Mariners Insider

A few possible baseball rule changes

Post by Ryan Divish on Jan. 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm with 4 Comments »
January 15, 2013 1:13 pm
You might see someone else accompany Eric Wedge to the mound this season when he talks to Hisashi Iwakuma (AP photo)
You might see someone else accompany Eric Wedge to the mound this season when he talks to Hisashi Iwakuma (AP photo)

‘Jayson Stark of ESPN wrote this quick piece on a few possible rule changes for the upcoming season. Why is it important. Well, the first possible rule change would affect the Seattle Mariners.

Under the proposed rule,  a manager would be able to bring a translator to the mound to speak with a pitcher, if that pitcher is foreign born and doesn’t speak fluent English. Obviously, Wedge wouldn’t need an interpreter for Felix Hernandez, whose English is improved, and often only says, “I don’t want to come out.”

But for Hisashi Iwakuma having an interpreter would be useful. Iwakuma’s English is rudimentary at best. So if Wedge were able to bring team translator Antony Suzuki, it could be beneficial in their communication. Could it make the game longer? Maybe.

Another possible rule change would be the addition of a seventh uniformed coach to the bench. Right now, teams can only have six. Would a seventh coach make that much of a difference? Probably not. But for Wedge, who has mentioned the possibility of bringing an assistant hitting coach to help out new hitting coach Dave Hansen, this might make the decision even easier.

The third rule is the one I hope gets approved more than the rest. The infamous third to first move … fake the pickoff move to third and then look to first … might be made a balk. While this fake move might lead to pickoffs in little league, the move in the major league is often used to see if runners on first are leaning toward stealing second, or if the batter might be squaring for a possible safety squeeze. It’s a micromanaging strategic move that managers use. But it also slows the game down and makes it longer, and I think we can all agree that isn’t a good thing.


Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. If you eliminate the fake to third and turn to first base then you have to eliminate the turn and fall off the back of the mound to look at second base too. Both moves are for the same purpose. There are more throws to first base than the fakes so if you are afraid of a game being slowed down then you should eliminate those first. Where you may have 10-20 throws to first base each game (sometimes during one at bat), you’ve only got the fake once every few games. And how many of those throws to first have any actual velocity to make a real attempt at getting the runner out? I think the fakes are good moves and should not be elimiinated.

  2. CoachPaul says:

    It seems there are any number of ways to make the game faster without removing a strategic tool. Any one of which will certainly save more time than the elimination of the fake to 3rd throw to first move. For example:
    -enforcing the rule about time between pitches
    -having players run on and off the field every time instead of just the home team in the top of the 1st inning just for show.
    -having the batter get in the batter’s box in a reasonable amount of time
    -force batters to keep one foot in the box at all times between pitches so they can’t take a lap around the home plate circle after each pitch
    -require the hitters to wear all their at-bat body armor / protective gear while running around the bases so every base hit doesn’t require a commercial break for him to take off his samurai armor

    This is a move to shift the balance of power more toward the offense. It’s not about saving time.

    Where will this lead? Will pitchers no longer be allowed a fake to second base?

    This rule change will give the runner on first a green light to go on the pitcher’s first move. It will remove many double play possibilities. I think double plays help move the game along more than a rule about fake pick-offs ever could. More steals of second base in first and third situations will put more runners in scoring position, and fewer ground ball double plays in those same situations. The insignificant time saved from this rule has the potential to make the games even longer.

    Let’s call this what it is–a move to add offense to the games.

  3. CoachPaul,

    Couldn’t agree more. Let’s start by enforcing the current rules before we start adding more.

  4. CoachPaul says:

    I think today’s spectators, as a species, don’t fully understand the game. They just think it’s cool to go to the games, and it’s a status symbol for them since they can afford to actually go to games. Owners (aka–rich spectators) are more into marketing their product than preserving the game. They just sit up there in their air-conditioned luxury boxes spending more time scanning the crowd and feeling good about themselves than actually watching the game unfold and the story being told. It’s truly sad.

    IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE HARD TO SCORE RUNS! That’s what makes it thrilling when one is scored by a team. I think too many people want steroid-era run production without the PEDs! DON’T MESS WITH BASEBALL’S RULES!!!!

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