As all baseball fans are probably aware, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced earlier this week that there will be experimental MLB rule changes implemented in minor league baseball this season. The announcement was met with nearly unanimous disdain amongst fans, among all demographics. These changes seem to have united baseball fans everywhere in their dislike of the commissioner.
Some of the changes just seem silly, like increasing the size of the bases. Another one that seems strange is limiting the number of pick-off throws a pitcher can make. Perhaps the one drawing the biggest attention is the idea of limiting the shifting defensive players are allowed to make. This particular rule would have a significant impact if it were ever to find its way to the MLB level.
These rules can and will be debated throughout the 2021 season by fans everywhere. Perhaps some may advance to serious consideration by Manfred and his cronies. Others may die a nice, quiet death in the minors. However, we believe that there are other changes that could really revolutionize the game.
MLB Rule Changes: Check These Out
The staff at OTH put their heads together and asked themselves one question: What MLB rule changes could we make to really spice up the game? What changes could we make that every fan would unquestionably love? It was a tall order, but we did it! Here are some changes that would help restore baseball to its rightful place atop the sporting world.
Rule Change #5 – Solving the Extra Inning Crisis
Manfred and company seem very concerned about long games and their toll on a pitching staff. Yeah, the runner on second base to start an inning is one way to help solve this problem. We are okay with doing that for the 10th inning, however, we thought baseball could use something just a little more creative. If the score is still tied after 10 innings, there would be a coin flip, with the visiting team calling heads or tails. Then, we actually offer two options, each of which would make the game a lot more fun for the fans.
In this scenario, each team would pick three hitters to go against the other team’s three hitters in a game of home run derby. Each hitter would get five swings, for a team total of 15 swings. If the game remains tied, the same six batters hit again, only using their opposite hand. Thus, teams would do well to have at least one switch-hitting power hitter. If the game is still tied after the second round, each team would select the weakest player from the opposing team, and they would arm-wrestle. How exciting is that?
This option would be incredibly exciting. Each team would pick their best nine players and play whiffle ball. They would play as many innings as needed to break the tie. The only rule here would be that pitchers are not allowed to pitch. We think fans would really love to see their favorite players in a game of whiffle ball. If the game is still tied after three innings, they default to the arm-wrestling contest.
Rule Change #4 – A Different Way To Shift
This is one of those MLB rule changes that fans will really adapt to and learn quickly. It will literally bring the fans closer to the game. Seeing as how today’s game is dominated by home runs, we devised a way to help the pitcher out once in a while. Any time a team hits two home runs in an inning, the defense can put 3 additional fielders in the bleachers. They can catch any ball that leaves the playing field, and the batter will be out.
The only stipulation is that these three defenders will not be permitted to wear gloves. So, the fans will feel right at home. This shift will no doubt discourage batters from trying to hit home runs. That will surely upgrade the game, eliminating some of those boring home runs.
Rule Change # 3 – A Serious Safety Issue
One of the proposed MLB rule changes concerns increasing the size of the bases. This got us to thinking about safety, especially about those pesky plays at first base, with its possibility of nasty collisions. So, how about this idea? How about adding that beautiful neon orange base at first base just for the runner? That would eliminate the possibility of collisions almost completely.
As an added incentive to infielders, we would give the hitter second base if the first baseman crosses over to the orange base. Talk about incentives for infielders to make better throws! So, this rule not only makes the game safer; it also increases the quality of the game! Brilliant, huh? Hey, we take MLB rule changes seriously!
Rule Change #2 – We Don’t Need A Pitch Clock!
Many fans (but not all) have expressed concerns about the pace of the game. One of the proposed MLB rule changes is installing a pitch clock. The brain trust at OTH has a better idea (we usually do). We know you will all appreciate this one. If not, we seriously have to question your sense of adventure and hope you will reconsider.
One of the base umpires will have a stop-watch, and time the pitcher between pitches. If a pitcher takes over 20 seconds, the umpire will issue a warning. The pitcher gets three warnings per inning. If he is late after the third warning, the team batting will be allowed to replace him with their batting practice pitcher. The BP pitcher will face three hitters before the actual pitcher gets back on the mound. We see a lot of incentive here, and the pace of the game will definitely quicken.
Rule Change #1- And The Winner Is…..Drumroll Please
Imagine, if you will, World Series, Game Seven. Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx, with the Bombers facing the Dodgers. Bottom of the ninth, runners on first and third, two outs. Dodgers leading 4-3, with Kenley Jansen on the hill. D.J. LeMahieu is all that stands between the Dodgers and a repeat championship.
LaMahieu works the count to full, and with the crowd on its collective feet, Jansen delivers the pitch – and misses by inches. The bases are loaded, and Aaron Judge is coming to the dish. The drama has built to a fever pitch. Across the world, fans are on the edge of their seats, as Judge approaches the plate.
Suddenly Dodgers manager Dave Roberts waves at the home plate umpire, and signals “20” with his fingers. The umpire points to the Yankees’ bench and tells Aaron Boone that the game is over, as Roberts has invoked his one allotted rollover per game. Just like that, the Dodgers repeat as champions and celebrate madly.
Yes, that’s right baseball fans. America has fallen in love with the “rollover rule.” It has been such a popular feature of spring training. we cannot imagine just watching it disappear when the games actually mean something. Wow, what a breathtaking end to the Fall Classic!
MLB Rule Changes: Just The Beginning
We are committed to helping baseball resurrect its image and climb the sports mountain all the way to the top. So, we have proposed these amazing MLB rule changes. However, we will never rest until we have made baseball a game that every single American just cannot resist. We hope you will join us in our quest, and encourage you to share your ideas as well. There must be many more MLB rule changes lurking in the minds of fans. Let’s work together, and help Manfred clean up the mess he has made. Who’s with us?
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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images