It’s appears San Francisco Giants fans will notice a few changes on the field, and it’s not the new faces on the team. On Thursday, Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association came to an agreement with a list of news rules for the 2017 season, including the changes on intentional walks.
Here are a few notable regulations for the upcoming season.
For the intentional walk, it allows the manager to signal that they would like to do an intentional walk to the home plate umpire instead of sending it to the catcher and then throwing four wide ones.
"The start of a no-pitch intentional walk, allowing the defensive team’s manager to signal a decision to the home plate umpire to intentionally walk the batter. Following the signal of the manager’s intention, the umpire will immediately award first base to the batter."
Another noticeable rule — and maybe fans might enjoy this one — is a two minute rule for reviewing plays.
"A conditional two-minute guideline for Replay Officials to render a decision on a replay review, allowing various exceptions."
So, the replay officials only have two minutes to review a play. So, baseballs fans can rejoice that they don’t have to wait for an eternity to find out what the official ruling is.
MLB has decided on a 30-second rule to allow managers to challenge a play or invoke a replay review. This rule prevents managers who like to take forever to determine to challenge a play or not.
"A 30-second limit for a manager to decide whether to challenge a play and invoke replay review."
If Bruce Bochy wants a play to be reviewed, then he will have 30 seconds to decide whether or not. No pressure there.
Last year, the New York Mets accused the Los Angles Dodgers for using electronic lasers by marking on the field for defensive position plays. In response of this controversy, MLB decided any kind of markings is prohibited, including using paint and lasers to make marks on the field.
"A prohibition on the use of any markers on the field that could create a tangible reference system for fielders."
Good job, Dodgers.
Another rule created is for pitchers, thanks to reliever Carter Capps. This new rule prohibits pitchers from shifting by lifting their pivot foot after the pitch. If there is a runner on base, it will be considered a bulk. If there is on one on base, then it will be illegal pitch and be call a ball.
"An addition to Rule 5.07 formalizes an umpire interpretation by stipulating that a pitcher may not take a second step toward home plate with either foot or otherwise reset his pivot foot in his delivery of the pitch. If there is at least one runner on base, then such an action will be called as a balk under Rule 6.02(a). If the bases are unoccupied, then it will be considered an illegal pitch under Rule 6.02(b)."
The new rules will go into effect this season. The main goal is supposed to make baseball more fun and of course, faster.
It’s a month away from Opening Day and we shall see how these news regulations will take effect when baseball season starts … hopefully for the best.