Photo credit: usatoday.com
By Amaury Pi-González
Major League Baseball (MLB) is trying to reduce the number of pitching changes and cut down the average time on each game. Beginning next season that requires pitchers to either face a minimum of three batters in an appearance or pitch to the end of a half-inning, with exceptions for injuries and illnesses.
Currently, Rule 5.10(f) states that the starting pitcher must pitch to one batter until that batter is put out or reaches base. Rule 5.10(g) states that any reliever must pitch to one batter until that batter is put out or reaches base, or the offensive team is put out, with exceptions for injuries and illnesses.
The 2020 change will likely cause a decline in the number of specialists, the kind that poses the situation where you bring one pitcher to face one hitter like lefty vs. lefty for a one out match-up.
Basically, the argument persist that baseball games are too long,and most people do not sit down to watch and listen to the whole game.
Question: If you go to a movie that you have not seen, and you know this movie is over three hours, would you go and see it? The one beauty about a game of baseball is that you know when it is scheduled to start, but you do not know when it is going to end.
The way I see it a Hollywood film editor takes more and more scenes from the movie to the point that it takes away from the original story. Nowadays, there are many ways you can see what happened in a game by highlights of all the action in just a few minutes, and unlike decades past, you do not have to wait to come home to see the 11 o’clock news sports segment, but in the palm of your hand with your phone.
There are other issues on the table. Before the All Star Game this July in Cleveland, Astros pitcher Justin Verlander said that the ball baseball is using is a “joke”. Also, during the final day of the Winter Meetings in San Diego, a study concluded that a variance of stitching and lack of drag in the baseball contributed this past season to another historic surge in home runs. So Verlander is correct as we do not need another attorney to translate.
In the words of an old Chinese curse, “we live in interesting times”. Yes, this also applies to baseball.