Baseball Is Broken (on the field, proposed rule changes, attendance, etc.)

LogansDad

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I wish they’d set the pitch clock at :20, runners or no runners, and leave it at that. Simple.
I agree. It did it's job and by the end of the season it had almost no effect on the games because the players had adjusted to it so well. Why they want to fuck with it again makes no sense to me.

And I say this as someone who loves the pitch clock and was an advocate for it before they put it in MLB.
 

jon abbey

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It can't be helping pitchers' health, agreed that they should leave it at 20 seconds. People like me will still fast forward between pitches but pitchers need recovery time.
 

Max Power

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The pitch clock with the bases empty is 15 seconds and games never seemed rushed. I see no issue in dropping things with runners on from 20 to 18. Pitchers just lose a couple of seconds of holding the ball time to try to mess with the timing of potential base stealers.
 

jayhoz

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The pitch clock with the bases empty is 15 seconds and games never seemed rushed. I see no issue in dropping things with runners on from 20 to 18. Pitchers just lose a couple of seconds of holding the ball time to try to mess with the timing of potential base stealers.
To what end though? There are roughly 300 pitches per game. If every one of those pitches used to take 20 seconds and will only take 18 in the future that would shorten games by 10 mins. Knock that down to just the pitches with runners on base and just the pitches that went the full 20 seconds in the past and how much time could it possibly save? I'm guessing a minute a game if I'm being super generous.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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To what end though? There are roughly 300 pitches per game. If every one of those pitches used to take 20 seconds and will only take 18 in the future that would shorten games by 10 mins. Knock that down to just the pitches with runners on base and just the pitches that went the full 20 seconds in the past and how much time could it possibly save? I'm guessing a minute a game if I'm being super generous.
But most of them didn't go the full 20 seconds, they would make the pitch wit 2-7 seconds left on the clock. Yes, dropping the limit by 2 seconds will help, but I don't think you will see a 300 second drop from that change (1 second per pitch). I do think you will see more Automatic Balls (and strikes) called due to the change. And I'm a huge fan of the clock but I hate the automatic balls/strikes
 

jayhoz

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But most of them didn't go the full 20 seconds, they would make the pitch wit 2-7 seconds left on the clock. Yes, dropping the limit by 2 seconds will help, but I don't think you will see a 300 second drop from that change (1 second per pitch). I do think you will see more Automatic Balls (and strikes) called due to the change. And I'm a huge fan of the clock but I hate the automatic balls/strikes
That was my point.
 

Max Power

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To what end though? There are roughly 300 pitches per game. If every one of those pitches used to take 20 seconds and will only take 18 in the future that would shorten games by 10 mins. Knock that down to just the pitches with runners on base and just the pitches that went the full 20 seconds in the past and how much time could it possibly save? I'm guessing a minute a game if I'm being super generous.
It smooths out the flow of the game. Pitchers needed a little longer to check the runner when the bases weren't empty, but 5 extra seconds was too long. A lot of the time it ended up with the batter just standing there while the pitcher held the ball. In the old days the hitter would have called time out. Maybe 3 extra seconds is the sweet spot. We'll find out next year.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Stark in the Athletic on the success of the new rules:
https://theathletic.com/5068574/2023/11/17/mlb-rules-changes-pitch-clock-impact/

You know your sport has issues when even its own Hall of Famers say they can barely watch it. But that’s where baseball was — until 2023, when Rule Change Baseball arrived to change everything.
“It was tough watching the game,” Hall of Fame slugger Andre Dawson admitted last July in Cooperstown, surrounded by a significant number of baseball legends who felt just like he did.
But that was in the Before Times. Suddenly, Dawson found himself watching a sport with true rhythm again, where athleticism was valued again, where ground balls were actually hits again, where runners motored from first to third again. So suddenly, Andre Dawson was interested again.
I like how Sword puts it here-- the game now "drives forward with a momentum that maintains your attention”:

Rule Change Baseball. It has brought us back much of what we love most about this sport — but without getting gimmicky enough to where it felt, said one club official, like “you were creating a game show.”
“The game is faster now, and more athletic, and it drives forward with a momentum that maintains your attention,” said Morgan Sword, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations, whose department has overseen and driven these changes. “And because of that, I think the best elements of the game really shine.
“Maybe the best part of it is that those elements have always been there. We haven’t introduced something novel to baseball. We’ve really just chipped away at some of the delays and the dead time around what’s always been a wonderful game.”
“I think the best part,” Theo Epstein said, “was how the rule changes themselves faded into the background so quickly — and what came to the fore was the best part of the game itself, the action and the players showing their athleticism. That all came to the fore, and what disappeared was some dead time.”
Some of the numbers since the changes:
How routine did the 3 1/2-hour game used to be? So routine that in 2022, there were 232 nine-inning games that lasted at least 3:30. This year, there were nine — four of them in September, after rosters expanded. And in seven of those nine, at least 16 runs were scored. So at least there was a good excuse. But one more thing … We’ve killed the four-hour game! How many nine-inning games lasted four hours or longer in 2023? That answer is … zero. That’s down from 39 two years ago and 19 in 2022.
How little impact did pitch clock violations have on late-game drama? From Opening Day through July 17, there were 14 pitch-clock violations that resulted in either an automatic walk or an automatic strikeout in the ninth inning or later. But after that, there was just one, by all 30 teams combined — an Angel Hernandez ball-four call against Astros reliever Bryan Abreu on Aug. 6.
The postseason games went faster and violations were not a factor at all:
There were 40 games played in this postseason. The only one that lasted four hours or longer was an 11-inning classic, in Game 1 of the World Series. Which means there wasn’t a single nine-inning game of four hours or more in the entire postseason — for only the third time in the last 30 postseasons.
The other two years with no four-hour nine-inning marathons: 1998 and 2006. That’s a long time ago. There were also fewer games then.
And how did that compare with the very recent past? How about this. Total number of four-hour nine-inning games over the previous four postseasons: 26. This year: zero.
During the World Series, Fox never popped the ticking pitch clock onto its screen. Not for one pitch. Did anyone even notice? In a possibly related development, there wasn’t a single violation during the World Series. There were only seven violations in the postseason. And of the 23 postseason games NL teams took part in, there was just one violation. Amazing.
Stolen bases:
There were 21 teams that swiped at least 100 bases. Two years ago, there were five. As recently as 2022, there were only eight.
Ronald Acuña Jr. stole 73 — the most since 2007, when Jose Reyes stole 78.
Six players stole 40 or more — for the first time in a decade.
And 51 players stole 20 or more — the most since 1989.
So where does this go from here? It wouldn’t surprise anyone if half the analytics departments in baseball are looking at that 80 percent success rate and thinking: We should have run a lot more than we did. So will stolen bases go up or down next year? A lot of people we’ve surveyed would take the over.
The average time between balls in play dropped by nearly 30 seconds — from 3 minutes, 42 seconds last year to 3:13 this year. That’s a level baseball hasn’t seen since 2009, according to Baseball Reference.
A positive impact that many didn't anticipate:
One of baseball’s most fun plays to watch: When a great athlete leads off first base … and a single rockets through the right side of the infield … and that runner fires up the jets to round second and burn for third base … while the right fielder, the dude with the best arm of any position player on the diamond, charges that single and tries to throw him out.
That’s this sport at its essence. And Rule Change Baseball brought back the old-fashioned first-to-third at a level we haven’t seen in decades.

With a runner on first base — meaning the first baseman almost always had to hold that runner on — the batting average of left-handed hitters was up 45 points on pulled ground balls, according to Statcast.
And the upshot of that was that runners went first to third on 31.8 percent of all singles hit this season, according to Baseball Reference.
So what’s the big deal about that? According to Baseball Reference’s Katie Sharp, that’s the highest rate of first-to-thirds on singles in nearly 30 years, since a 31.9 percent rate in 1995.
IMO, the rule changes have been a huge success-- now finish the job with the home plate ump getting an audio signal when the pitch hits the strike zone.
 

luckiestman

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Stark in the Athletic on the success of the new rules:
https://theathletic.com/5068574/2023/11/17/mlb-rules-changes-pitch-clock-impact/



I like how Sword puts it here-- the game now "drives forward with a momentum that maintains your attention”:





Some of the numbers since the changes:




The postseason games went faster and violations were not a factor at all:




Stolen bases:




A positive impact that many didn't anticipate:


IMO, the rule changes have been a huge success-- now finish the job with the home plate ump getting an audio signal when the pitch hits the strike zone.
Great information.
 

Max Power

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MLB Announces Pitch Clock Modification, Other Rule Changes - MLB Trade Rumors

I didn't know they were discussing this, but the new Runner's Lane rule is great.

  • Runner’s Lane: The Runner’s Lane will be widened to include the dirt area between the foul line and the infield grass. Widening the lane allows batters to take a more direct path to first base while retaining protection from interference. The distance between the foul line and the infield grass will be between 18 and 24 inches in all parks, with some limited grace periods granted by MLB due to difficulty in modifying the field (e.g., synthetic turf field).
A batter can't be called out for interference if he's running on the dirt between home and first. The previous nonsense rule required the hitter to run on the foul side of the line even though first base is on the fair side.

The other changes are all minor. 18 second pitch clock with runners on, no sending a pitcher out to the mound to take warmup throws and not have him face a hitter, and reducing mound visits to 4 from 5. They're chipping away at some of the small tricks to stretch out a game.
 

dhappy42

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The lane rule has always been weird. Good riddance. The pitch clock timing was fine. No need to tweak, but I’d prefer one time, say 20 seconds, regardless of whether there are runners or not. Simpler.
 

Max Power

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The lane rule has always been weird. Good riddance. The pitch clock timing was fine. No need to tweak, but I’d prefer one time, say 20 seconds, regardless of whether there are runners or not. Simpler.
It's reasonable to give some extra time to pitchers to check the runners if there's anyone on. But 5 seconds was clearly too much since almost nobody used all the time.
 

The Gray Eagle

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There hasn't been nearly as much talk this spring about the new rules, now that we've had a season to get used to them. But some teams have only just started to strategize how to tkae more advantage of them.
After an offseason to digest the data, the Rays are one team looking to take more advantage of the new-ish baserunning rules this year:

https://theathletic.com/5357921/2024/03/21/mlb-rule-changes-2024-pitch-clock-obstruction/

If you thought the Rays were already one of the teams that took advantage of it last year, you’re correct. They stole the fourth-most bases in the majors (160). And they were one of only three teams that even attempted to steal at least 200 times. (The others: the Reds and Royals.)

But now they’re even more geared up. They’ve assembled one of the fastest rosters in baseball, according to Statcast. And they’ve accumulated voluminous data on pitchers’ tendencies — from how often they attempt a pickoff throw to the time (on the clock) they’re most likely to deliver a pitch.
They are going to be aggressive, I hope the Red Sox are ready for it. Last season in the first games, the Red Sox pitchers looked totally unprepared for the Orioles to steal a bunch of bases.
Cora talks about that in the article:
Red Sox manager Alex Cora: “That’s something that we got exposed on in the first two series of the season, by Baltimore and the Pirates (who stole 14 bases in a row against Cora’s team). Then, after that, we made adjustments, because you have to.
“That 90 feet you give up, it’s very valuable. So the same way we take care of deliveries and pitch shapes and all that stuff, we have to do a better job in the dugout (of paying attention to base stealers). That’s something that we know. But at the end of the day, that guy on the mound needs to be better.”
Cash is planning on his runners being ready to go on the first pitch:
“We have enough information right now, going into a game, about a pitcher — starter or reliever,” Cash said. “You know how, when guys get on base and before they steal, they say, ‘I just want to see him for a pitch or two?’ That needs to be already prepared. That has been done — through video, through the coaches prepping and explaining it to the players — to where, when they get on first base or get on second base, be ready to go. First pitch.”

The Rays have plowed deep into data on pickoff percentages and tendencies. So if they’re already geared to run on the first pitch, you don’t need a vivid imagination to guess what they might do if a pitcher uses his first pickoff move.
“If they pick off once, you need to dial up your effort level, getting to second base, that much more,” Cash said. “And if they pick off twice, it’s on you if you don’t get there.”
They aren't the only team thinking this way:
We counted about a half-dozen teams talking this way this spring — and there undoubtedly are more keeping their plans under the radar.
The Red Sox seem to have a faster and more athletic lineup than last year so hopefully they are one of those teams. Duran is obviously fast, but now we have Rafaela, and Story should hopefully be playing a lot more games. O'Neill didn't steal much last year (5 for 5) but is 40 for 49 in his career and seems faster than Verdugo. Wong is one of the faster catchers and was 8 for 10 last year. Grissom isn't a blazingly fast guy but he stole 27 for 32 in the minors in 2022, then 13 for 15 in AAA last year.
We should have Hamilton and Rosier in AAA, who both steal a lot of bags.

On trying to stop base stealers:
Astros manager Joe Espada: “We haven’t just talked about running more, but also controlling the running game. I think teams are starting to use the clock as a timing device. And they’re starting to keep track of the information on when pitchers are picking over, which counts they’re picking over, when they’re delivering the pitches. So they use the clock as a way to time the pitcher. And that’s something that we’re trying to make an adjustment on, but also trying to take advantage of. So this is Year Two. We learned a lot from Year One. So we’ll see where it goes.”
 

Van Everyman

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Cash is a soulless monster who works for a soulless team in a soulless ballpark. I get that it’s a competitive sport and all but absolutely hate the gaming of the new rules, especially two seconds after they’re implemented.

Who was the douche (on St. Louis I think) who f’d with Kenley last year to get him to balk? I’m still pissed about that unsportsmanlike bullshit. It sent Kenley into a funk for like a month after he’d started like gang busters. Yay, him.
 

InstaFace

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Stealing bases is fun and exciting.
Absolutely. Love the new rules, I watched a lot more baseball last year than in other years since the Mookie trade.

The game evolves, even if slowly. It's on everyone to keep up, and find advantages where they can. Inducing a balk? Yogi told us the game is 90% mental, and it's just the other half that's physical. Gotta be prepared for both.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Cash is a soulless monster who works for a soulless team in a soulless ballpark. I get that it’s a competitive sport and all but absolutely hate the gaming of the new rules, especially two seconds after they’re implemented.

Who was the douche (on St. Louis I think) who f’d with Kenley last year to get him to balk? I’m still pissed about that unsportsmanlike bullshit. It sent Kenley into a funk for like a month after he’d started like gang busters. Yay, him.
If someone's mental game is so fragile that a little gamesmanship throws them off for a month every single opponent should take full advantage of it at every opportunity. As a Cleveland fan, I blamed no one but James Karinchak for his problems with the pitch clock last year.
 

Van Everyman

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If someone's mental game is so fragile that a little gamesmanship throws them off for a month every single opponent should take full advantage of it at every opportunity. As a Cleveland fan, I blamed no one but James Karinchak for his problems with the pitch clock last year.
This is indeed the argument for gamesmanship. It’s fine. But it should be balanced with sportsmanship – especially when you consider this is arguably the biggest rule change in the 100+ year history of the sport.
 

The Gray Eagle

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This is indeed the argument for gamesmanship. It’s fine. But it should be balanced with sportsmanship – especially when you consider this is arguably the biggest rule change in the 100+ year history of the sport.
The biggest "rule changes" were first not allowing black players and then many years later allowing them (these weren't written rules but they certainly worked as if they were for many decades.)
Big league baseball has always been about players and teams trying to get away with anything they possibly could, both within the rules and outside the rules, going back to the 1880s at least. MLB has way more sportsmanship and less gamesmanship now than it did in the early days.
The first team to get caught using technology to send stolen signs to hitters was over 120 years ago and that scheme started in the 1800s.
https://www.si.com/mlb/2020/01/23/sign-stealing-history-astros-red-sox
A backup catcher named Morgan Murphy watched games at Baker Bowl in an “observatory” beyond the centerfield wall, where he stole signs with binoculars. Murphy rigged an underground wire from his perch to the third-base coaching box, where Bull Childs kept his foot above a junction box that would signal the pitch by buzzing once or twice. The Reds discovered and uprooted the system after they noticed Childs was not moving his right foot—not even when that portion of the coaching box included a puddle from rain. The Phillies “explained” the wire as something left behind by a traveling circus that had played at the ballpark. The club was not disciplined.
Murphy also used a system in which he signaled the pitches to hitters with curtains attached to his perch’s awning. Murphy used a similar system on the road by using handkerchiefs or a rolled-up newspaper from rooftops, buildings or bleachers. On Sept. 26, 1900, the Brooklyn Superbas caught him signaling from the top floor of a flathouse beyond the centerfield fence at Washington Park in Brooklyn.
Murphy’s entire existence on the roster seemed due to his sign-stealing talents. From 1899-1901 he played in only 20 games. When the Phillies sent him to the minors in 1901, newspapers referred to him as “chief of the buzzer department.”
“Cheating is not merely countenanced in baseball, it is loved.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/weekinreview/16weber.html
That's just some of the cheating that has always gone on.

But adapting to the new rules is most definitely NOT cheating, it's completely legal and it's just big league baseball as it has always been.
 

Spelunker

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People should be stealing as many bases as they can. That's the point of these rule changes. It's great for the game.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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If someone's mental game is so fragile that a little gamesmanship throws them off for a month every single opponent should take full advantage of it at every opportunity. As a Cleveland fan, I blamed no one but James Karinchak for his problems with the pitch clock last year.
In the current competitive baseball climate (essentially anything beyond Little League or its equivalent), it really feels like players have to have mental toughness first and foremost. There are people working against you before you can even get a chance to play. If you cannot handle opposing players trying to get you out of your game, you aren't likely to be very effective.

FWIW, I am not even remotely close to anything resembling professional baseball but if sportsmanship is defined as observing unwritten rules, its pretty much dead. Instead, we compete based on the written rules and everything else is a function of whatever style of play teams choose to follow.
 

InstaFace

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FWIW, I am not even remotely close to anything resembling professional baseball but if sportsmanship is defined as observing unwritten rules, its pretty much dead. Instead, we compete based on the written rules and everything else is a function of whatever style of play teams choose to follow.
100%. In the sports I coach, sportsmanship is usually defined as roughly "a practice where treating the opponent with respect is more important than winning or momentary advantage". It's important in amateur sport, where e.g. in places you call your own fouls, it's assumed that you play with a certain regard for an opponent's safety or dignity or make calls in line with certain standards or whatever (and will get ostracized if you don't, even on the rec center basketball court). Where sports can be a morality lesson, to a small degree, for all the reasons we have our kids play youth sports.

There basically isn't room for that in professional sports, though, once you get past, like, soccer players kicking the ball out of play so an injured opponent can get treatment. The NFL has had to steadily legislate debilitating hits out of their game, because desire for winning trumps regard for an opponent's safety. There are certain gentleman's rules for things like fighting in hockey, where a sport might have cultural practices in the immediacy around the game. But within the competitive moment of the game itself, pro athletes basically can't give any quarter. They have to seek every advantage, and be ready to defend against every tactic. For every instance we have of an Andre Agassi giving an opponent another first serve because some fan called out during the guy's windup, we have a million instances of just the opposite. There's just too much on the line not to. Especially in team sports, where everyone feels an extra pressure to do their best for their team. Draymond Green would be asked not to come back to every single rec league of any sport I've ever played in, but in the pros, he's just a team-first guy who'll do anything for his team, isn't he a great teammate? Team team team.

So I agree, I think sportsmanship is very beside the point here. Sportsmanship in the pros is following the letter of the rules, that's as much as anyone can expect. The extent to which you have to also follow the spirit of the rules is for the referees / umps / game authorities to determine.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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100%. In the sports I coach, sportsmanship is usually defined as roughly "a practice where treating the opponent with respect is more important than winning or momentary advantage". It's important in amateur sport, where e.g. in places you call your own fouls, it's assumed that you play with a certain regard for an opponent's safety or dignity or make calls in line with certain standards or whatever (and will get ostracized if you don't, even on the rec center basketball court). Where sports can be a morality lesson, to a small degree, for all the reasons we have our kids play youth sports.

There basically isn't room for that in professional sports, though, once you get past, like, soccer players kicking the ball out of play so an injured opponent can get treatment. The NFL has had to steadily legislate debilitating hits out of their game, because desire for winning trumps regard for an opponent's safety. There are certain gentleman's rules for things like fighting in hockey, where a sport might have cultural practices in the immediacy around the game. But within the competitive moment of the game itself, pro athletes basically can't give any quarter. They have to seek every advantage, and be ready to defend against every tactic. For every instance we have of an Andre Agassi giving an opponent another first serve because some fan called out during the guy's windup, we have a million instances of just the opposite. There's just too much on the line not to. Especially in team sports, where everyone feels an extra pressure to do their best for their team. Draymond Green would be asked not to come back to every single rec league of any sport I've ever played in, but in the pros, he's just a team-first guy who'll do anything for his team, isn't he a great teammate? Team team team.

So I agree, I think sportsmanship is very beside the point here. Sportsmanship in the pros is following the letter of the rules, that's as much as anyone can expect. The extent to which you have to also follow the spirit of the rules is for the referees / umps / game authorities to determine.
Great post.

I don't condone Alex Cora cheating but I absolutely want my baseball team exploiting every possible margin in the service of winning.

Managers who exploit rule changes without doing anything over the line are the types who tend to add value.
 

Spelunker

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It's weird to call something gamesmanship and intimate that it's unsportsmanlike or even approaching cheating when you're following the letter and the intent of the rules.

MLB changed the rules because they wanted more steals and baserunning. A team pretending that rule change didn't happen because reasons is a very dumb team.
 

jon abbey

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You are all missing the funniest part of that complaint:

I get that it’s a competitive sport and all but absolutely hate the gaming of the new rules, especially two seconds after they’re implemented.
It's been an entire season already! I was actually pretty shocked more teams didn't steal more aggressively last season, but with another full winter to prepare, it makes even more sense for teams/fast players to be aggressive on the bases this season.
 

LogansDad

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You are all missing the funniest part of that complaint:



It's been an entire season already! I was actually pretty shocked more teams didn't steal more aggressively last season, but with another full winter to prepare, it makes even more sense for teams/fast players to be aggressive on the bases this season.
Seriously. If anything, I was disappointed because teams (and especially the Red Sox, IMHO) weren't prepared to take advantage of the new rules.

I want to see more steals, and more players use the clock to mess with their opponents (i.e. a pitcher waiting until 1 second on the clock on one pitch, then throw as soon as the batter is ready the next pitch).

These rules have made the sport better, teams should be using them.
 

Bertha

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Agreed. Winning at the edges in ways that do not affect salary caps should be every well-run team’s goal. Pretty ironic the Sox were not prepared for a legal rule change, but Cora was famously once part of an illegal scheme to gain an edge.
 

Van Everyman

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You are all missing the funniest part of that complaint:



It's been an entire season already! I was actually pretty shocked more teams didn't steal more aggressively last season, but with another full winter to prepare, it makes even more sense for teams/fast players to be aggressive on the bases this season.
And the funniest part of your complaint was that I was neither talking about base stealing – nor this season.

It was early last year and a player gaming the pitch clock rules by facing the pitcher to appear like he was in the batters box but not putting his second foot in the box so he technically wasn’t ready. So Jansen got called for two balls because he got set to pitch when the batter wasn’t ready.

Honestly, I hate Guardians of the Game/Unwritten Rule Assholes as much as the next SoSH-er. Jansen, to his credit, made no excuses in the aftermath and owned that it was his responsibility to have understood the rules better (tho i guess he did raise some concerns about the pitch clock and pitchers’ health a bit later). I would also add that Jansen was probably at least as much undone by overthrowing during his 400th save appearance – that was two appearances earlier IIRC.

At any rate, yes, there’s no excuses now for not knowing any of this two seasons in. And of course I was bummed it not only occurred against my team but contributed to an important new player being derailed from what to that point was shaping up to be an awesome season. But I still don’t think it was the most sportsmanlike play a month into the season or what MLB intended.
 

InstaFace

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But I still don’t think it was the most sportsmanlike play a month into the season or what MLB intended.
How long into a season, would you say, would it be sportsmanlike for professional athletes to wait before taking advantage of rule changes?

When Scherzer took advantage right away last year, by delivering the ball as soon as he got it, batter's expectations be damned, it seemed pretty smart to me and to most observers. Maybe he should have gestured generously first, and politely asked if the batter would be pleased to thence receive the pitch. "Gentleman Max", they'd have called him.
 

jon abbey

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And the funniest part of your complaint was that I was neither talking about base stealing – nor this season.

It was early last year and a player gaming the pitch clock rules by facing the pitcher to appear like he was in the batters box but not putting his second foot in the box so he technically wasn’t ready. So Jansen got called for two balls because he got set to pitch when the batter wasn’t ready.

Honestly, I hate Guardians of the Game/Unwritten Rule Assholes as much as the next SoSH-er. Jansen, to his credit, made no excuses in the aftermath and owned that it was his responsibility to have understood the rules better (tho i guess he did raise some concerns about the pitch clock and pitchers’ health a bit later). I would also add that Jansen was probably at least as much undone by overthrowing during his 400th save appearance – that was two appearances earlier IIRC.

At any rate, yes, there’s no excuses now for not knowing any of this two seasons in. And of course I was bummed it not only occurred against my team but contributed to an important new player being derailed from what to that point was shaping up to be an awesome season. But I still don’t think it was the most sportsmanlike play a month into the season or what MLB intended.
Amusingly Jansen himself has essentially tinkered with the rules on his own by being so uncomfortable with a runner standing on second that he intentionally balks him to third.

https://www.mlb.com/news/kenley-jansen-executes-intentional-balk