A panel has been taking a hard look at the current way the game of Major League Baseball is being played. And before you know it, April 4 to be exact, there will be an announcement if there will be any proposed changes. If I know the MLB, there will be some. They can’t leave well enough alone.
Bud Selig is at the forefront of this effort.
Here’s a quick look at some of the big issues the panel hopes to address:
- Eliminating the All-Star-World Series home advantage
- Adding instant replay for balls hit down the foul lines
- Changing the playoff schedule
- A variety of “pace of game” issues
The pace of game issue has been a thorn in MLB’s side for a while. Jonathan Papelbon was fined $5000 last year for taking too long on the mound. Now it’s come to light that three teams, the Yankees, Dodgers and the Red Sox have been particularly named by this panel as violating the pace of game. According to Stats LLC, all three teams average over three hours.
As for the playoff schedule, I know many fans that would back the panel on a change on this one. The early proposed change is to eliminate current days of rest to shorten the overall postseason.
There are a few other issues being discussed. Those include changes to the amateur draft and realignment to “better group teams of similar economic situations”. I’m not sure exactly what that means and I’m not sure I want to know.
Now most of these rule or policy changes should they see the light of day, won’t take effect right away. We wouldn’t see the changes to the postseason, for example, till the 2011 season. As for the game play changes, they might take effect sooner. Changes to hasten the pace of baseball games, for example, would probably take effect ASAP. MLB feels they are under the gun by fans to speed the games up.
And if you’re interested in how *I* feel about the above proposed changes:
- Yes, let’s just pretend it never happened. Despite how it was trumped up by MLB and media, the home advantage rule had limited effectiveness.
- No, though I’m not surprised it’s being proposed. Proponents of the original instant replay rule claimed over and over that “it will only be used for home run calls”. I knew it would be a slippery slope.
- Yes. The postseason schedule takes too long and the cynic in me wonders if it’s to prolong how long money can be made from it.
- It depends. I don’t like long games either but I also don’t like changing how players play the game. I wonder what MLB would have done about Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky, had he played in these times.