New Rules Already Affecting MLB Games For The Better

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We are just a few days in to the 2023 MLB season, but already we have seen some drastic changes thanks to the rule changes that were implemented in the off-season.

Baseball has long been wary of change. There are so many traditionalists of the sport that exist, that it is difficult to carry out any tweaks to the rules or the game itself. Baseball fans like baseball the way that it is.

MLB Rule Changes Already Showing Signs Of Improvement

So the rule changes that were put in place this off-season were met with criticism and skepticism, but they are working well so far in serving their intended purposes.

The first and most obvious change has been the pitch clock. With the MLB looking to bring in more viewership and attract more fans, the pace of the game was in need of a serious increase in speed.

Both the batters and pitchers are affected by the timer, as both have to meet certain conditions in the at-bat in order to avoid any penalties. And while it has taken some getting used to, it has been an overwhelming positive change so far.

At the time of writing, we are three days and 35 games into the 2023 MLB season. The average game time has been 2 hours 41 minutes, which is well below last season’s average, and probably well below their target goal, too. Through 34 games in 2022, the average game lasted 3 hours and 8 minutes, just shy of a full half-hour difference.

Game Time Is Down, Steals Are Way Up

There are changes happening on the base paths, as well. There were a set of rules implemented that affected base stealing as well, with both an increase in the size of the base itself and a limit on pick-off throws.

It may not sound like much, but the space between 1st and 2nd base and 2nd and 3rd base has decreased by 4.5 inches. This gives favor to the runner, encouraging them to attempt more steals, which should in turn encourage teams to try more small ball instead of trying to score primarily by way of the home run.

That rule change has worked like a charm, too. During that same 35 game sample size, there were a whopping 56 steal attempts by MLB players, compared to just 26 from the 34 game sample last year. In their first two games, the Baltimore Orioles attempted 10 steals on the Boston Red Sox.

The MLB season is just a few days old, but we are already seeing drastic changes that could help with the viewership and popularity of the sport.

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