Mlb testing rule changes in independent Atlantic league

From what I read, nobody knows yet how umps will use the e-info on balls and strikes. I don’t understand how the data can be used during an AB without seriously disrupting the flow of the game.  Does anyone have details?

I wouldn’t ban shifts, but doing so doesn’t seem like that big a deal. 

The articles I read say all catcher mound visits will be banned (unless part of a pitching change).  I get the desire to speed up the game, but what if P and C need to change or clarify signs?

It’s moving the mound back that has me concerned. Lowering the mound seems like a relatively easy adjustment for Ps. But changing the distance to the plate?  Breaking balls could be radically affected.  Even fastballs would need to be thrown/located differently. Ps have thrown from 60 feet 6 inches since they were 13 or 14 years old—that is a lot of reps, a lot to re-work. Maybe it won’t be all that difficult...  Maybe. But at a minimum, why not allow Ps an offseason to adjust, rather than changing mid-summer?  That gives players less than a week to adjust. (Batters will have  adjustments to make, too, but those seem relatively minor.  And ultimately more time to see a pitch ought to help, though maybe not enough to matter in the case of an extra 24” of travel time.)

I've seen a lot of furor over this.  It's a test in an independent league.  Let's wait and see.  

Just a robot umpire calling the rule book strike zone may be a really big change.  I assume each hitter will have a strike zone based on his (height, knee, etc)

Did you ever see Hakeem Olajuwon standing next to Pat Ewing or Kareem Abdul Jabbar?  Hakeem had really short legs compared to many of the bigs.  Conversely a longer torso. Although not an exact height match (Hakeem was 6'10 3/4"), Hakeem would have a larger strike zone than Pat/Kareem.

Can't think of any big men from Boston to compare him to....

Go44dad posted:

I've seen a lot of furor over this.  It's a test in an independent league.  Let's wait and see.  

Just a robot umpire calling the rule book strike zone may be a really big change.  I assume each hitter will have a strike zone based on his (height, knee, etc)

Did you ever see Hakeem Olajuwon standing next to Pat Ewing or Kareem Abdul Jabbar?  Hakeem had really short legs compared to many of the bigs.  Conversely a longer torso. Although not an exact height match (Hakeem was 6'10 3/4"), Hakeem would have a larger strike zone than Pat/Kareem.

Can't think of any big men from Boston to compare him to....

From what I have read (which isn’t at all clear or comprehensive), there will still be umps behind the plate calling balls and strikes, but they will be able to use (how? beats me) the robot strike zone info. I have no idea how that works in the flow of the game though. Maybe there is an option to review close ball/strike calls?

Chico Escuela posted:
Go44dad posted:

I've seen a lot of furor over this.  It's a test in an independent league.  Let's wait and see.  

Just a robot umpire calling the rule book strike zone may be a really big change.  I assume each hitter will have a strike zone based on his (height, knee, etc)

Did you ever see Hakeem Olajuwon standing next to Pat Ewing or Kareem Abdul Jabbar?  Hakeem had really short legs compared to many of the bigs.  Conversely a longer torso. Although not an exact height match (Hakeem was 6'10 3/4"), Hakeem would have a larger strike zone than Pat/Kareem.

Can't think of any big men from Boston to compare him to....

From what I have read (which isn’t at all clear or comprehensive), there will still be umps behind the plate calling balls and strikes, but they will be able to use (how? beats me) the robot strike zone info. I have no idea how that works in the flow of the game though. Maybe there is an option to review close ball/strike calls?

Wouldn't it be super simple to have an ear piece for the human ump notifying him or her of the ball/strike call, and then he or she can signal the ball/strike call? Clearly there's a need for a human ump anyway -- check swings, foul tips, plays at the plate, catcher's interference, etc.

2019Dad posted:
Chico Escuela posted:
Go44dad posted:
 

 

Wouldn't it be super simple to have an ear piece for the human ump notifying him or her of the ball/strike call, and then he or she can signal the ball/strike call? Clearly there's a need for a human ump anyway -- check swings, foul tips, plays at the plate, catcher's interference, etc.

Simple to set that up, for sure. And I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. But if I were the ump, it could be tough to stay focused for the times I needed to overrule the robot. That voice in your ear might make you really hesitant to make a different call. Or maybe umps would get used to it, maybe they could give feedback between innings if calls were consistently off...  I’m not against the experiment. But if the goal is to speed games up, this may be counterproductive. 

Go44dad posted:

I've seen a lot of furor over this.  It's a test in an independent league.  Let's wait and see.  

Just a robot umpire calling the rule book strike zone may be a really big change.  I assume each hitter will have a strike zone based on his (height, knee, etc)

Did you ever see Hakeem Olajuwon standing next to Pat Ewing or Kareem Abdul Jabbar?  Hakeem had really short legs compared to many of the bigs.  Conversely a longer torso. Although not an exact height match (Hakeem was 6'10 3/4"), Hakeem would have a larger strike zone than Pat/Kareem.

Can't think of any big men from Boston to compare him to....

The mind boggles at having the same strike zone for both Judge, and Altuve. Having said that, if they can figure out a way to adjust for height, I'm all for robo umps. I get really tired of some of the calls and attitudes I see. You can't offend, influence, or go chin to chin with a robot.

   Lowering the mound sounds like a better idea than moving the rubber away. Pitchers have been using 60'6" all their lives. I can see a lot of them not being able to make the adjustment.

   Limiting shifts strikes me as silly, and an indictment on the lack of imagination, training, and coaching in MLB. Not a hill I'm going to choose to die on, though.

Chico Escuela posted:
2019Dad posted:
Chico Escuela posted:
Go44dad posted:
 

 

Wouldn't it be super simple to have an ear piece for the human ump notifying him or her of the ball/strike call, and then he or she can signal the ball/strike call? Clearly there's a need for a human ump anyway -- check swings, foul tips, plays at the plate, catcher's interference, etc.

Simple to set that up, for sure. And I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. But if I were the ump, it could be tough to stay focused for the times I needed to overrule the robot. That voice in your ear might make you really hesitant to make a different call. Or maybe umps would get used to it, maybe they could give feedback between innings if calls were consistently off...  I’m not against the experiment. But if the goal is to speed games up, this may be counterproductive. 

Hmm . . . it would be a weird approach to me to say to the ump: "make a different call if you feel like it." We may be talking about two different things. What I'm saying is: the voice in his or her ear would tell the umpire whether it was a ball or a strike. Not suggest. Or give some kind of indication. Tell. The only time it would be overruled would be for things like checked swings, catcher's interference, etc. If implemented like that, it wouldn't slow down the game at all.

The idea about moving the mound is obviously in response to increased velocity and the effect its having on hitting.  I really can't believe that they are going to make some guys try to do it.  

One reason that pitchers are able to throw harder is that they pitch to fewer batters than they used to, and make fewer pitches when they are tired and wearing down.  So why not make pitchers pitch to more hitters by limiting pitching substitutions.  If starters actually had to go through the order more than twice offense would almost certainly improve.  Likewise, the longer a reliever has to stay in a game the more he'll get hit.

2019Dad posted:
Chico Escuela posted:
2019Dad posted:
Chico Escuela posted:
Go44dad posted:
 

 

Wouldn't it be super simple to have an ear piece for the human ump notifying him or her of the ball/strike call, and then he or she can signal the ball/strike call? Clearly there's a need for a human ump anyway -- check swings, foul tips, plays at the plate, catcher's interference, etc.

Simple to set that up, for sure. And I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. But if I were the ump, it could be tough to stay focused for the times I needed to overrule the robot. That voice in your ear might make you really hesitant to make a different call. Or maybe umps would get used to it, maybe they could give feedback between innings if calls were consistently off...  I’m not against the experiment. But if the goal is to speed games up, this may be counterproductive. 

Hmm . . . it would be a weird approach to me to say to the ump: "make a different call if you feel like it." We may be talking about two different things. What I'm saying is: the voice in his or her ear would tell the umpire whether it was a ball or a strike. Not suggest. Or give some kind of indication. Tell. The only time it would be overruled would be for things like checked swings, catcher's interference, etc. If implemented like that, it wouldn't slow down the game at all.

My understanding (which may be wrong) is that for now the robot calls are just a source the ump can use, not mandatory. That is in part because the tech just isn’t that good yet—because of varying heights, crouching batters, etc. Right now the system would in fact use the same strike zone for Judge and Altuve, so it’s not ready to be the definitive call on balls and strikes. 

Moving the mound back is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard....especially mid-season.  You can't expect guys who have been throwing from 60' for 10+ years to change in the course of a few days.  I seriously doubt that there will be a lot of pitchings jumping up and down to play in this sideshow

So let's say that right now a pitcher wanting to throw a breaking ball middle in starts the pitch off aiming at the batter's shoulder. Move the mound back to feet and where do they aim? Behind the batter's head?

Gravity will impact the ball a bit more so the pitch will have to start off higher. Using the same rotation on the ball he has now the pitcher will have to start the ball even further off of the plate. No doubt accuracy will also decrease having 2 feet further to travel.

That sure sounds like a recipe for more walks and longer games at the upper levels and disaster for young teens trying to find the strike zone.

They're addressing problems and coming up with bad solutions. 

Strikeouts are up. Especially in the past 10 years when there has been a big surge in launch angle, attack angle, exit velocity. Instead of coming out and saying that this approach isn't for everybody, they want to move the mound back 2 ft. 

Hitting the ball up is a problem. I know the goal is to hit homers and line drives in the gaps, but the truth of the matter is that it doesn't happen enough. Too many weak popouts and strikeouts. Homers are up, but it doesn't matter if MLB has broken the K record 10 years in a row. And I'm not anti launch angle/lift the ball mentality. But at a certain point when it doesn't work, you have to try something else and that doesn't happen. It gets defended religiously by those it works for and with graphs and percentages by people creating the data. It is not for every one, it is not even for most people. But the approach should be - hey I'm hitting .246 with a ton of strikeouts, we need to fix this - and not pitchers are too good, move the mounds back. Could you imagine what an advantage the pitchers would have moving the mounds forward 2 feet. 

Maybe it's like this .......

hal

"Hello Dave. Didn't that last pitch seem just off the plate. Dave? I know you called it a strike, but my sensors showed it just off of the plate, Dave.  What do you mean by the pitcher earned it, Dave? What are "rabbit ears", Dave? Sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."

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I remember when the pitching distance went from 54 feet to 60 feet and suddenly many guys  who were effective at 54 feet could no longer pitch anymore at 60. The additional two feet might have the same effect at the high school level.  Just a few years ago when my son was a freshman, I remember seeing all the 6a varsity pitchers throwing at least 84 mph FBs and many upper 80s touching 90 and higher. Now I see many varsity pitchers throwing mid to high 70s and they are pretty effective - not sure all of them will be at a distance of 62 feet though. Hard to say.

From reading the linked article, I think the "increase the size of its bases from 15 to 18 square inches" could be quite interesting.  A field is 90' square with the distance measured from the apex of the plate (e.g. point at catcher) to the back edge of 1st and 3rd base.  So a different set of bangers at 1st, but potentially more hits.  Same for steals - it's that much closer for the steal which many times is out/safe by fingertips.  Add 2 feet for the pitch to reach the plate and that's a game changer.

There was a segment on HBO Real Sports a couple of years ago where they took Eric Byrnes and had him call an Independent League game in CA.  System works with an ear piece and someone in booth getting system feedback and then hitting a button that communicated to Byrnes behind the plate for ball or strike.  Zone was adjusted batter to batter.

Game went by seamlessly and there was zero bitching about balls and strikes.

Some of the other claims in the piece were interesting as well.  The primary thing was the claim that umpires get 97% plus of the calls correct.   I forget the exact statistic but 90%+ of the pitches are swung at, clearly out of the zone or well within the zone.  In other words easy calls sort of like a guy thrown out at first by 2 steps on a ground ball.

That means on the 10% of close calls that umpire are getting about 1/3 wrong based on analytics.  Not interested in arguing the accuracy of the zone because of the subjective nature of that.  But I do believe that the robo umpire can solve two things at once - 1)  create a level of consistency that does not fully exist today and 2)  End the bitching over balls and strikes.  If it yields a 3rd benefit by shaving 5 or 10 minutes out of games because there is no jawing or long walks around the plate area for 30 seconds when the 1-1 pitch on the corner is called a strike - then count me in.  

For those of you that think this is stupid - watch John McEnroe argue lines circa 1981.  Totally sucked the air out of tennis.  Now they have the challenge system - call gets made and the match continues.  Takes 15 seconds, and it works in tennis - and will in baseball as well.  

The problem with moving the mound back really has little to with the impact of given pitches - drop/spin/break etc.

It has everything to do with every single pitcher was drafted based on his unique, narrow skill of throwing pitches 60.5 feet better than thousands of others.

If the mound is moved back 2 feet, different pitchers will be required.  That would be like telling GM they have to recall half their cars and trucks.

Monumentally stupid idea.

luv baseball posted:

There was a segment on HBO Real Sports a couple of years ago where they took Eric Byrnes and had him call an Independent League game in CA.  System works with an ear piece and someone in booth getting system feedback and then hitting a button that communicated to Byrnes behind the plate for ball or strike.  Zone was adjusted batter to batter.

Game went by seamlessly and there was zero bitching about balls and strikes.

Some of the other claims in the piece were interesting as well.  The primary thing was the claim that umpires get 97% plus of the calls correct.   I forget the exact statistic but 90%+ of the pitches are swung at, clearly out of the zone or well within the zone.  In other words easy calls sort of like a guy thrown out at first by 2 steps on a ground ball.

That means on the 10% of close calls that umpire are getting about 1/3 wrong based on analytics.  Not interested in arguing the accuracy of the zone because of the subjective nature of that.  But I do believe that the robo umpire can solve two things at once - 1)  create a level of consistency that does not fully exist today and 2)  End the bitching over balls and strikes.  If it yields a 3rd benefit by shaving 5 or 10 minutes out of games because there is no jawing or long walks around the plate area for 30 seconds when the 1-1 pitch on the corner is called a strike - then count me in.  

For those of you that think this is stupid - watch John McEnroe argue lines circa 1981.  Totally sucked the air out of tennis.  Now they have the challenge system - call gets made and the match continues.  Takes 15 seconds, and it works in tennis - and will in baseball as well.  

You raise a really important point:  Even if the robo-ump is wrong, it ought to be consistently wrong, which will be a plus.  If a good hitter knows where the strike zone will be called, he can adjust (same goes for good pitchers).  The umps that are maddening to watch aren't the ones who call strikes 2" off the outside of the plate, but the ones who call that pitch sometimes and not others.

Chico Escuela posted:
luv baseball posted:

There was a segment on HBO Real Sports a couple of years ago where they took Eric Byrnes and had him call an Independent League game in CA.  System works with an ear piece and someone in booth getting system feedback and then hitting a button that communicated to Byrnes behind the plate for ball or strike.  Zone was adjusted batter to batter.

Game went by seamlessly and there was zero bitching about balls and strikes.

Some of the other claims in the piece were interesting as well.  The primary thing was the claim that umpires get 97% plus of the calls correct.   I forget the exact statistic but 90%+ of the pitches are swung at, clearly out of the zone or well within the zone.  In other words easy calls sort of like a guy thrown out at first by 2 steps on a ground ball.

That means on the 10% of close calls that umpire are getting about 1/3 wrong based on analytics.  Not interested in arguing the accuracy of the zone because of the subjective nature of that.  But I do believe that the robo umpire can solve two things at once - 1)  create a level of consistency that does not fully exist today and 2)  End the bitching over balls and strikes.  If it yields a 3rd benefit by shaving 5 or 10 minutes out of games because there is no jawing or long walks around the plate area for 30 seconds when the 1-1 pitch on the corner is called a strike - then count me in.  

For those of you that think this is stupid - watch John McEnroe argue lines circa 1981.  Totally sucked the air out of tennis.  Now they have the challenge system - call gets made and the match continues.  Takes 15 seconds, and it works in tennis - and will in baseball as well.  

You raise a really important point:  Even if the robo-ump is wrong, it ought to be consistently wrong, which will be a plus.  If a good hitter knows where the strike zone will be called, he can adjust (same goes for good pitchers).  The umps that are maddening to watch aren't the ones who call strikes 2" off the outside of the plate, but the ones who call that pitch sometimes and not others.

It isn't quite consistently wrong though, i read it is less acccurate on breaking balls than fastballs.

Still it is more accurate than human umpires.

SultanofSwat posted:

The problem with moving the mound back really has little to with the impact of given pitches - drop/spin/break etc.

It has everything to do with every single pitcher was drafted based on his unique, narrow skill of throwing pitches 60.5 feet better than thousands of others.

If the mound is moved back 2 feet, different pitchers will be required.  That would be like telling GM they have to recall half their cars and trucks.

Monumentally stupid idea.

Is that so dramatic? Imo a strong and and ability to locate will play from 62 feet too.

Maybe ball movement and breaking balls will be somewhat affected.

I don't think the type of pitcher who is successful from 60 differs all that much from the guy sucessful at 62

 

Dominik85 posted:

I don't think the type of pitcher who is successful from 60 differs all that much from the guy sucessful at 62

College pitchers aren't that much different from MLB pitchers, but they don't make it.  Bubble players aren't that much different.  A single pitch in a game can make or break most games.

I just realized that the same will happen to the hitters.  There will be guys that are the 1% at 60 ft, and different guys that are the 1% at 62 ft.

I'm not sure why so many are up in arms at the distance change. It's really minimal. t's not even a full 2 feet. 60'6" to 62'2". I can put my 2 feet back to back and that may be the difference in distance. They are doing this in the same season, so that they have data that can be accurately compared. Those claiming the distance change in the middle of the season is unfair to the pitchers haven't mentioned how unfair it will be to the hitters, as well, since the timing and sight adjustments they will need to make in the middle of the season are sure to give some of the batters fits. This distance, if changed permanently in MLB, does not necessarily impact HS ball unless NFHS decides to change the rule to match OBR. 

2019Dad posted:

The farther back the mound is, the more it will benefit breaking balls. And cutters and two-seamers. Will be interesting to see how it plays out. 

I don't think so. It gives the pitch more time to break but also the hitter longer to pick up spin. That means hitters likely can just lay off the low breaking balls and force hitters to throw them in a higher tunnel.

uncoach posted:

I'm not sure why so many are up in arms at the distance change. It's really minimal. t's not even a full 2 feet. 60'6" to 62'2". I can put my 2 feet back to back and that may be the difference in distance. They are doing this in the same season, so that they have data that can be accurately compared. Those claiming the distance change in the middle of the season is unfair to the pitchers haven't mentioned how unfair it will be to the hitters, as well, since the timing and sight adjustments they will need to make in the middle of the season are sure to give some of the batters fits. This distance, if changed permanently in MLB, does not necessarily impact HS ball unless NFHS decides to change the rule to match OBR. 

It's not so much the pitcher is disadvantaged for breaking balls or velocity, it is more about extra reaction time for the hitter. Imagine moving the mound up 2 feet. It would make a huge difference. 

Either way it is a solution saying we want less Ks. Instead of having hitters change their approach, they are changing the game to work around a poor ABs and coaching.  

Radar technology for calling balls and strikes still has an average margin of error of about .5 inch per reading.  This is for horizontal location, vertical location, and vertical movement (each individually) based on the Trackman and Pitchfx data from 2015-2017.  This error rate fluctuates, and can be much higher at times (well over 1 inch, per reading) just like with a human. When taking the readings as a whole, the combination of error shows that a robo ump is not going to be perfect, and can make erroneous calls, just like a human ump.

PABaseball posted:
uncoach posted:

I'm not sure why so many are up in arms at the distance change. It's really minimal. t's not even a full 2 feet. 60'6" to 62'2". I can put my 2 feet back to back and that may be the difference in distance. They are doing this in the same season, so that they have data that can be accurately compared. Those claiming the distance change in the middle of the season is unfair to the pitchers haven't mentioned how unfair it will be to the hitters, as well, since the timing and sight adjustments they will need to make in the middle of the season are sure to give some of the batters fits. This distance, if changed permanently in MLB, does not necessarily impact HS ball unless NFHS decides to change the rule to match OBR. 

It's not so much the pitcher is disadvantaged for breaking balls or velocity, it is more about extra reaction time for the hitter. Imagine moving the mound up 2 feet. It would make a huge difference. 

Either way it is a solution saying we want less Ks. Instead of having hitters change their approach, they are changing the game to work around a poor ABs and coaching.  

The solution is saying we want more offense to have a thriving fan base and right now the pitchers have the advantage. When you have Aroldis Chapman throwing 100 and seeing how far in front of the mound he is releasing the pitch, the advantage is all pitching. In 1969, they lowered the mound. Lowering the mound doesn't really even out the advantage pitching has currently.  The way relief pitching is used today compared to 1968 is completely different and the great majority throw 95+. Big boys are getting paid for production, not moving runners over with ground balls. That's on GM's/organizational philosophy, not individual hitters with "poor AB's and coaching", IMHO.

 

Either way it is a solution saying we want less Ks. Instead of having hitters change their approach, they are changing the game to work around a poor ABs and coaching.  

Fans love home runs.  Hitters are accommodating by swinging for the fences, even with 2 strikes. In 2018, almost 40% of the home runs hit in MLB were when the batter had 2 strikes.  For a hitter to change his approach, he may get on base more often, but we would see a lot less home runs. MLB knows this.  Moving the mound back would mean even more home runs.  The league is flush with cash now.  But the future doesn't look bright, as the young fan base shrinks.  They are trying to make the game more "exciting" by giving the fans more of what they want.  It has nothing to do with the integrity of the game.  It's all about money.

I believe one rule change would take away the advantage pitchers have.  If you said a pitcher has to be in touch with the rubber until the baseball leaves his hand it would do away with the 100 mph pitch and probably drop every pitcher 5-10 mph.  Chapman is 2-3 feet off the rubber when the ball leaves his hand.

Hammer823 posted:

Radar technology for calling balls and strikes still has an average margin of error of about .5 inch per reading.  This is for horizontal location, vertical location, and vertical movement (each individually) based on the Trackman and Pitchfx data from 2015-2017.  This error rate fluctuates, and can be much higher at times (well over 1 inch, per reading) just like with a human. When taking the readings as a whole, the combination of error shows that a robo ump is not going to be perfect, and can make erroneous calls, just like a human ump.

MLB only uses TrackMan (Statcast) now, so the PITCHf/x data isn't really relevant. Having said that, I don't know which system is more accurate at calling balls/strikes. TrackMan is also tracking the ball all over the park, not just over the plate. The sensors have to be checked for calibration regularly. I hope MLB is looking at a more specialized technology for calling balls/strikes. I have to believe that a dedicated system could basically do the job with 100% accuracy. This is similar to self-driving cars. Overall, the current technology is probably better than humans, but it won't even be close in the near-future.

uncoach posted: Lowering the mound doesn't really even out the advantage pitching has currently.  The way relief pitching is used today compared to 1968 is completely different and the great majority throw 95+. Big boys are getting paid for production, not moving runners over with ground balls. That's on GM's/organizational philosophy, not individual hitters with "poor AB's and coaching", IMHO.

The problem is that these guys are getting paid for production, but not producing. I agree that some players have body types and attributes that point them in the direction of HR/K every AB, but that is not the case for every player. There are plenty of guys taking the elevate the ball approach and it isn't working out. They're not making adjustments because people keep telling them they don't get paid to ground out. Which is funny, because all they do is strikeout and hit mile high popouts. When the numbers aren't there you have to make an adjustment and it is not being made. Whether that is the fault of the players, the coaches, the GMs telling them HR or bust, it isn't working and they're being bailed out by the pitchers are too good argument. If the pitching is better than ever, why have a swing that puts you at a high risk for strikeouts? At least be able to make adjustments with 2 strikes. 

HRs aren't what fans want, more balls put in play is what fans want. 25 total Ks in a game is the problem, not the lack of HRs. 

I root for a HR hitting team. They're unbearable to watch anytime they face a decent pitcher. 

PABaseball posted:

The problem is that these guys are getting paid for production, but not producing. I agree that some players have body types and attributes that point them in the direction of HR/K every AB, but that is not the case for every player. There are plenty of guys taking the elevate the ball approach and it isn't working out. They're not making adjustments because people keep telling them they don't get paid to ground out.

This seems to be migrating to teen player development as well. Kids and coaches posting videos highlighting EV numbers that elicit a lot of oohs and ahs and likes, but no one asking, "Can he hit?"

Hammer823 posted:
 

Either way it is a solution saying we want less Ks. Instead of having hitters change their approach, they are changing the game to work around a poor ABs and coaching.  

Fans love home runs.  Hitters are accommodating by swinging for the fences, even with 2 strikes. In 2018, almost 40% of the home runs hit in MLB were when the batter had 2 strikes.  For a hitter to change his approach, he may get on base more often, but we would see a lot less home runs. MLB knows this.  Moving the mound back would mean even more home runs.  The league is flush with cash now.  But the future doesn't look bright, as the young fan base shrinks.  They are trying to make the game more "exciting" by giving the fans more of what they want.  It has nothing to do with the integrity of the game.  It's all about money.

It's amazing to me how many coaches (HS and college both) just sit back and allow kids to have the exact same swing....no matter what.  Leadoff hitters swinging for the fence on 3 straight pitches.....same with a guy doing it with guys on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out.  It's not hard....change your swing to the situation, put the ball in play and score some runs.  I'd much rather see a 5-4 game where teams manufactured runs than a 4-3 game with 7 solo HR's.  What's fun about watching big guys jog around the bases? 

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