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New Baseball Rules

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New Baseball Rules

By: Couper Allen

 

Major League Baseball has announced new rule changes, most of them meant to improve the pace of play in the game. There is no stupid “runners begin at second base in extra inning” rule, no wacky uprooting of the game, just tiny tweaks. Let’s take a look at the changes.

 

 

  • “The start of a no-pitch intentional walk, allowing the defensive team’s manager to signal a decision to the home plate umpire to intentionally walk the batter. Following the signal of the manager’s intention, the umpire will immediately award first base to the batter.”

 

While I still think it is stupid, ultimately it is not that big of a deal. An intentional walk happens just once every 2.6 games, and the chances of something amazing happening like this is pretty rare. It seems like managers will have the option to make the signal and could still decide to have the pitcher toss four balls in the “unintentional intentional walk” if they choose.

 

  • When a manager has exhausted his challenges for the game, Crew Chiefs may now invoke replay review for non-home run calls beginning in the eighth inning instead of the seventh inning.

This is some of the loosey-goosiness I am talking about with replay. Why do we allow umpires to just use replay whenever they want in the late innings? I understand that we want umpires to get the call right, but it seems like allowing their discretion has the potential for abuse. What gets one call reviewed but another not? At least this new rule change will limit the innings that allow this kind of discretion but I would like to see more clarity from baseball on this.

 

  • requires base coaches to position themselves behind the line of the coach’s box closest to home plate and the front line that runs parallel to the foul line prior to each pitch. Once a ball is put in play, a base coach is allowed to leave the coach’s box to signal a player so long as the coach does not interfere with play.

Sure, fine. I didn’t know this was a big issue, but I can see them wanting to protect coaches safety since the death of coach Mike Coolbaugh.

 

I can see why these new rules might be needed, but this “loosely goosed” form of the game will change things drastically. I will be super interested to see how this season turns out.

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New Baseball Rules