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Major Rules Changes Coming to MLB in 2023

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Baseball, America’s national pastime, is the sort of sport that has long been followed by purists.  It’s a game with a long and intense history here in the United States, from Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, all the way down to little league and tee-ball.

And so, when the decision-makers at the professional level begin to tinker with the way in which the game is played, Americans often find themselves with some rather strong opinions.

Such will be the case next year, when a number of drastic, new rule changes take effect.

Major League Baseball passed a sweeping set of rules changes it hopes will fundamentally overhaul the game, voting Friday to implement a pitch clock and ban defensive shifts in 2023 to hasten the game’s pace and increase action.

The league’s competition committee, composed of six ownership-level representatives, four players and one umpire, approved a pitch clock of 15 seconds with empty bases and 20 seconds with runners on, a defensive alignment that must include two fielders on each side of the second-base bag with both feet on the dirt as well as rules limiting pickoff moves and expanding the size of bases.

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The vote was not unanimous. Player representatives voted no on the shift and pitch-clock portions of changes.

At least one of these changes has been successful in the minor leagues.

Long tested in the minor leagues, the pitch clock, when strictly enforced, has significantly accelerated the speed of games. Minor league games this season have consistently clocked in at under 2 hours, 30 minutes — a time seen by many as ideal — and average game times have settled a little over it.

The defensive shift rule will make the game a bit fairer for left-handed hitters, according to the commission.


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About the Author:
As a lifelong advocate for the dream promised us in the Constitution, Andrew West has spent his years authoring lush prose editorial dirges regarding America's fall from grace and her path back to prosperity. When West isn't railing against the offensive whims of the mainstream media or the ideological cruelty that is so rampant in the US, he spends his time seeking adventurous new food and fermented beverages, with the occasional round of golf peppered in.