Cesmat – MLB speeding up the game, changes for the better

Bigger bases, restrictions on defense, and a pitch clock. Yes, this isn’t your daddy’s game of baseball. 

I dropped into Salt River Fields 0n Tuesday to hear and learn about baseball’s vision for the game in 2023. I wasn’t looking for any “hot takes”, I just wanted to hear from the powers that be that the game isn’t waving a white flag against other sports. Far from it. 

I think for many of us, it’s going to take some time to get used to the rule changes. “The pitch timer is by far the biggest change that’s coming this season” said MLB Executive VP Morgan Sword.  “Frankly,” Sword added, “it’s probably the biggest change that’s been made in baseball in most of our lifetimes.”

It’s all about speeding up a game that has been loved by purists because of the leisurely pace of no clock to rush through the action. Problem is, society today likes things fast, and so do advertisers on television networks. In short, a pitcher must deliver the pitch within 15 seconds if the bases are empty, once he gets the ball from the umpire. If a batter isn’t in the box by 8 seconds he will be given a strike. Imagine a game at Wrigley Field with the wind blowing out, or a game at Coors Field that is 15-1 in the 5th inning and 17-15 in the 6th. 

Balks are going to go up. Perhaps, way up. 

There were dozens of slides presented to us in a classroom like setting inside the Colorado Rockies facility. I, being a fan of the game, tried to look at this from both sides and didn’t find anything that felt like screaming out “get off my lawn”.  The pace of the game has turned into drudgery at times, but I can go back to when Armando Reynoso would go to the mound and it felt like a human rain delay on the hill. Speeding up the game needs to happen. If a pitcher can’t get into his pitching motion by the time the clock hits zero, it’s an automatic ball. You will hear the term “disengagement” quite a bit this season from broadcasters. If there’s runners on base, a pitcher can have two disengagements per at-bat. 

The bigger bases, going from 15 x 15 inches  to 18 x 18 , should increase stolen bases. If the pitch clock is winding down, a runner knows he’s got an advantage to get a better jump.


None of these changes will make me so upset that I’ll say, “I have to watch preseason NFL in August”(now that is drudgery).

I’ll get into the defensive shift at another time. 

At the start of Tuesday’s session there was slide presentation pointing out the positives of the grand ol game. Because our hometown nine haven’t had much go right. Three postseason appearances in the last fifteen years isn’t going to produce much of a rabid fan base.



Favorite players may come and go, but fans of baseball will show loyalty to their team. The bond is strong. We just don’t know that here in Arizona. Though, I think we’re turning the corner on having something to look forward to on the field well past the drudgery of August…