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Hey, Trash, I read your comment in chat about the new MLB rules to speed up play.

Trashman

"Speeding up MLB I see. Managers just signal challenges from dugouts, no stepping out of batters box after each pitch (can for foul ball, brush offs, etc), from last out to next pitch only 2min 25secs on local broadcasts...2mins 45secs national. Good rules I think."

I agree on speeding up challenges and I like that baseball has finally instituted replay review, but can't agree on the stepping out thing.  Seems to me like MLB folded to the tv networks.  They took away one 30 second commercial between innings, which I also agree with, but are pandering to television in an mistaken attempt to draw more viewers who apparently don't know baseball well anyway.

"No stepping out of the batters box after every pitch" will heavily favor pitchers. I'm not sure that rule change doesn't put more of the game outcome on who has the best pitcher, which I do not favor. I don't favor revising the long standing rules of the game just for tv networks.

Hell, it's nearly impossible to get a hit in baseball now. Pitchers don't need any more help in my opinion. Of course as you know, I like the the rules being stacked in favor of aggressive base-running being a factor in winning a game. Think of how exciting those Royals playoff games were.

The aggressive style of play on the bases, which of course requires somebody to get on in the first place, will draw more fans to the game than just making another rule to make overpaid pitchers lives easier. What people don't necessarily like to watch is a 1-0 game, or a 0-0 game in the 12th inning, which you will see more of now. Plus, like I said, I really don't care what tv networks think the rules should be.

Stepping out is part of the hitters strategy. Interrupting the pitchers rhythm, messing with his head as much as possible is a part of successful hitting. Ever watch Hunter Pence at the plate. Part of his success is his ability to jack with the pitcher. They should not take that away.

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I guess I just applaud the speed up. Without any anecdotal evidence on whether the lack of stepping out makes pitchers even more dominant....tough for me to say. I do know that last year's run total was about the lowest since 1993. Which is right when the jumps in output started every year from PEDs. Maxed out in 2000. Has been in a general decline (outside of one year or so) ever since.

Many times I get the same value out of a great pitching dual as I do with a say 9-7 game. Is that the norm? Probably not. I'll be curious if this truly hampers batters significantly more. I just have my doubts.

Players don't need to readjust their gloves and cup or any other accoutrement every pitch.  When I played college ball too long ago to admit, I found that once you start worrying about that sort of stuff you lose concentration and forget who the opponent is.  When you are in the batters box you should be ready to hit.  You get ready to hit in the on deck circle.  If your mind is on anything other than the pitcher during your at bat you are defeated.  That is why superstition in baseball hurts performance also.  

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