Rob Manfred Believes The Size Of This Thing Will Help Baseball | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
It is said that baseball is a game of inches, with the difference between balls and strikes, fair or fouls, and a home run or an out, being smaller than the diameter of a baseball. For MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, increasing the size of THIS by a few inches is what he believes it will take for baseball to see more infield singles, stolen bases, and bunt base hits. Of course, Manfred has already proven his small way of thinking has little to no impact on the game, and the changes he wishes to make are not bringing fans back to baseball. Nevertheless, Manfred believes increasing the size of three things on the field will help fix all of baseballs woos.
The rule changes announced last week still have the baseball world buzzing, with shifts being banned for at least the first half of the Double-A season. Another change implemented by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will be seen on the Triple-A level where the bases will be increased in size from 15-inches to 18-inches. It is the belief of Manfred and Major League Baseball that having bigger bases will promote bunting for base hits since first base will be closer to home plate … Manfred also feels that having bigger bases, that bring baserunners closer to the next base will increase stolen base attempts and also feel that there will be an increase amount of infield singles because of a larger first base.
Another concept that Manfred is trying to sell is that having bigger bases will cut down on the number of collusions at first base … and if you believe that, I have a team to sell you for a $1.
Manfred clearly still believes that baseball is being played on black and white television and no one has invented a computer yet, because it is those things, not a lack of rule changes that have impacted the game over the last 30 years. It is the “Moneyball” mentality that has taken away bunting and stealing from the game since, by those who believe baseball is played on a spreadsheet, those are deemed low percentage plays in the case of bunting and not worth the risk when discussing the stolen base. Both of these have been ripped from the game since the computer models used to plan out an evening game in the middle of the afternoon say that by in large, those plays often less reward than what a team gives up when not properly executed. That’s why teams don’t steal bases and players don’t even practice bunting anymore, let alone do it during a game.
As for having more close plays go the way of the batter/runner at first base, I would ask those who believe that this question: Doesn’t a runner’s foot land the first from above, not closely to the ground? If that’s true, and we know it is, then how will adding six inches to the base’s size on the ground and even less area above it helps more than a few runners over the course of an entire year?
The larger base will not eliminate more of a runners stride between home plate and first base, and with most leaping to touch first base the way sprinter lunge at the finish line of a race, having their target be six inches closer over a 90-foot distance is so small, the impact will likely prove unnoticeable. And as for the notion that less fielder/running collisions will take place at first base, there is a much simpler way to do that, and if you go to any schoolyard you will be able to find it. Just put a second base in foul territory for use solely by the batter/runner coming up the first base line, that way whomever is trying to field the ball is also aiming for the same target they are.
Rob Manfred looks like a desperate man trying to find answers to problems that those who created them before his arrival refused to fix. The “Kings of the Spreadsheets” have ripped the art of the bunting and the stolen base from baseball and making the bases bigger isn’t going to change that. And making the game safer at first base isn’t helped by a bigger base; but when you have a small thinking commissioner like Manfred, you get small idea like these represent. This is why the future of Major League Baseball will not begin until Rob Manfred is removed from office.
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Rob Manfred Believes The Size Of This Thing Will Help Baseball | TooAthletic.com
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