Potentially Large Changes Coming to the Game of Baseball
The off season has been filled with discussions about big name free agents such as Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. The free agent market was certainly not a bright spot for the League this off season. But, there is another topic creating angst between Major League Baseball and the Players Associations. Big adjustments may be coming to the game of baseball.
Among the changes discussed, pitch clocks, mound visits, and players on base to start extra innings have all been hot topics during these talks. Throughout the off season, the message being portrayed by Commissioner Rob Manfred has been a desire to give the fans the best experience possible.
In an attempt to bring the attention of younger fans to the game the league is attempting to make games move faster. The ‘Pace of Play’ changes are not necessarily about shortening the length of a game. Instead its about making the action move a little faster. Limiting mound visits, shorter inning breaks, and the pitch clock are all changes being implemented, or looked into.
MLB May Create an All-Star Election Day for Your Favorite Players.
Pace of Play changes seem to have been their main focus the last few off seasons. However, recently Jeff Passan from ESPN has reported that the concept of an All-Star election day may just be the next thing coming.
Just like when you go to vote for your local, state, and federal representatives the MLB is discussing a single day to vote for your All-Stars. Like before, fans will still cast votes early in the season for their favorite players. The votes will be tallied over a given amount of time. Then the top three players of each position will be placed on a final ballot.
The final ballot will then be presented and for one single day fans can vote online for the top finalists. The winners of that vote will to make the ASG roster.
The idea is supposed to encourage the fans to be more engaged throughout the process. It could also encourage a massive uptick in social media activity surrounding this aspect of the game. Passan also reports that MLB has discussed increasing the Home Run Derby prize money to encourage the games best talent to participate.
Pitch Clock, and changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement
If you have tuned into any spring training games this year, you may have noticed that the league has been using a pitch clock. The concept was discussed had a possibility to be implemented at the start of this season. That is no longer the case.
The MLB seems to want to postpone the pitch clock changes until at least the 2022 season. They have also seemingly pushed off the DH coming to the National League for now as well. The current Bargaining Agreement ends at the end of 2021. The Union and the MLB are interested in discussing all of these issues and revising andextending the agreement. This is a rare possibility, but increasingly likely given the growing divide between both parties.
Should talks heat up and an agreement be made, it could include the revised ASG selection process, a 3-batter minimum for pitchers, and also a 26-man active roster that includes a 13-pitcher limit. If no extension is made, then there is also the possibility that a new agreement beginning in 2022 will have similar issues discussed as it is implemented.
Last season, Yadier Molina and Miles Mikolas were selected for the 2018 All Star Game. Should the ASG voting process change, what Cardinal Players do you think will make the final Vote?