America’s Favorite Sport is Fading Into Obscurity

Major League Baseball has new rules. Will they be a waste of time and money, or will they make baseball interesting again?


‘America’s favorite sport’ is fading into obscurity. Major League Baseball (MLB) has new rules. Bigger bases, a new pitch clock and banning the shift. Will these new rules make baseball interesting again or will they be a waste of time and money? Baseball is a great sport, but is slower paced and there’s not as much action as other sports so it’s starting to fall under the radar.
“Fans love action and highlights,¨ Jon Evans, Head baseball coach at Skyline High School (SHS) said. ¨Basketball and football have a lot more action and a lot less time in between plays.¨

The new rules are intended to shorten that length of the game and add action to the game where it’s been lacking. There are not as many big hits due to the fact that players are positioning themselves perfectly, there’s also a lot less diving for plays as well. These things are a big part in what makes baseball so interesting. These rules have been tested in the minor leagues and have been providing positive results in these two areas: action and time. In the Minor Leagues the pitch clock has reduced the average nine-inning game by 26 minutes in 2022 so changes are the same thing will happen with the MLB. In an effort to create a quicker pace of play, there will be a pitch clock. This adds a time limit for how long the pitcher can take to throw the ball. This should shorten the game by approximately 26 minutes, as shown in the minor leagues. A 30-second timer between batters and 15 seconds in between pitches, 20 seconds if there are players on base.
This also limits the number of times the pitcher can throw to first base, which has made stealing a bigger part of the game. Steal attempts are now 2.83 per game at a 77% success rate. In 2019, there was a success rate of 2.23 at 68%.
¨People don’t like baseball because it’s boring,” SHS Senior pitcher Patrick Lafferty said. “It can take minutes in between pitches. With football and basketball there is non-stop action and that’s what this generation wants. So it’s not a wonder baseball, which is such a good but slow-moving sport, is falling under the radar.”
Lafferty started playing baseball at five years old and has been playing since. He believes the pitch clock is a good idea and will keep people engaged.
Another change that is being introduced is using bigger bases. The bases are going to go from 15 inches to 18 inches. Some fans believe that bigger bases will add more action to the game. This will encourage teams to try and steal bases more often and will add a lot more excitement to the game.
The final new rule is the ban on defensive shifts. In the past, infielders could shift positions depending on where the hitter is most likely to hit. This strategy is mostly used for left handed hitters and will no longer be allowed. This is very controversial with fans and baseball players.
¨I think this rule will bring more offense back to the game by opening more holes in the defense for hitters,¨ Evans said.

With this new rule, we will most likely see a lot more singles and doubles. This rule will add a lot more action and showcase the players’ athleticism. The infielders won’t be perfectly positioned when the ball is pitched and they will need to run and dive a lot more to make the plays.
Huron High School Senior baseball player, Ben Locke, believes these new rules will be interesting and he’s excited to see how they will change the game.
¨I think these rules will benefit some hitters and give some infielders and teams a disadvantage, but overall I think these rules will make baseball played how it’s meant to be played.
While fans watch the playoffs this year it may be the last time they see the game in its traditional form. Next year will bring in a new era for baseball and there is no doubt that some fans will welcome the change while others will reflect back to the “good old days”. Only time will tell how these new rules will impact the game and whether they will re-establish the game as “America’s pastime.”