Why Major League Baseball Used to be Better

I have always had a love and passion for the game of baseball and I probably always will. That is unless Major League Baseball and even the sport, in general, keep going down the same path as it is now. Over the past few years, many things in the sport of baseball as a whole have changed such as the addition of pitch clocks and in-game instant replay “challenges”. As well as these additions in the MLB, baseball is played much differently than it was twenty and even ten years ago.

Pitch clocks were introduced to the Minor Leagues in the 2015 baseball season. This meant the pitcher had twenty seconds to pitch the ball in between each delivery. If they did not throw the ball in less than twenty seconds, a ball would be added to the count. Major League Baseball is implementing a pitch clock to the game of baseball this coming year during the 2018 season. One of the many things that makes baseball an incredibly unique game is that there is no time limit or clock. You do not have to beat the clock in baseball; you have to beat your opponent. There is no clock preventing you from getting a plate appearance in the bottom of the ninth inning with the game on the line. These pitch clocks knock pitchers out of rhythm, speed up their deliveries, and can mess with you mentally. The mental aspect of Major League Baseball is almost as important or just as important as the physical aspect.

Major League Baseball started to allow the Crew Chief of an umpire crew to review a play on the field they thought was very controversial. I do not have that big of a problem with this type of review. I do have a problem with instant replay reviews in the middle of a baseball game. Umpires are not perfect, and neither is anyone else on this earth. The St. Louis Cardinals lost the 1985 World Series because of a blown call on a force out at first base. Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game by Jim Joyce on a blown call in the midst of the 2010 season. Galarraga simply said in the post-game press conference, “Everybody makes mistakes.” These specific events helped create the ability for coaches to challenge an umpire’s call in the midst of a game. If the MLB wants to speed up the pace of the game so badly, why was this ever added into the sport. Not all controversy between players, coaches and umpires in the game have been eliminated either.

Over the past three years of baseball, there have been just over 2,500 stolen bases each year. Those past three years are the lowest number of stolen bases over the past two decades. Watching players steal bases is exciting; it is simply fun to watch. Watching catchers show off their ridiculous arms throwing runners out trying to steal a bag is exhilarating. This has been limited by the amount of speed, aggression, and attempts to steal in Major League Baseball nowadays. Watching catchers get plowed at the plate and hanging onto the ball is an incredible scene. Now, the catcher cannot even block home plate unless he has the ball in his glove and if he was blocking the plate with the ball in his glove, the runner would have slide or run somewhere else. The number of strikeouts each year over the past two decades has gone up by over 10,000 strikeouts. It is just simply not fun to watch people strike out at an alarmingly high rate.

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