MLB World Reacts to Controversial Rule Changes
Major League Baseball has undergone several radical changes since Rob Manfred took over as commissioner in 2015, including numerous rule changes. While some of these changes such as a pitch clock, bigger bases and the universal DH have been well received, others have drawn heavy criticism from players and fans alike.
MLB's competition committee announced its latest round of rule changes on Monday, and the initial reaction from fans and media online was overwhelmingly negative.
MLB Rule Changes
The new rules announced on Monday, which include the continuation of "ghost runners" in extra innings as well as limitations on when position players can be used to pitch, do not appear to be popular decisions.
The "ghost runner" is not a new rule, per se, as it was implemented during the Covid-abbreviated 2020 season to help shorten extra-inning games by automatically placing a runner on second base to start every extra inning. It remained in place for 2021 and 2022 despite not being especially well-liked by fans, and will now be a permanent rule going forward.
This is disappointing news for fans who view this rule as "gimmicky" and a clear deviation from how the rest of the game is played. It'd be like if football's overtime rules changed to have both teams start at the 50-yard line.
As for position players pitching, that can be fun and entertaining for fans. Many do not think there needs to be a rule about it, however, and believe MLB is overstepping its bounds by addressing something that few care about while ignoring bigger problems.
No rule change is going to be unanimously celebrated, of course, but it seems the MLB would have been better off reverting to the old extra-innings format and leaving position players pitching alone.