Changes in Baseball
March 30, 2017
Filed under Sports
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Over the past few years, Major League Baseball has instituted some new changes in an attempt to make the average game shorter to attract more fans. The newest changes are the introduction of the international tiebreaker rule in the Minor Leagues and the alteration of the intentional walk in the majors.
“I think it’s quite interesting, because personally I don’t like when the time length hinders the game and takes away from the quality,” said Patrick Gallagher (‘19).
The international tiebreaker rule takes effect in the 10th inning. The player that made the last out in the previous inning will be placed at second base, creating an easier opportunity for teams to score runs and end the game in extra innings.
“It shows the difference between the two teams in pressure situations,” said Danielle Williams (‘18).
The newly implemented rule and rules like it are used by the Australian Baseball League, the World Baseball Softball Confederation, and the World Baseball Classic.
“I feel like they shouldn’t have that because I feel like it takes away from the game because once you put a runner on second, to start out an inning, it’s a whole lot easier to score. And I think it’s hard enough to score a run anyways, I don’t think we should give teams anything,” said Mitch Benson (‘18).
The intentional walk is when a pitcher throws the opposing batter 4 pitches extremely outside the strike zone to walk the batter. It is used by pitchers when first base is open, and they want to try and force a double play from the next batter rather than risk letting up a hit to the previous one.
The MLB has decided to make the intentional walk a signal from the team’s manager to the plate umpire. The umpire will then tell the batter to take first base without any pitches thrown.
“I like the intentional walk rule because it saves pitches for the pitcher and allows them to pitch for longer,” said Braxton Henley (‘18).
The intentional walk is a tradition in baseball, but it is not used that often in games, and doesn’t make a big difference in the length of the game.
“I think that how they changed the rule wasn’t very smart because when you intentionally walk a batter, and you make the pitcher throw the pitches, it leaves room for a mistake by the pitcher. And if the pitcher makes a mistake, then the batter can possibly hit the ball and end up with a ball in play, or a base hit, or a home run. Or, there could be a pass ball, which could let other runners advance on base,” said Joey Battilega (‘19).
One of the major reasons people don’t watch baseball is because of how long the average game lasts, just under three hours. In an effort to get more people to watch, Major League Baseball has been making these changes to shorten the average length of the game.
“I think it’s a good idea because recently baseball games have been getting longer and we need a way to keep the crowd more into the game,” said Justin Clark (‘17).
Although their changes do shorten the game, it only takes off a couple minutes, which ultimately doesn’t make a huge difference.
“I think it takes away from the game and if people think the game is too slow they just shouldn’t watch it,” said Jared Wilson (‘17)