According to sporting news outlets across the world, MLB and their players union are discussing a broad array of possible rule changes for 2019. Some of these are great and long overdue. Some of them make me think Kyler Murray’s right to pick football, even though deep down we all know he should play the game that’ll provide him with a long career that isn’t going to turn him into a brain damaged mess. Anyway.
- A three batter minimum for pitchers. The idea here is to speed up the pace of play. I dislike it because I think there are better ways to make games livelier and because I love the strategy involved here. Fuck no.
- A universal designated hitter. Although few things put a smile on my face like watching lard ass hurlers try to put some wood on the ball, it’s probably past time to bring the DH to the National League. I want a pitcher home run derby at the All-Star Game as compensation, though. Sure, fine.
- A single trade deadline before the All-Star break. Do you want more teams phoning it in before June? This is how you get more teams phoning it in before June. Get outta here.
- A 20-second pitch clock. Perhaps this is only in effect when there are no runners on base. If you want to improve the pace of play, this is absolutely one of the best ways to do it. Plus watching some random junkballer throw a hissy because he can’t get his shit in on time is going to be fantastic. Oh hell yeah.
- The expansion of rosters to 26 men, with a 12-pitcher maximum. I think adding a roster spot is smart. I think smart teams like the Rays and Dodgers would play fast and loose with the definition of the word pitcher. “Look, we sent Joe Kelly down to AAA and played him at first base for three innings, he’s actually a hitter now!” Yes to the former, no to the latter.
- Draft advantages for winning teams and penalties for losing teams. I like the idea of dissuading tank jobs, but I’m not real sure this is how you do it. I worry about this doing more to create cycles of perpetual suck than stopping them. Ehhh, I don’t think that’s it.
- A study to lower the mound. Studies are good, but I always feel like the league’s desire to create more offense and its goal of shortening the game are counterproductive. Knowledge is power.
- A rule that would allow two-sport amateurs to sign major league contracts. Anything we can do to make baseball more appealing to quality athletes is a good thing. Go for it.