As many fans of Major League Baseball may already know, new rules have been approved for the MLB. Among several rules added to baseball are two rather controversial ones that were added with the sole intention of speeding up the game. For starters, I am not a fan of speeding up the game of baseball. What I am a fan of is baseball, and I'm just going out on a limb here, but I bet that most of you are baseball fans as well. And why would we, the fans, want to see less of what we love to watch and analyze? And although I do know that there are other factors besides just the fans, it still does not make sense to me. So back to the controversial rules, the first of the two is a rule that eliminates actually pitching an intentional walk (IBB) and the other rule places a time restraint on official umpire replay reviews (URR).
1. The No-Pitch Intentional Walk
The no-pitch intentional walk will now be used, rather than the pitcher intentionally throwing 4 balls to the catcher to avoid the player at bat potentially getting a big hit. Now, the manager will signal if they wish for an IBB in order to speed up the game. The first issue with this is that it doesn't really help much in speeding up the game. When you think about it, an IBB is relatively uncommon (and will now be even more uncommon since David Ortiz has retired) compared to all of the other possible results of an at bat in a game. There might be 1, sometimes 2, and very rarely 3 or more intentional walks during a game. And with these IBBs taking, say, only about a minute, eliminating the pitching of an intentional walk will take only a couple minuted tops off of the game. In addition, IBBs can screw up and mess up a pitcher's rhythm and consistency, which can obviously in turn affect the next couple of at bats in the game or a pitcher could throw a wild pitch or throw one too close to the plate that the batter can hit. Imposing the no-pitch intentional walk makes it less of a cost to the pitcher and could potentially take away excitement, another thing the MLB is trying to include more of in baseball, from games.
2. The Time-Restrained Umpire Reviews
In this case, the saying "quality over quantity" should stand true, quality being the accuracy of an official review and quantity being the amount of time it takes. This is similar to the reasons why oppose the no-pitch IBB rule, one of the biggest being that it won't save all that much time. How many umpire reviews do you see during a typical Major League Baseball game? Usually there aren't any, if there are, it is normally just one, 2 would be rather uncommon, and 3 or more is extremely unlikely. Also, these reviews can vary in the time that it takes to reach a decision, but they take time for a reason. There can be some tough plays to call in baseball, and by reviewing them, umpires wish and intend to make the right call because that's their job. Since the point of these reviews is to determine the correct call, then why is the MLB reducing how accurate these calls will be? It also comes back to the fact that people that who love baseball don't want to sacrifice the quality of calls made for maybe a couple of minutes less of game time.
Comment below! What are your thoughts on these two new rules? Are there any others new rules that you agree/disagree with?