2023 MLB rule changes

Some big rule changes coming this season

  • Pitch Clock- The new rule: Pitchers will have 15 seconds to throw a pitch with the bases empty and 20 seconds with a runner on base. Hitters will need to be in the batter’s box with eight seconds on the pitch clock.

  • New “pick off rules” and “larger bases” and “elimination of the shift”


Finally found the time to read this. A very good article. If MLB can make many rule changes all at once then certainly the CFL can make some rule changes. The only major sport without a clock now has one.

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The pitch clock has been needed for a long time. I can attest to it working by going to Bison's games. It really just cuts out all the meaningless delays a pitcher might do, or a hitter ( Mike Hargrove, anyone???) and get to the point.

The shift thing...I realize it deadened chances at singles, however, teams were daring players to simply go opposite field. The problem is that that art of deliberately swinging for the opposite field seems to be disappearing. Had Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, or, Ryne Sandberg been around during this excessive shifting, they would have punished the fielding team by dropping a single or double down the Left Field line. Simply taking advantage of what's offered probably would have ended excessive shifting.
I really don't think the bases need to be bigger. This strikes me as a goofy attempt to artificially increase potential scoring opportunities.

One thing I've heard is that they are now going to bring back the ghost runner for extra innings , but not for the post season. get rid of the ghost runner altogether. It's a silly gimmick.

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I think the bases were made larger primarily for safety reasons and that the impact on scoring will be minimal.

Hard to like the ghost runner but baseball only joins other gimmicky overtime schemes that other sports all seem to have, including 3 on 3 in hockey and the NFL and CFL schemes and all of soccer worldwide. Only the NBA has old school OT rules free of gimmicks.

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Surprised no mention of the extra base runner becoming normal (it was supposed to be a temp thing)

That to me was the most baffling / odd rule I have ever seen in baseball

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Perhaps not directly "pace-of-play" but it likely does shorten the length of games.

It does change the regular season games significantly but in principle it is no different than shootouts in soccer, three man OT and shootouts in hockey and mini games in the CFL. Hockey and baseball abandon these regular season changes in the playoffs.

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The CFL makes rule changes every year. We just need to get them to make the correct ones. :wink:


I haven't really followed baseball since the 90s, but this change is surprising to me for the very reasons you cite. I had no idea, though, that modern hitters are unable to take advantage of excessive shifts. Has the pitching advanced beyond the hitting compared to the 90s and before?

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Well to be fair; I do despise the hockey/soccer OT / shootouts that were recently introduced as well

It would be just as silly to have an NBA team line up at free throw line and see who misses first


Agreed. I don’t have a huge problem with gimmicky OT or shootouts during the regular season as it’s not reasonable to expect teams to play another game the same day as could happen.

I take a different view in the playoffs. At least baseball and hockey and basketball get that right, playing to the death. Soccer and football don’t. Like many I would prefer a 15 minute OT in football in the playoffs or two 10 minute quarters or something similar. Football can’t be sudden death as the NFL has shown us, but as of yet I don’t think either football league has it right.


Not really, other than the "situational substitution" crap we see now...

Usually a starting pitcher goes 6 innings ( this is why we will no longer see 300 game winners). A new pitcher for the 7th, 8th, and, 9th innings (closer...Used to be called a "fireman" and he went at least 3 innings but usually 3..Think Rich "Goose" Gossage and Bruce Sutter( pronounced "Suitor") from the late '70's/early '80's...). Every pitcher now seems to be throwing 95MPH+ fastballs. The problem is that to adapt to this, most hitters are now instructed to "pull" the ball based on velocity. However, a bunt single is still a single...

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You summarized the matter of how all the sports handle overtime, extra time, or extra innings well.

The only item on which I differ is on the NFL, which I do feel now finally, FINALLY has it right as of the 2022 season's playoffs in January 2023 that we just watched though no games went to overtime. We'll have to wait for January 2024. Also damn you Bengals for that too.

And I had no idea this "ghost runner in extra innings" thing was added to baseball, for I did not bother during the height of the pandemic.

As is now I like the rule but don't like the implementation. I feel that the ghost runner should start on first base because starting on second base makes it too easy.

And I like that the rule is in place ONLY for the REGULAR season too.

For others who have not followed baseball closely, here's a fine summary of the ghost runner rule.

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How would a hitter take advantage?

And eliminating the shift is the dumbest rule change yet

Back to original point @Jon
I also don't know why we insist on gimmicks to end regular season games
Even a tie is preferential than some of the strangeness they have been doing in past decade

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Not really, there is no clock as to when the game ends

If its that easy why don't they do it all the time?
He was lucky he got away with it

As baseball is the most statistical of all sports by far, every team knows where every ball has been hit by every hitter on every type of pitch for every at bat ever. In the old days they charted this but now it is all done via computer.

So the manager of the team in the field knows that batter#2 for example hits an outside or inside fastball or curve or cutter or slider to a certain area a certain percentage of the time. If they know for example that right handed batter #2 will pull a fastball between second and third base 90% of the time they will shift the defensive alignment there, daring him to hit it to the opposite side. Most batters apparently can’t do this consistently. Not everyone is a Carew, Boggs or Gwynn.

The outfield has always shifted but it is now the infield shifting that is causing concern. I believe optics and aesthetics are a factor as well.


I would agree that a tie is preferential over a gimmick I don’t like. I must say I don’t mind 3 on 3 NHL OT, but only for the regular season. I wouldn’t be opposed to them extending it to 10 minutes as has been discussed. I despise the shootout in any sport. In my opinion it is not a true test of who was the better team that day.

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Yes I understand that....that is why they came up with the shift, but you said you cannot believe that batters don't take advantage....how would they take advantage?