • Jonathan Coupal

    Agree with almost all your observations except your opposition to the proposal that a pitcher has to face at least 3 batters. The constant turnover in pitchers is a drag on the game. (Not sure I totally buy it but it is worthy of consideration).

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