It has become no secret that the MLB led by commissioner Rob Manfred has been looking for ways to garner a growing viewership of its product over the last several years. That has seen the evolution of technology and the need for immediacy impact the game of baseball as the length of a baseball game has become a definite talking point. The league has made some alterations to meet those desires to shorten the game to attract a stronger level of viewership both at the ballparks and nationally. The MLB may be on the verge of making another significant change to provide in hopes of adding another layer of intrigue to every game.
MLB embracing rule changes
Among the four major sports in the United States, the game of baseball has been around the longest that created a long decorated history.
However, it being “America’s pastime” has also seen it move towards the need to make changes to help further appease the fans and gather more moving forward. That has seen the MLB take steps by decreasing the amount of time it takes to complete a game.
The league has restricted the number of mound visits that each team can have each game. That will see starting pitchers and relievers having to pitch to either a minimum of three batters or to the end of a half-inning. There were also ideas of a pitching clock and changing the distance that the pitching mound has from home plate.
The MLB is more than comfortable with making adjustments to help garner a more considerable fanbase for the sport beyond the reach that each team has in their respective locations. With that in mind, the league could be nearing some profound changes to their playoff format.
MLB eyeing potential playoff format changes
Over the years, the MLB has adopted a few changes to their playoff formatting to provide a more competitive postseason.
It appears that additional alterations could be on tap for the majors as the league office is considering almost completely revamping the entire setup so that more teams could play meaningful baseball past early October. Among those changes would be completely rid of the wildcard spots with seven teams from each league.
At this juncture, there are two wildcard spots in each league with a one-game playoff to determine which team will move to play in a five-game series in the divisional series round under those proposed rules that would change that from being a three-game format in that round.
It would also see the team with the top record in each league garner a first-round bye, while those teams would be able to dictate who they would play next. That overhaul of the postseason format would change how the entire process plays out as it would be much more challenging to advance towards the World Series.
That has made it quite evident that these rules would push forward the motive to compete for the top spot and make for more competitive and meaningful games later in the regular season. All of this has sparked a great deal of discussion concerning the matter.
Will the MLB commit to these changes?
At this moment, each of these proposed changes is just that. The decision to put them publicly out provides a chance to see how the reaction to these potential alterations.
That hasn’t had immediate positive feedback; there is some pushback on social media. It has seen those take shots at Manfred by stating they have more issues with him than previously with Bud Selig. Again, these are just the initial reactions, but there should be more feedback from teams as pitchers and catchers are set to report for spring training this week.
All in all, it will be interesting to see if the MLB is serious about putting these proposed rules into effect.