MLB’s new rules are not the answer


Dylan Dunn, Staff Writer

One of the smallest parts of the World Baseball Classic was showing the fans that baseball does not need a change. It had no pitch clock, no shift bans, or bigger bases. All of that combined has arguably made one of the best tournaments we have seen in recent years that is not named “March Madness.” I mean even the ending was perfect. Shohei Ohtani striking out his teammate Mike Trout to end it all is an ending that should be watched over and over.

It’s also a nice touch that it comes around every few years. I mean if it was an annual showing, we’d probably see the USA vs Japan every single year. Yeah, we might get that every few years already, but just being spaced out like that gives it that much more value.

Recently, the Joint Competition Committee decided to make a few major changes towards the game. They added a pitch clock, which just gives pitchers a time frame on how long it takes to throw the ball. They also banned the shift, which was just players moving positions during a play to ensure an out. The base sizes were also changed. They went from 15″ by 15″ to 18″ by 18″ (three inches makes a huge difference in this case).

The pitch clock just isn’t needed. Sure, it speeds up the game times, but why do we need it? We don’t. The pitch clock has sped up games by 26 minutes. That’s it.

The shift ban is terrible. Or the reason for implementing it is. The reason it was, according to a Sports Illustrated article, is “to rebalance the entertainment value of baseball against its brutish efficiency.” At first, the committee who decides the rules voted against the shift ban and pitch clock. 

The bigger bases could be a good change, but there isn’t a huge need for pizza boxes on the field. According to a news source on AP, it is to “lead to more steals, fewer injuries,” (Jay Cohen). But that same article says that “injury events near the base” decreased by 13% in MiLB (Minor League Baseball), where bigger bases were first introduced. But  fans do not know what the number was. What if it was like 20 injuries? Or even fewer, the study is very difficult to follow because we weren’t given any data showing it.

The reason it hurts them however is because of the World Baseball Classic. Like the name suggests, it was classic baseball – no pitch clock, no shift bans, and normal size bases. That’s what baseball is and should be.