We’re getting close to the Winter Meetings, meaning it’s time for the luminaries of baseball to put their heads together and determine what, if any changes are to be made to the rules. It seems like there is one proposal that has enough legs to carry it into the rulebook, and that is the demise of the fake-to-third pickoff play. Personally, I think it takes a tool out of a pitcher’s hands to keep a runner on first. Proponents argue that the play is almost never successful. The point of the move isn’t to get an out at first, but to keep the runner close to the bag and potentially keep a double play opportunity alive for another pitch or two, and to prevent a runner from reaching third on a bloop single that he would easily get with a good jump. My vote is for keeping the move legal. Bleacher Report breaks down a handful of other proposals being floated:
- Corporate sponsors getting jersey space: Inevitable, but fer Chrissakes, keep it tiny, will you?
- World Series home field advantage goes to the winner of the All-star game: It’s been tried for a couple of years, successfully. Make it stick. The rule would give All-star players a motivation for not skipping the All-star game.
- Expanding instant replay: Not. Ever. Going. To. Support. This. Baseball is a human game, and one of the beautiful aspects of the game is that it’s a complete mirror of American life, including the failures. Don’t cheapen it by trying to eliminate error from human effort.
- The DH: Again, I’m not a fan. Small ball is a joy to watch, especially when the pitcher comes to the plate with a runner on first and one out in a close game. Bunting is a skill that is part of baseball, and guys like Stephen Strasburg can actually hit. If a guy is too old to play the field, he should retire, not get farmed out to the American League. My vote would be to either keep the league split rule or eliminate the rule completely.