Major League Baseball: Five pace of play change ideas

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How some Cubs’ players feel about this and final thoughts

Personally, I don’t want to make any changes – but change is inevitable.  I agree with comments made by the likes of Jason Hammel and Jake Arrieta.  Both were quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times, expressing their displeasure with the potential rule changes.

“I know that they’re trying to speed up the game, but I feel like everybody’s trying to change the game now,” Hammel said. “It’s a great game.  How many times are they going to flip these things and change the rules and bend them here and there?”

Arrieta also showed his frustration with all the talk about the changes being made to the game.

“I understand that they’re trying to get the 16-to-30-year-olds more interested in baseball,” he said.  “I don’t think you completely change the way the game’s been played forever because we can’t get people to put their iPhones down.”

Arrieta is completely right on this.  I echoed his thoughts earlier on in this post with all of the technology at fans’ fingertips. Baseball is a great game. Does it need to change a little with the times? Yeah, probably.

But to overhaul America’s pastime with multiple big changes simultaneously would be a major mistake. That being said, there are fundamental issues that could be addressed with some relatively simple fixes.

Joe Maddon hit the nail on the head with how to fix the need for a defensive shift. In an interview with MLB Network Radio’s Casey Stern and Jim Bowden, Maddon was asked about the strategy that he helped make famous and if there is enough offense in the game. This was his response:

"“I just think it needs to be organically done. Meaning when you draft or sign a player and he’s going up through your system, you’re going to see that he’s going to pull the ball.”"

You can teach these players how to be multi-dimensional in the Minors, college – and even in their high school playing days. But in this case, the Minors are the place where the most work  will take place and best results will come. Once you get a veteran like the aforementioned Ortiz, who has been around for years – he won’t change.

We’ve all heard -“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” – well the same goes in baseball.  With a lot of these veteran hitters, their swing and approach is as natural to them as breathing.  Break the bad habits in the Minors and you’ll see better hitting, more scoring and less gimmicks being used to stop offensive production.

For the Cubs – we have the best and most creative manager in all of baseball in Joe Maddon.  What ever changes are made, he will find a way to make things work.  He out of any manager will find a way to create new ways of winning.

I think we all love the game of baseball and would be happy with the way it is – but with a new age of fans and leadership – changes will come.  Hopefully what changes happen will be for the best. Please give me your feedback in the comments section.

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