The Danny Picard Show

This week, Danny reacted to the proposed rule changes for the 2019 MLB season:

We may soon see an announcement regarding a few rule changes in Major League Baseball. Talks between MLB and the Players Union are ongoing, and with the regular season still over a month away, there’s time for both sides to come to an agreement on something.

Whether some of those changes begin in 2019, 2020, or beyond, here are my thoughts on the most important proposals:

Three-batter minimum for pitchers

The league proposed this in order to help speed up the game. It would be for all pitchers, not just relievers. That’s relevant because we’ve seen several teams use a relief pitcher to start a game in recent years. This rule would not carry over from inning to inning. For example, if a reliever comes into a game with one out in the inning and ends that inning after facing just two batters, he would not be required the start the following inning to face a third batter. I don’t like this rule because it minimizes the usage of a manager’s late-inning matchups. Baseball can be like a chess match. There’s a reason we have no clock in the game, yet (I’ll get to that). If you’re the Players Union, you certainly can’t let the league add both a pitch clock and this three-batter minimum rule for pitchers. And if it has to be one or the other, then I guess I’d prefer to see this than the pitch clock. I’d rather see neither, but I don’t think that’s going to be possible.

Twenty second pitch clock

-Like I said, I don’t like this idea at all. it sounds like the Players Union doesn’t like it either. If implemented, there have reportedly been discussions about the pitch clock being turned off when a runner is on base. That would make a little more sense. But the whole idea of adding a clock to the game of baseball just seems wrong. I get it, people want to improve the pace of play. But a clock? That seems a little too drastic. The same people calling for a pitch clock right now are the same people who still won’t be watching a baseball game on a Tuesday night in July even if a pitch clock was added. It’s a stupid idea, if you ask me. And it only pleases the cowardly anonymous aliens on Twitter. Leave a clock out of baseball.

Universal designated hitter

-This is one of the Players Unions counterproposals to the league attempting to speed up the game. I don’t mind this. I don’t need to see it happen, but I don’t mind it. Adding the DH to the National League would certainly create some more hitting jobs. And it would also probably make the pitchers happy, as it’s one less thing they have to worry about in a National League park. I don’t think this will change the game all that much. But like I said, if it didn’t happen, I wouldn’t even blink.

Allow two-sport amateur athletes to sign major league contracts

-If this goes through for the Players Union, they should just call it “The Kyler Murray Rule.” As of now, Murray says he’s committed to being an NFL quarterback. But you never know. If the A’s can up the ante and offer Murray a major league contract, then perhaps the Heisman Trophy winner would reconsider. Under this new proposed rule, the A’s would’ve been able to offer Murray a major league deal right after he was drafted. As the rule currently stands, teams cannot give major league contracts to recently drafted players. Therefore, Murray had to sign a minor league deal with Oakland out of the gate. And with no guarantee of a major league contract, it leaves the door open for a two-sport star like Murray to choose the sport where he knows he won’t be starting his professional career in the minor leagues. In this case, that’s the NFL. Sign me up for this rule change, because I wouldn’t mind seeing Murray in Major League Baseball.

Lowering of the pitcher’s mound

-Right now, this is just a study that the league is looking to perform. If the mound was ever lowered, it wouldn’t happen until the 2020 season. But something tells me the Players Union will never go for this, I don’t care what the studies say. Changing the height of the mound would be way too drastic of a change. Leave the mound where it is.

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