(Photo Credit: Bostonherald.com)
By David Little – @DLittleMLB
I see it, and I hear it. “The games are too long,” they say.
“There are too many pauses and mound visits,” others spout. The fan base is currently changing. As we adapt to those trends in our personal lives, we also wish for the sport to adapt. We are technology based. Our lives are run by cell phones, meetings, schedules, and work days. Many just simply do not have the time to sit down for three hours a night to watch an entire game.
While I understand the sentiment, as I often do not have the time to watch every game, I do not support it. As we have seen with small changes already, such as the intentional walk signal implemented last season, minor rule changes can always have big impacts. Baseball is a perfectly designed adventure into athleticism and skill. It is a game which paces, controls, and maintains itself. To change it would be to walk down a dangerous path.
So what is it the leagues proposing? Presently it is caps on mound visits, time clocks for pitchers, and even ludicrous ideas of automatic base runners to speed up games in extra innings. These changes would drastically alter the strategy, soul, and integrity of the game. Mound visits for example, are used for a variety of things: To calm the pitcher, to work on strategy, or to simply slow the game. Do any of us really want to alter the soul of the game? The strategy of the one on one matchups? The times when a second baseman runs to talk to his pitcher to say; “Hey man, you got this,” and we all know that they have each others back?
I personally am against any rules changes, and believe very firmly in leaving the game as it is.
When I look back on moments that are special to me such as the Dave Roberts steal, Ortiz’s rescue grand slam, Koji striking out Matt Carpenter, I find it hard to imagine the game without these moments. Will we be able to look back at a man being walked to first because Kimbrel is too slow to get a pitch off? Should little rules, that have huge impacts be changed for the sake of the casual? If the grass is greener, and arguments come into play, this game will change. This game will be altered. And the game will be different to each and every one of us.
I love this game so much. I absolutely live and breathe for it. The nostalgia. The matchups. Lets not be too quick to wish for changes. Lets not be too quick to please the casual fan. Lets not forgot those precious moments we have all experienced, all of which came as the direct result of players playing this great game just the way it currently is.
Sitting down for our classic game, whether at the stadium, or on your couch, is something special every time you do it. Leave Major League Baseball alone. Leave it as the beautiful sport we have all come to love.
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