Rob Manfred: No rule changes in 2017, but 2018 could be different
- Author: Julie Sanders Feb 22, 2017,
Feb 22, 2017, 4:13
Major League Baseball already shortened the disabled list stint and took out all meaning from the All-Star game. That is one of the key proposals the commissioner intends to keep on the radar and possibly install for the following season, along with a pitch clock, automatic intentional walks, and raising the strike zone.
Clark added "my understanding is that Major League Baseball wants to continue with the replay changes (2-minute limit) and the no-pitch intentional walks and the pace of game warning/fine adjustments". It's a two-year process.
The intentional walk itself has been a declining tactic in recent years, with just 932 being issued league-wide in 2016, or one every 2.6 games. While MLB needed the players' cooperation to alter the rules this season, Manfred said the new collective bargaining agreement implemented over the winter allows MLB to make whatever changes it wants heading into 2018. I've tried to be clear that our game is fundamentally sound, and it does not need to be fixed.
"At the same time, I think it's a mistake to stick our head in the sand and ignore the fact that our game has changed, and continues to change".
Major League Baseball has studied whether to restore the lower edge of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level - at the top of the kneecap.
Manfred, citing research, said that baseball had more inactivity in their games that any time in history. Next season they want to implement a pitch clock along with other changes, nearly to the point where we won't even recognize baseball anymore.