The Milwaukee Brewers and Major League Baseball are a week into their season, and the one thing that has really stood out to me, is the rule changes that were implemented into the game.
A pitch clock, ban on shift, and bigger bases have had a massive impact on the games opening week, and an impact, I’m for one, excited for.
Back to 2022, the average runs scored per game in the league was 8.56, which was the lowest it has been since 2015, while games average a time of over 3.5 hours.
I don’t know about you, but the speed of the game, which has seriously sped up the play on the field, some averaging 20-30 minutes faster than the average time a season ago.
The pitch clock is obviously the big reason why, where pitchers are given 15 seconds to begin their windup, and deliver their pitch.
The other two major rules have had an incredible impact, too.
The bigger bases, and the restriction on how many lazy pick-offs a pitcher can conduct, has shown a big jump in stolen bases.
The numbers really support that one, too.
Stolen bases have rose to an average of 1.4 from .6, and the success rate also jumped 67% to 85% from just a year ago.
The ban on the shift has helped seen a rise in ground ball hits as well, which has helped increase those runs per game.
Sure, a fun, and exciting pitchers dual can be fun, but, let’s be real – offense sells.
We have seen in football and basketball, the up tempo game is what gets new fans to come to the sport. It helps grow the game.
The bottom line – Good for Major League Baseball, and us, the fans. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a 2 and a half hour baseball game over 3-4 hours of a slow, unproductive game, where my kids are bored by the 3rd inning, asking me to leave.
The game is moving, more offense is on display, and baseball, finally, after years of so many bad decisions, is finally adapting to today’s culture, and shaping the game for a fun future.