Do New MLB Rules Rule for Baseball?

The MLB season is now 2 weeks in, and there has been some controversy over the new rules.

Do New MLB Rules Rule for Baseball?

Ryan Dean, Sports Writer

The MLB season is now 2 weeks in, and there has been some controversy over the new MLB rules being in effect for the first time. MLB fans have had mixed opinions on whether the new rules are good for the game and the fans. 

The MLB implemented new rules this past offseason that were groundbreaking for baseball. The MLB Joint Competition Committee proposed 3 new rules in place on September 9th, 2022. The pitch timer, defensive shift limits, and bigger bases, the first time these rules were ever implemented into the MLB. 

The bases before the rule change were 15-inch squares, but now they are 18-inch squares and the reason for this is to avoid more injuries by trying to step on the base and to limit the number of reviews for a safe at a base call, so the game goes faster. They also implemented a new pitch clock. There is a 30 second timer in between batters, a 15 second clock in between pitches, and a 20 second timer with runners on base. If the clock runs out, then it is an automatic ball if the pitcher commits the violation, and an automatic strike if the batter commits the violation.

This was implemented to try and decrease the official time of a baseball game. The new defensive shift rule forces teams to have only 4 infielders within the infield when the pitcher steps onto the pitcher’s mound. The infielders also cannot switch sides to put their best player on the side where the hitter is most likely to hit the ball too. If this rule is violated or the players are not set, it is an automatic ball for the hitter. 

The bigger bases have impacted the game right off the bat. There were 16 more stolen bases on opening day this year than there were in 2022. Teams have tried to steal a lot more frequently than we have ever been accustomed to seeing in the past. At the pace that players are on right now, we will see stolen base records shattered this year. The new pitch clock has done exactly what the league wanted it to do, it has sped up the pace of the game and the official gametime by a whopping 31 minutes thus far. It has caused the players trouble though. We have seen players get automatic strikes and balls a lot. The new shift rules have helped players boost their batting averages up. The record for the highest batting average could be broken at this rate.  

In my opinion, these rule changes are good for the game. I have been to an Orioles game this year and it just seemed like the game was more entertaining and the time of play was moving much more swiftly than games I have gone to in the past. This will be great for the game moving forward and we will have to see where this takes us.