Is This Baseball or Is This Fan-Ball?
Welcome To The 2023 Season
The 2023 Baseball Season is off to a very exciting start. We have the long ball. We have the short game. We have marriage proposals???? More on that in a minute. MLB has decided, in it’s infinite wisdom, that a faster game, is a better game for the fans. So, they (the MLB) have implemented a few new rules for the 2023 season. Here’s a list of my favorites. And by favorites, I mean I hate them…completely.
Pitch Clock – if you are a fan of this, you are not my friend. Sorry…this is not baseball. What? You get a few minutes of your life back to do what? Exactly. This places undue stress on both the pitcher and the batter. To teach this to the kids coming up is just cruel and unfair. They should be enjoying their profession, not just being paid performers.
Ghost Runner on 2nd in Extra Innings – NO!!! Period. We were doing fine before without them. We don’t need them, don’t want them. Moving on.
Bigger Bases – Seriously? Pitchers aren’t batting and now the bases are bigger? What next, bigger bats?
One thing I am a fan of is the removal of the defensive shifts. It’ll be nice to see some calculated running in the game, instead of just waiting for the ball to be hit to the player. My poor Muncy was always a victim of the shift, so hopefully his percentages will go up with the implementation of this rule.
Now, I understand that my opinions are a bit harsh. I get it, I am who I am. However, I am a purist. I love my baseball being America’s pastime. When I say the word “pastime”, I am using it to define passing of time. Time to relax and have fun. Time to let loose and get out of the world for a bit and just focus on the game of baseball. Baseball is a beautiful calculated game. More rules only ruin the simple beauty of the game. Just look at hockey and football and how convoluted those games have become.
Marriage Proposal and What Not To Do
Everyone loves a marriage proposal at the ballpark. The camera pans to the unsuspecting girl while the guy kneels down next to her and pops the big question. Her hands automatically go to her mouth in surprise as she jumps up and down in joy, while shoving her ring finger in his face for him to try and get the ring on. Yup, we’ve seen it countless times on the jumbo screen. That’s what should happen, but that’s not what happened on March 31st at Dodgers stadium.
On Opening Day, Ricardo Juarez ran onto the field (during game play) and popped the question to unsuspecting Ramona Saavedra. Mr. Juarez was immediately tackled and arrested, charged, and banned for a year. Social media and media outlets went crazy…did she say yes??? She did.
When I read this story, it upset me. Anytime someone goes onto the field during play, normally there’s little to no press. This got tons of press. Mr. Juarez even said that if he could do it all over again, that he would. The players are in a very vulnerable state while on the field. The rule of no one being allowed on the field is there for the player’s protection. We’ve had crazy protestors trying to burn our American flag, but thanks to Rick Monday…he wouldn’t let it happen. Rules are not meant to be broken. I am thankful to the security personnel who acted fast and escorted him quickly off the field so that play could resume.
I call this new baseball that we are living through, Fan-ball. MLB is gearing baseball to the new fan and not the pure baseball fan. The new fan likes a faster paced game with lots of home runs. The pure baseball fan likes home runs, but enjoys the game as it unfolds naturally and doesn’t want it forced.
Generations are colliding in baseball and we are seeing this as the 2023 season unfolds. Hopefully we can get through it unscathed, as long as fans remain in their seats and off the field.
Go forth, and play ball.
Commentary By Jamye Wagner @jspwagner