Chicago Cubs 2019 Season

I have no idea if this network will be offered in cable and satellite packages or will have to be purchased by itself (which I would not like), but I am laughing out loud at all the people who are complaining about the horrible coupling of two "alt-right" organizations, the Ricketts-owned Cubs and Sinclair. Grow up and worry about something that matters.
 
Likes: KBLEE
The plan is for it to be on regular cable packages the same way ESPN, BTN and Comcast SportsNet is. The questions, as we all remember from the BTN roll out, are what cable companies pick them up and how much does it add to cable bills.

I’m reasonably confident it will get added to pretty much every local cable distributor in the Cubs MLB market.

Sounds like the Cubs are getting a rights fee and then a split of sales and distribution. No hard numbers yet, but if I had to guess, they’re not getting as much up front as the Dodgers did, but will be getting a larger chunk of profits going forward.
 
Likes: IanKEvans2
And the plus for those of us in downstate Illinois will be that all the games will be on one station instead of the four or five different stations they’ve been jumping around on for the last three or four seasons.
 
Likes: IanKEvans2
So I thought of this and this seemed like a good place to write it down:

My Plan To Fix Baseball, in three parts

Preamble: There is a lot of talk about the need to alter some of baseball's rules. This often gets framed in terms of the needs of millennials, and their lack of appreciation of the rhythms of the game. That framing is wrong. Baseball's problem is not that it has changed too little, but that it has changed too much. The continual deterioration in the pace of play and amount of action on the field has made the game a less watchable product than it was in the old days. We want to make it MORE like the baseball previous generations enjoyed, not less. Meanwhile, the incentive structure of the game has made cynical fan-insulting tanking a widespread crisis and blight on the sport. Not every team can be a winner every year, but teams need to be incentivized to put the best possible product on the field, and to seek out players on the open market who can help them achieve that, so that every game in MLB is a battle of two organizations who genuinely want to win from top to bottom.

With that in mind, here are the ideas.

Part 1: Gameplay

- The size of the strike zone will be redefined as the armpits to the top of the knees, which is where it was set in 1969 after the mound lowering in that year.
- The mound will be raised from 10 inches to 12 (it was 15 inches during the pitcher-dominant 60's period)
- 20 second pitch clock, along with umpires being instructed to strictly enforce the existing rules against batters leaving the batter's box
- A three-batter minimum per pitcher entering the game, unless the pitcher allows a run
- Teams may only place 4 players to one side of second base in a defensive alignment (not including the pitcher and catcher), with an exception for situations where the opposing team can potentially produce a walk-off game winning hit.
- For official scoring purposes, a player will only be recorded as playing the defensive position in which he started the inning (unless he switches to pitcher or catcher). This is for ease of reading box scores and for fantasy baseball purposes, where defensive tomfoolery shouldn't make Anthony Rizzo 2nd base eligible, for example.

The broad goal of these changes is to make the game faster, and to encourage balls to be hit in play. Pitchers working quicker, for longer, toward a smaller strike zone, with a more open infield behind them will be throwing a more hittable ball that batters will have a stronger incentive to avoid striking out on. Loading up for a massive low-accuracy uppercut will become less valuable, and there will be more plays in the field.

Part 2: Competitive Balance

- With the exception of the top 7 most valuable markets (Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Giants, Angels), any team that finished with fewer than 90 losses will receive a compensatory draft pick after the end of the first round, in order from best to worst record. This will replace the existing "competitive balance lottery".
- The top 5 picks in the draft (as well as the top 5 bonus pools for international prospects) will be assigned in reverse order of the team's draft position the previous year. IE, if you had the #1 pick last year, the highest you can get the next year is #5. The Big 7 teams will be ineligible to move up as a result of this process, but may move down. (So the Yankees can't win the World Series and then mini-tank and get the #1 pick without the actual worst record, but they also will be punished for multi-year tanking).
- The luxury tax will remain in place, but all "repeater" penalties and all draft pick penalties will be removed. The point of the tax is to have teams pay it, and thus redistribute that money to the smaller market teams, not for the big teams to dodge the tax, keep the small market teams poor, and hoard profits for themselves.

The idea here is to make trying to be good the better rebuilding avenue than trying to be bad. If you're intentionally bad for multiple years, your draft and amateur signing resources get worse, not better. If you stay competitive, they get better, not worse.

Part 3: Player Compensation

- All teams must have a payroll of at least half of the luxury tax threshold, or pay the difference between their payroll and half the luxury tax threshold back to their players (this is what the NBA does).
- Minimum MLB salary is $1 million. After 1 year of service time it's $1.5M, after two years it's $2M. The extreme cheapness of the youngest players distorts the entire marketplace, and is unfair to excellent young players who no longer have illogical bloated contracts to look forward to in their 30's now that teams are smarter in free agency.
- Minimum salary for a minor league player on the 40-man roster is $150K, and for any player chosen in the first 10 rounds of the draft, or in at least their second year with an organization, it's 75K. Professional baseball players in a multi-billion dollar industry deserve a healthy wage and will be able to train and develop better with money to eat well, train well, and live well.
- The first year of service time will be accrued if a player is on the major league roster for more than half the season. If a player is added to the MLB roster for the first time after the trade deadline, that players service time will not count toward their free agency clock if the team elects to instead 1. allow the player to accrue a full year of service time the next season if they spend ANY time in the majors and 2. grant the player automatic eligibility for "super two" arbitration. This ends the nonsense of leaving elite prospects in the minors for a week to steal a whole year of team control from them, and incentivizes teams to call up hot prospects earlier rather than later. They can essentially get that first post-All Star cup of coffee for free.

Combine this with the competitive balance stuff and it's very simple, if you want to go young as a route to competing better on the field and having a brighter future, great! Put your best players out there and supplement them with what you need to win games. If you want to "go young" to slash costs while simultaneously cynically manipulating the service time of your actual best players, you gain no advantage from doing so.
 
So I thought of this and this seemed like a good place to write it down:

My Plan To Fix Baseball, in three parts

Preamble: There is a lot of talk about the need to alter some of baseball's rules. This often gets framed in terms of the needs of millennials, and their lack of appreciation of the rhythms of the game. That framing is wrong. Baseball's problem is not that it has changed too little, but that it has changed too much. The continual deterioration in the pace of play and amount of action on the field has made the game a less watchable product than it was in the old days. We want to make it MORE like the baseball previous generations enjoyed, not less. Meanwhile, the incentive structure of the game has made cynical fan-insulting tanking a widespread crisis and blight on the sport. Not every team can be a winner every year, but teams need to be incentivized to put the best possible product on the field, and to seek out players on the open market who can help them achieve that, so that every game in MLB is a battle of two organizations who genuinely want to win from top to bottom.

With that in mind, here are the ideas.

Part 1: Gameplay

- The size of the strike zone will be redefined as the armpits to the top of the knees, which is where it was set in 1969 after the mound lowering in that year.
- The mound will be raised from 10 inches to 12 (it was 15 inches during the pitcher-dominant 60's period)
- 20 second pitch clock, along with umpires being instructed to strictly enforce the existing rules against batters leaving the batter's box
- A three-batter minimum per pitcher entering the game, unless the pitcher allows a run
- Teams may only place 4 players to one side of second base in a defensive alignment (not including the pitcher and catcher), with an exception for situations where the opposing team can potentially produce a walk-off game winning hit.
- For official scoring purposes, a player will only be recorded as playing the defensive position in which he started the inning (unless he switches to pitcher or catcher). This is for ease of reading box scores and for fantasy baseball purposes, where defensive tomfoolery shouldn't make Anthony Rizzo 2nd base eligible, for example.

The broad goal of these changes is to make the game faster, and to encourage balls to be hit in play. Pitchers working quicker, for longer, toward a smaller strike zone, with a more open infield behind them will be throwing a more hittable ball that batters will have a stronger incentive to avoid striking out on. Loading up for a massive low-accuracy uppercut will become less valuable, and there will be more plays in the field.

Part 2: Competitive Balance

- With the exception of the top 7 most valuable markets (Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Giants, Angels), any team that finished with fewer than 90 losses will receive a compensatory draft pick after the end of the first round, in order from best to worst record. This will replace the existing "competitive balance lottery".
- The top 5 picks in the draft (as well as the top 5 bonus pools for international prospects) will be assigned in reverse order of the team's draft position the previous year. IE, if you had the #1 pick last year, the highest you can get the next year is #5. The Big 7 teams will be ineligible to move up as a result of this process, but may move down. (So the Yankees can't win the World Series and then mini-tank and get the #1 pick without the actual worst record, but they also will be punished for multi-year tanking).
- The luxury tax will remain in place, but all "repeater" penalties and all draft pick penalties will be removed. The point of the tax is to have teams pay it, and thus redistribute that money to the smaller market teams, not for the big teams to dodge the tax, keep the small market teams poor, and hoard profits for themselves.

The idea here is to make trying to be good the better rebuilding avenue than trying to be bad. If you're intentionally bad for multiple years, your draft and amateur signing resources get worse, not better. If you stay competitive, they get better, not worse.

Part 3: Player Compensation

- All teams must have a payroll of at least half of the luxury tax threshold, or pay the difference between their payroll and half the luxury tax threshold back to their players (this is what the NBA does).
- Minimum MLB salary is $1 million. After 1 year of service time it's $1.5M, after two years it's $2M. The extreme cheapness of the youngest players distorts the entire marketplace, and is unfair to excellent young players who no longer have illogical bloated contracts to look forward to in their 30's now that teams are smarter in free agency.
- Minimum salary for a minor league player on the 40-man roster is $150K, and for any player chosen in the first 10 rounds of the draft, or in at least their second year with an organization, it's 75K. Professional baseball players in a multi-billion dollar industry deserve a healthy wage and will be able to train and develop better with money to eat well, train well, and live well.
- The first year of service time will be accrued if a player is on the major league roster for more than half the season. If a player is added to the MLB roster for the first time after the trade deadline, that players service time will not count toward their free agency clock if the team elects to instead 1. allow the player to accrue a full year of service time the next season if they spend ANY time in the majors and 2. grant the player automatic eligibility for "super two" arbitration. This ends the nonsense of leaving elite prospects in the minors for a week to steal a whole year of team control from them, and incentivizes teams to call up hot prospects earlier rather than later. They can essentially get that first post-All Star cup of coffee for free.

Combine this with the competitive balance stuff and it's very simple, if you want to go young as a route to competing better on the field and having a brighter future, great! Put your best players out there and supplement them with what you need to win games. If you want to "go young" to slash costs while simultaneously cynically manipulating the service time of your actual best players, you gain no advantage from doing so.
The only thing there I couldn’t get behind is the player positioning rules. It’s not clear that it actually helps the defense. (Forward thinking clubs like the Cubs use the shift a lot less than other teams, while maintaining very high defensive numbers.) And having the shortstop just to the right of second base had been part of baseball for over a century. I think teams should be able to put their defenders wherever they want.

That said, everything else I agree with in general if not the exact particulars. Especially - and this can’t be emphasized enough - how the artificially depressed salaries for younger players are screwing up the entire market.

Your point on pace of play is completely right. It is about getting back to the way the game was played in the 70s and 80s more than coming up with something new.

There was an article that I can’t find anywhere that did a side-by-side comparison of two games with similar box scores. One was a Cubs-Mets game from 1985. And the other was a NL game from 2015. It was humorous, and fun because of the calls back to the 80s Cubs I grew up with. But it also emphasized how much the pace of play problem was pitchers holding the ball and batters stepping out of the box. Wish I could find that article...
 
Likes: ChiefGritty
Raising the mound and shrinking the strike zone is going to have the opposite effect than you think it will. Strike outs are going to rise, breaking balls are much more effective from a higher position. Walks are going to rise, as pitchers aren't as accurate as you think.

I think most of the "pace of play" initiatives are worthless. Yes, games take too long. The only thing that's going to meaningfully change that is shorten time between innings and some of the pitching change rules (3 batter minimum, etc.). Personally, I think the best "pace of play" initiatives are the ones that increase balls in play, which will also speed up the game. Strike outs and walks take a long time.

They should lower the mound, and move it back another 6 inches. This increases balls in play. You're never going to get players to stop selling out for home runs/ striking out more unless they materially change the rules of the game or equipment. It's like how you're not going to stop players from shooting more 3s in the NBA, the math just works out better that way.

Most importantly, baseball isn't broken. It's still very popular regionally and attendance/ revenues continue to rise. The MLBPA just needs a better negotiator and not Tony f'n Clark. Until they change the incentives that are skewed towards having only players in their 1st 6 cheap years, then the free agency drag is going to continue.
 
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Likes: IanKEvans2
Raising the mound and shrinking the strike zone is going to have the opposite effect than you think it will. Strike outs are going to rise, breaking balls are much more effective from a higher position. Walks are going to rise, as pitchers aren't as accurate as you think.

I think most of the "pace of play" initiatives are worthless. Yes, games take too long. The only thing that's going to meaningfully change that is shorten time between innings and some of the pitching change rules (3 batter minimum, etc.). Personally, I think the best "pace of play" initiatives are the ones that increase balls in play, which will also speed up the game. Strike outs and walks take a long time.
I'm definitely willing to experiment on this stuff, especially since we agree on what the end goal is.

But I do think I'm right. Bring better stuff into a smaller window and guys are going to produce more offensive damage by making consistent contact than by a rare HR. Hitters will do whatever generates the most offense overall.

And the other thing you have to worry about by just making pitching way harder is creating endless 4-hour games just because they're all 12-11 final scores. That's no good either.
 
I'm definitely willing to experiment on this stuff, especially since we agree on what the end goal is.

But I do think I'm right. Bring better stuff into a smaller window and guys are going to produce more offensive damage by making consistent contact than by a rare HR. Hitters will do whatever generates the most offense overall.

And the other thing you have to worry about by just making pitching way harder is creating endless 4-hour games just because they're all 12-11 final scores. That's no good either.
Batting average on balls in play league wide always averages to be right around .300. More balls in play isn't going to change that too much. Balls in play also lead to fewer pitches, less pitching changes, quicker games in general. It's not a cure all obviously, contact quality might get better and raise offense, and starting pitchers should never pitch through the order 3 times anyway.

But they lowered the mound to 10 inches from 15 because the pitchers were too good (1968 Bob Gibson on a 15 inch mound basically broke baseball). Raising the mound is going to make pitchers better again, which will lead to more strikeouts and less balls in play (it's science, more downward force on breaking balls makes them break more, obviously harder to hit). It stands to reason lowering the mound another few inches would increase balls in play. Modern fitness and mechanics have increased pitch velocity a ton too, so moving the mound back makes sense as well.
 
If you read the article I posted to, it says that almost the entire half hour difference between the two games sampled was time between pitches. Basically, there’s 9 or 10 seconds more between each pitch, which really adds up over the course of a nine inning game. A pitch clock would go a long, long way towards rectifying that, without having to do much else to change the game.
 
Likes: IanKEvans2
But they lowered the mound to 10 inches from 15 because the pitchers were too good (1968 Bob Gibson on a 15 inch mound basically broke baseball). Raising the mound is going to make pitchers better again, which will lead to more strikeouts and less balls in play (it's science, more downward force on breaking balls makes them break more, obviously harder to hit).
But lowering the mount in '69 barely decreased the K rate at all. It actually decreased the amount of balls in play because walks briefly spiked (related more to the concurrent shrinking of the strike zone, surely).

The big thing that changed from 68 to 69 was power. Guys hit a ton more home runs, because the stuff they were facing wasn't as good.

Admittedly when we're talking about mound height and strike zone size we're working with two variables so it becomes a bit difficult to parse. But it seems to me that the conditions that most incentivize hitting to contact are when the stuff you're facing is good, but the strike zone is small. Why risk a whiff when it's coming over the heart of the plate?

This is all theory, I'd like to see it in practice to get better data, though it's tough to develop a large enough sample size to really judge player tendencies.
 
But lowering the mount in '69 barely decreased the K rate at all. It actually decreased the amount of balls in play because walks briefly spiked (related more to the concurrent shrinking of the strike zone, surely).

The big thing that changed from 68 to 69 was power. Guys hit a ton more home runs, because the stuff they were facing wasn't as good.

Admittedly when we're talking about mound height and strike zone size we're working with two variables so it becomes a bit difficult to parse. But it seems to me that the conditions that most incentivize hitting to contact are when the stuff you're facing is good, but the strike zone is small. Why risk a whiff when it's coming over the heart of the plate?

This is all theory, I'd like to see it in practice to get better data, though it's tough to develop a large enough sample size to really judge player tendencies.
I guess I didn't really look into how offense changed, i just knew it jumped significantly after the mound lowering.

I think the cats out of the bag as far as guys selling out for power. Like I said, it's like the 3 in basketball, until homeruns and doubles quit being worth 4 and 2 bases, it will always be better to sell out for power. There are contact guys still around, but the guy slapping singles is just never going to be worth as much as a guy who knows how to take a walk and swings for the fence. The math just doesn't work.

If you look at the top 30 strictly offensive players last year, only 7 of them had a SLG under .500, and a lot of those guys needed unsustainable BABIPs to be valuable or just guys with elite walk rates. Go to 2017, and the number of top 30 hitters with SLG under .500 is 1 guy, noted randomly good/ randomly crap hitter Erik Hosmer
 
There are contact guys still around, but the guy slapping singles is just never going to be worth as much as a guy who knows how to take a walk and swings for the fence. The math just doesn't work.
The math exists in a context. A context of how likely the home run is, how likely a strikeout is, and so on.

If all the fences in all the ballparks were moved back 50 feet, you can bet guys would stop swinging so hard they struck out a quarter or more of the time. Players like that would become useless overnight.

My theory is that a world in which stuff, particularly breaking stuff as you mentioned, got better because of the higher mound, BUT, pitch placement got a bit more certain and it got easier to have good plate coverage because of a smaller zone, slappy doubles hitters would start producing more offense than Adam Dunn types, and then players would adjust to become more like those players.

It's a theory. But I think it's a sound one.
 
My big change would not be pace of play related (though I agree that is something that should be strongly looked at). I would force the MLBPA to cover the minor league players as well. If they start negotiating from that standpoint, I think we'll see a lot of changes in the time to FA, the shenanigans related to call ups, etc.

Really, I would completely change the minor league system. I wouldn't have players go initially to a specific team. Low level minors would be basically Fall League style for everyone. Focus on skill development during the week, games F-Su. Maybe one level of team controlled minors, where if you don't call them up quickly you lose the rights. I haven't fully fleshed it out, I just don't think the current minors system is best for developing the skills of the players.
 
A Legend in My Own Mind
Montgomery, IL
The only thing there I couldn’t get behind is the player positioning rules. It’s not clear that it actually helps the defense. (Forward thinking clubs like the Cubs use the shift a lot less than other teams, while maintaining very high defensive numbers.) And having the shortstop just to the right of second base had been part of baseball for over a century. I think teams should be able to put their defenders wherever they want.
I fully agree. And, I would replace it with keeping batters from stepping out of the batter's box. I heard George Will talk about this today on the radio. Someone just re-watched Game 7 of a Yankees / Dodgers world series game (1955 I believe) and not one player the entire game ever stepped out of the batter's box.
 
near Ogden & Rt 83
Lost in the shuffle of the offseason thread, the Cubs signed LHP reliever Xavier Cedeno yesterday.

Nice little signing.
they needed a lefty reliever.............

and on an unrelated note, my son accepted the offer to work for WSP , based in Boston , and finishes his thesis and grad school in late March, and I'm gonna help him move to Boston right after Easter. His office in right on the corner of Boylston and Arlington, which is very near where the bombing occurred 5 years ago and is about 1.5 miles east of Fenway. He's a huge Cub fan , but will get a chance to appreciate that ballpark about as often as he wishes.

The lad worked his a$$ off in school, all 6 years, and WSP recognized it and gave him a "knock your socks off" deal. He thought about it for 3 days and accepted it on Tuesday.
 
they needed a lefty reliever.............

and on an unrelated note, my son accepted the offer to work for WSP , based in Boston , and finishes his thesis and grad school in late March, and I'm gonna help him move to Boston right after Easter. His office in right on the corner of Boylston and Arlington, which is very near where the bombing occurred 5 years ago and is about 1.5 miles east of Fenway. He's a huge Cub fan , but will get a chance to appreciate that ballpark about as often as he wishes.

The lad worked his a$$ off in school, all 6 years, and WSP recognized it and gave him a "knock your socks off" deal. He thought about it for 3 days and accepted it on Tuesday.
Such wonderful news, South Farms! Congratulations to your son. You must be so proud.

No Cubs @ Red Sox interleague games this year, but I hope you make it out to Fenway at some point!
 
Houston, Texas
I fully agree. And, I would replace it with keeping batters from stepping out of the batter's box. I heard George Will talk about this today on the radio. Someone just re-watched Game 7 of a Yankees / Dodgers world series game (1955 I believe) and not one player the entire game ever stepped out of the batter's box.
I’d be interested to see if the time between innings has gotten longer between 1955 and today (read: commercials).

Make guys stay in the box, make pitchers pitch and that should solve the pace of play issues. Wouldn’t need to change anything else. Or, just start it off at 1-1 count. 😁
 
So I thought of this and this seemed like a good place to write it down:

My Plan To Fix Baseball, in three parts

Preamble: There is a lot of talk about the need to alter some of baseball's rules. This often gets framed in terms of the needs of millennials, and their lack of appreciation of the rhythms of the game. That framing is wrong. Baseball's problem is not that it has changed too little, but that it has changed too much. The continual deterioration in the pace of play and amount of action on the field has made the game a less watchable product than it was in the old days. We want to make it MORE like the baseball previous generations enjoyed, not less. Meanwhile, the incentive structure of the game has made cynical fan-insulting tanking a widespread crisis and blight on the sport. Not every team can be a winner every year, but teams need to be incentivized to put the best possible product on the field, and to seek out players on the open market who can help them achieve that, so that every game in MLB is a battle of two organizations who genuinely want to win from top to bottom.

With that in mind, here are the ideas.

Part 1: Gameplay

- The size of the strike zone will be redefined as the armpits to the top of the knees, which is where it was set in 1969 after the mound lowering in that year.
- The mound will be raised from 10 inches to 12 (it was 15 inches during the pitcher-dominant 60's period)
- 20 second pitch clock, along with umpires being instructed to strictly enforce the existing rules against batters leaving the batter's box
- A three-batter minimum per pitcher entering the game, unless the pitcher allows a run
- Teams may only place 4 players to one side of second base in a defensive alignment (not including the pitcher and catcher), with an exception for situations where the opposing team can potentially produce a walk-off game winning hit.
- For official scoring purposes, a player will only be recorded as playing the defensive position in which he started the inning (unless he switches to pitcher or catcher). This is for ease of reading box scores and for fantasy baseball purposes, where defensive tomfoolery shouldn't make Anthony Rizzo 2nd base eligible, for example.

The broad goal of these changes is to make the game faster, and to encourage balls to be hit in play. Pitchers working quicker, for longer, toward a smaller strike zone, with a more open infield behind them will be throwing a more hittable ball that batters will have a stronger incentive to avoid striking out on. Loading up for a massive low-accuracy uppercut will become less valuable, and there will be more plays in the field.
I agree with the goal, but I don't really care for any of those changes, especially the 3 batter minimum or preventing defensive shifts. And any rule suggested for fantasy play should disqualify you from being commissioner ever.

The BIGGEST improvement that can be made and is absolutely necessary is automating balls/strikes. Umpires simply miss too many. Even if the technology now is not 100% (if not, it's really close) it's definitely better than the umpires. It could be improved by requiring that every batter be measured before he's allowed on the roster and the zone can be adjusted for each player. You could give the home plate umpire a buzzer to signal strikes and the change wouldn't even be noticeable.
 
Likes: bdutts
I agree with the goal, but I don't really care for any of those changes, especially the 3 batter minimum or preventing defensive shifts. And any rule suggested for fantasy play should disqualify you from being commissioner ever.

The BIGGEST improvement that can be made and is absolutely necessary is automating balls/strikes. Umpires simply miss too many. Even if the technology now is not 100% (if not, it's really close) it's definitely better than the umpires. It could be improved by requiring that every batter be measured before he's allowed on the roster and the zone can be adjusted for each player. You could give the home plate umpire a buzzer to signal strikes and the change wouldn't even be noticeable.
Co-sign x2. Somebody smarter than I can deal with the details (e.g., new roles for umpires, technology of the strike zone, etc...), but I agree with the automation of the strike zone.

The major change that I'd want to see happen is bringing the DH to the National League. Watching pitchers hit is an eyesore. But it sure was fun seeing pitchers like Jake Arrieta hit 5 home runs over 5 years when he hit every 5th day during his time as a Cub. /s
 
Likes: bdutts
Houston, Texas
Co-sign x2. Somebody smarter than I can deal with the details (e.g., new roles for umpires, technology of the strike zone, etc...), but I agree with the automation of the strike zone.

The major change that I'd want to see happen is bringing the DH to the National League. Watching pitchers hit is an eyesore. But it sure was fun seeing pitchers like Jake Arrieta hit 5 home runs over 5 years when he hit every 5th day during his time as a Cub. /s
Should come next year.
 
Likes: IanKEvans2
near Ogden & Rt 83
I'm so torn on the DH change. I want the offense, but am so much going to miss the NL style of pitching changes, double switches, etc, when you get to the 6th and 7th innings. But it is coming. No doubt about that.

I hate the 3 batter minimum idea and I hate the limit on defensive switches. Leftys (I am one) need to learn to be able to hit the ball the the other side for the automatic (okay 70% rate) single/double and the shifts will change. I mean, whats next, limiting infielders from moving up to stop a bunt?

Automation of the strike zone not only should happen, it must happen. Sure 90%-95% of them are called correctly, but those 5%-10% that aren't can make a huge difference. I'm tired of seeing 2 or 3 pitches called incorrectly every half inning.

Get a pitch clock and limit a batter from stepping out of the box after every pitch. That's where you speed up a game.