The 2023 World Baseball Classic did more to repair the damage done to Major League Baseball since, well, as long as most people can remember.
Pretty much ever since Rob Manfred took over as MLB commissioner on January 25, 2015, he and the league have appeared to do everything in its power to make fans turn away from it.
From his bungling of the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal to his handling of the 2022 lockout to his continued lack of response to complaints about games being blacked out and not being accessible even when they aren’t, he has arguably been the worst commissioner in sports.
So, naturally, with the World Baseball Classic perfectly setting up the 2023 Major League Baseball season by getting fans excited about the game again, he’s decided to do a couple more really stupid things.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, peeing on everyone’s WBC parade, sent out new rules to teams that could get batboys and batgirls fired for being too slow.
In new memos distributed on Wednesday to MLB teams with some tweaks to the league’s rules, which have already been tweaked into oblivion.
Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Rob Manfred told teams about a change to the replay review rules when challenging violations of the infield shift ban, what they should do in the case of malfunctions of the PitchCom units, and a couple of tweaks to the 30-second between-batters clock, the 2-minute, 30-second between-innings clock, the hitter’s time out clock, and new standards that will now be enforced for batboys and batgirls.
That’s right. Batboys and batgirls are now under the gun, according to the MLB commissioner.
New standards will be enforced for bat boys and bat girls, whose ability to quickly retrieve equipment will help efforts to speed up the game, according to the memo. The league will evaluate the performances of bat boys and bat girls and could ask teams to replace them if their performance is considered substandard.
This little bit of news did not go over very well with baseball fans, nor should it.
“Angel Hernandez sued MLB and forced them to publicly announce he doesn’t do WS games because he frequently makes incorrect calls and made a big scene when 3 of his ALCS calls were overturned. He’s still here, one fan tweeted. “But if a batboy takes too long to run and get a bat, he’s unemployed.”
OK so this absolutely blows. You've already cut the average game time by like 40 minutes. Stop putting unnecessary pressure on kids to save an extra 8 seconds. Honestly nobody cares https://t.co/6FWgu17AX5 pic.twitter.com/xjeeom70fn
— Ethan Fisher (@efisher330) March 22, 2023
“Ah yes, the age-old baseball problem of substandard batboys and batgirls,” another disgusted fan wrote.
Imagine Rob Manfred calling 12 year old Sally and firing her. https://t.co/8aLlCT3GBv pic.twitter.com/HEsx7eCByW
— Packrip Mahoments - Spencer (@PackripMahoment) March 22, 2023
“We just witnessed a world baseball classic of games with no pitch clock or banned shifts and it was the greatest baseball we’ve seen in a while. anyways…. MLB gonna MLB,” someone else tweeted.