Good Or Bad Idea? MLB’s Experiment With The Pitcher’s Mound? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
Major League Baseball’s ongoing effort to fix the self-imposed ills of its game took an interesting turn this week. That’s because it has employed an independent minor league to try a radical idea that would change the face of the game and the field baseball is played on. The change, moving the pitcher’s mound 12 inches away from home plate, would be the biggest alteration any sports league has ever seen and would forever modify baseball, if changed on every level. So, do you think MLB’s experiment of moving the pitcher’s mound is a good idea or bad idea?
The one good thing about Major League Baseball having a minor league system is that ideas about how to improve the game can be tried out under real game conditions without ruining games that have millions of dollars riding on every pitch. For one of their newest ideas, MLB is not even using any of its own minor leagues, but rather the independent Atlantic League, who will implement the idea this summer.
When asked about the idea before his team’s game Wednesday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “My initial response is that it’s pretty aggressive … That seems pretty, pretty drastic.” Boone added, “I think … sometimes the craziest of ideas end up having some traction to them.”
The moving of the pitcher’s mound, in the mind of Major League Baseball officials, will help decrease the number of strikeouts and home runs that have inundated the game in recent years. It is the hope that by decreasing these two things, MLB will get back to the game that older generations saw decades ago … a game where base running and putting the ball in play is how teams scored, and how pitchers more routinely got hitters out.
The major concern that baseball teams have, and why this experiment is not being used in MLB’s minor league is simple: No one truly knows if or how the extra distance between the mound and home plate will affect the arms of pitchers.
The one study cited as part of the news only saw pitchers throwing fastballs from the longer distance, a motion that doesn’t require much effort for a conditioned pitcher. It is, however, the wide range of off-speed pitches that puts more strain on a pitcher’s shoulder and elbow, and it is unknown how the extra 12 inches to home plate will affect a pitcher over the course of a game, a season or several seasons.
Forgetting how radical it would be to change the appearance of a baseball diamond by moving the mound or how having the pitching rubber back an extra 12-inches will make stealing bases way too easy for average runners. The bottom line as to why this idea would be a Major League disaster is simple: It is too much, too soon.
Without fully understanding how it will effect pitching arms, baseball is running the risk of destroying the one thing it needs in abundance and clearly is already lacking depth in, quality pitchers. Would this make more pitchers fastball pitchers and eliminate pitches like the splitter and the two-seamer that would become more difficult to control over the extra distance, maybe … but if it takes extra effort to control that pitcher, the wear and tear on the arms of those making those pitches will either make starters even more rare than they are now, or turn every team into a roster of “openers” who only pitch and inning or two before needed to be replaced. The problem is, over a 162-game season, both options are not viable.
I never discourage radical ideas in sports, unless and until it runs the risk of injuring those who put on the uniform. I also don’t like how different playing baseball would become with the mound pushed back so far at one time.
There are way too many risks in this idea, making it not just a bad one, but a terrible one, and one that if I was in the Atlantic League, would cause me to retire if I was a pitcher. Because risking my career just to be a lab rat for Major League Baseball is not worth it.
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Good Or Bad Idea? MLB’s Experiment With The Pitcher’s Mound? | TooAthletic.com
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