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The Tuesday Discussion: The New Rules (Part 1)

The Tuesday Discussion: The New Rules (Part 1)

March 29, 2022

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This week we asked our writers:

Which of the new rules coming to the MLB (in 2022 or 2023) do you like the most?

Here are their responses:

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Cary Greene – The rule change I like the most is the the National League adopting the DH. I’ve never liked watching pitchers try to hit and pitchers who face other pitchers have consistently better stats and metrics. Now, baseball has more consistency.

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Lincoln Mitchell – That question is a little bit like asking me what my favorite dental procedure is. Root canal, gum surgery or something else. So, my answer is the Shohei Ohtani rule which allows him or someone like him to stay in the game as a designated hitter after they’ve been removed as a pitcher

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Paul Semendinger – I actually like two. I am very glad there will be a universal DH. That was a long time coming and is way past due. After much consideration, I am also glad that they are outlawing the shift. I’ll write a longer piece on that topic in the coming days, but without a shift, some of the natural order of baseball will return to the game.

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Mike Whiteman – Of all the possible discussed rule changes, I’m intrigued the most by a pitch clock. While it looks like the rule would pertain to when the bases were empty, it’s my hope that pitchers would get into a rhythm and we see a faster pace throughout the game.

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Tim Kabel – The only rule change that I find positive is the adoption of the universal designated hitter. It makes things uniform, creates more opportunities for players with waning or limited defensive skills, and removes a sure out from the lineup.

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Chris O’Connor – Of the new rules coming to MLB, I really like the zombie runner on second base to start extra-innings. I have done a complete 180 on this in the past year because I was originally strongly against it. However, I now appreciate the fact that it adds an exciting element to games and I can understand that players and coaches are in favor of it. It took me some getting used to, but in a long 162-game season, I enjoy the altered circumstances of extra innings.

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Andy Singer – I’m a traditionalist at heart despite my analytical and statistical bent, and I truly hate the idea of putting timers on an untimed sport and runners that come from nowhere, but I have 3 rule changes that I like equally. The Universal DH is an obvious rule change and should have been made long ago; I love the new Ohtani rule that allows a 2-way player to stay in the game as a DH after being pulled as a pitcher; and surprisingly, I also really like the idea of increasing base size to incentivize base stealing and more aggressive baserunning, which would really help shift strategy from station-to-station style of play, possibly more-so than rules to artificially ban shifts.

On the baserunning front, Jayson Stark of The Athletic had a fascinating article posted yesterday regarding the positioning of second base historically and a quiet push to move the 2nd base bag in the minor leagues in 2022. Based on the article headline, I was ready to scream and shout, but after reading Stark’s article, I’m cautiously interested to see what affect the change might bring to the game. I’m not on board yet, but I can imagine a world in which I like this rule change more than any of the above.

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