Rob Manfred, MLB considering radical changes to game
by Bob Nightengale , USA TODAY Sports August 18, 2016
HOUSTON - Major League Baseball, alarmed by the game’s lack of action this season is considering making the most radical changes to the game in more than a century.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said that baseball is contemplating everything from altering the strike zone to limiting the number of pitching changes in a game, to curtailing the number of shifts, to even installing 20-second time clocks for pitchers.
If these changes are implemented, it would lead to perhaps the most radical rule changes since baseball reduced the number of balls to four in 1889 to constitute a walk. Certainly, it would have more impact than the American League installing the DH in 1973.
altering the strike zone: I predicted a while ago that it would be automated by 2020. It's already automated, just used only to show TV viewers how wrong umpires can be.
limiting the number of pitching changes in a game: Stupid. The problem is not the number but the nature. Eliminate the ritual and change on the fly, you know, like football and basketball.
curtailing the number of shifts: Really stupid. No, really, really stupid. Explanation not needed.
installing 20-second time clocks for pitchers: Rule exists but not enforced. I think this means physical, visible clocks in ballparks. How about one minute to retire the batter, else batter gets first base; batter's option. Or continue to bat and a pinch runner, eligible to play later, takes first base. Think that would get the pitcher to throw? Oh, once in the box for the first pitch, batter gets no time relief, except maybe to return quickly after running on a foul ball.