Thinking about baseball a bit

We have had some rather cloudy weather in Denver for the last couple of days. It plunged the temperature from triple digits down around 40 degrees pretty quickly. Right now I’m looking out the window and wondering if it is going to rain. My weather app says it is just a couple hours of fog that will be lingering this morning, but it feels like it will rain. We attended the Colorado Rockies vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks gave on Friday where it sort of lightly rained the entire game. Yes, that game ended with the Rockies winning 13 to 10. During that deluge of run scoring we got to see a 9 run inning from the Diamondbacks offense. Which to be honest is pretty remarkable within the scope of a major league baseball game. We had seats that were just far enough back to be under the ledge of the section above us which worked out really well given that it was lightly raining.

One of the things that we heard a ton about while driving home from the game was the new rule changes that are coming for Major League Baseball (MLB) for the upcoming 2023 season [1]. Apparently, we can expect bigger bases, rules to control defensive shifts, and probably the more impactful introduction of a pitch timer. I’m not exactly sure why bigger bases really matter. The change to the pitching clock will probably be the most important element included in these changes. Some baseball games go quickly, and other games are more glacial in nature. This effort to introduce the pitch clock is designed to help reduce the overall length of the game and increase the pace of play. It sounds like the pitch timer might speed up the pace of games by about 30 minutes. Basketball as a sport and a game easily supports the introduction of a shot clock as it becomes a constraint on the offense. This timer is a bit different and for some pitchers it is going to be something that at time is truly devastating.

Any time a pitcher is dealing with a bit of discomfort or potential pain or just gets intro trouble and is rattled on the mound the pitch time will just keep moving along. You have no time to just try to work some things out as you try to control the game from the pitching mound. I think this change will end up strongly favoring the batter in 2023. It may just help create a degree of plate rhythm for batters that will have a major change to on base percentage and ultimately batting averages. My guess would be that we will see a lot more hitters crossing the 300 club in terms of batting average. If we see anybody break into the 400 club, then that will give you a pretty good indicator that the rule changes fundamentally changed the balance of the game.

Footnotes:

[1] https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-2023-rule-changes-pitch-timer-larger-bases-shifts

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