Major League Baseball today announced it was doing away with the traditional intentional walk, in what they say is an effort to speed up the pace of play. It turns out that is only the beginning of what will be a massive slate of rule changes.
“When we look at the type of game we’d like to become, it really seemed a lot like rec league softball,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred, “so we are just going to adopt all our rules from there.”
Among other changes, Manfred said that starting immediately, all batters will start with a 1-1 count, a foul ball with two strikes will result in an out, and games will last seven innings.
“If a rec league softball game can be completed in an hour, why can’t a Major League Baseball game?” asked Manfred.
Critics say the rule changes are completely unnecessary and that if MLB really wanted to keep fans engaged, they would look to trim the number of commercials between games and perhaps even reduce 162-game regular season down to 154 or fewer games.
Manfred fired back at those suggestions in defiance: “Look, we’re running a multi-billion dollar business here, not trying to have fun.”