Rob Manfred tinkers, much to the appreciation of some and the consternation of others.
Me, I’m all in favor of tinkering with the sport of baseball. As long as the commissioner displays a willingness to quit on the tinkers that tank.
Which brings us to the three-batter minimum which will go into effect for the 2020 season. I argued for it a year ago and won’t flip-flop now. Yet we shouldn’t ignore the lack of enthusiasm, throughout the industry, surrounding its imminent implementation.
So give it a shot. Then don’t hesitate to scrap it in time for the postseason if it creates more headaches than it cures.
The impetus for, and intentions behind, this rule change couldn’t be more clear. In 2019, teams combined to use an average of 8.47 pitchers per nine-inning, regular-season contest, as per Major League Baseball, setting a new record that had previously been established in … 2018, at 8.41. Thanks a lot, openers!
The mid-inning pitching switches bring the most pain — with their accompanying commercial breaks, which can prompt fans, both in person and watching on their TVs and devices, to reassess their life priorities.