Berg: The problem with Major League Baseball is players are too good at baseball

From Ted Berg at USA Today on May 15, 2018:

Let’s talk about the state of baseball, huh?

Before I go further, I want to distinguish between two frequently conflated issues facing Major League Baseball in 2018: Pace of play and style of play. Both are lamented for the way they limit action in the course of a three-plus hour baseball game, but the former seems far, far easier to solve without significantly altering the fundamental tenets of the game.

Incorporate a 20-second pitch clock, dock hitters strikes for spending too much time out of the batter’s box, and cap all regular-season replay reviews at 60 seconds (with the ruling on the field upheld wherever it can’t be overturned in that span) and Major League games would swiftly quicken. The MLB Players Association, tail between its legs after the most recent CBA proved ruinous to free agency, has resisted such changes, and I’d guess — and it’s just a guess — that MLB’s petty, self-defeating efforts to enforce stuffy uniform policies have something to do with the discord between the league and its players union. It’s silly. Both sides should be invested in putting a more accessible product on the field, and while die-hards might happily stick out a four-hour game, there should be little doubt that the sport and its players would benefit in the long haul from moving things along.

It’s the other thing that’s more perplexing.

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Originally published: May 16, 2018. Last Updated: May 16, 2018.