- MLB and the MLBPA continue to hold meetings in an attempt to end the lockout and ensure there will be a 2022 MLB season
- The latest agreements from the MLBPA and MLB came on Sunday where both parties agreed to make fundamental changes to the infield that will drastically alter gameplay
- Read more Baseball stories right here
Baseball fans are stuck in limbo as the MLB team owners continue to strong-arm negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA. It’s unclear if there will even be a 2022 MLB season with how slow the negotiations are proceeding and regular-season games have already been canceled but some progress was made over the weekend.
How’d we get here? Well, salaries for MLB players have actually declined for four straight years despite MLB taking in $11 billion in revenue. But as I’m sure everyone knows, the lockout wasn’t entirely about players wanting/needing more money. Evidence of this came on Sunday when the league and the player’s union actually agreed on some fundamental changes to the infield.
Latest MLB And MLBPA Agreements Will Drastically Alter The Infield
Jon Heyman was first to report the three changes agreed upon by both parties:
- Banning shifts in the infield
- Implementing a pitch clock on pitchers to speed up the game
- Making the physical size of the base larger beginning in 2023
Players union agreed to allow MLB to ban shifts, implement a pitch clock and make bases larger in 2023, subject to those agreements fitting into a total deal. Union also rejected Robo umps for ‘22/‘23. MLB goal: to be able to streamline the process and add excitement ti the game.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 6, 2022
Making the base sizes larger is certainly interesting. That will create more opportunities for players to tag the bag without getting swiped by making it harder for infielders to tag players out. Putting a clock on pitchers is a must. Baseball games simply last too long for most fans with the average game length last season being 3 hours and 10 minutes.
Banning the shift though? That’s not something I ever thought would happen. And I’m immediately trying to figure out which baseball player’s careers would’ve been changed if the shift was always banned. Carlos Peña of the Tampa Bay Rays hit into the shift EVERY DAMN TIME unless the ball got out of the park. Others that come to mind are Matt Carpenter, Joey Gallo, and even David Ortiz would’ve benefitted immensely from banning the shift.
How Are Baseball Fans Reacting To The Shift Getting Banned?
Breaking: Rendering of larger bases proposal. Ricky Henderson base-stealing record quickly to be in jeopardy. 💨😬🤷🏼♂️ pic.twitter.com/HE1HA2OcNM
— Scott Maier (@samaier) March 6, 2022
— Man-cave of Steal (🏃🏿💨🧤) (@rickey939) March 7, 2022
Robo umps would improve the game more than any of these other proposed changes.
How about the exact opposite?
Don't ban shifts
No pitch clock (would rather see fewer mound visits and warm-up pitches)
And yes to robo umps
— Eric Eisenberg (@numericsports) March 6, 2022
listen, i hate the shift as much as anyone, but to BAN it?? come on, man. that’s part of the game 🤦🏾♂️
— Sean Alcide (@Sean_Lyric) March 6, 2022
We don’t need a pitch clock or banned shifts. 10 dollar seats. 5 dollar parking. Kids need to be able to go.
— Greg "I’m Wearing My Mask For A While More” Proops (@GregProops) March 7, 2022
And no reason after every pitch, the batter needs to step out of the box, rearrange his gloves, etc
— jacob (@jacobed25) March 7, 2022
bruh a 110mph line drive to the outfield shouldn’t be an out
— noah (@classicasian_) March 7, 2022
Banning the shift is trash, next they’ll ban pitchers from throwing pitches that are too good.
The obvious fix to streamline the game is to cut down the time in between innings, but they’d never dip into their precious ad revenue.
— Lobie Mac Manic Esq. (@Lobie1Kenobi) March 7, 2022
So they did things nobody asked for
— Mort (@amort9924) March 7, 2022
MLB is going to be devastated when no-hitters cease to exist after they ban the shift. It feels like only a matter of time before they bring it back but put a limit on the number of shifts a team can do during a game so managers are forced to choose when to bust the shift out.
Will there be a 2022 MLB season? At this point, the outlook is bleak. The MLB owners seem to be at least holding their own in the PR battle with many baseball fans somehow thinking this is the player’s fault. Owners are raking in profit and the players’ salaries have shrunk four years in a row.