Regular Season Game Before The All-Star Break Points Out Current Problems Ignored By MLB Officials

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In a very clear manner, the 2018 All-Star game in Washington D.C. last week was representative of the current state of the sport of baseball. The ten home runs hit an all-time record for the Midsummer Classic, almost two times as many as the previous high of six.
That long ball manufacturing is indicative of the season, which is on pace to see more home runs than any other year in baseball’s long history. That statistic isn’t the only record which will be eclipsed in 2018, and the All-Star game reflected that as well.
Players are striking out twenty five percent of their time now, a frequency that will lead to a record amount of strikeouts in 2018.
Just as that highly promoted contest highlighted the game’s reliance on the homerun and the attack out, it was another game a week before that functioned as a microcosm of some of baseball’s biggest problems. Commissioner Rob Manfred and the officials around the sport would rather ignore that game, which would be easy to do considering how few people actually saw it.
The Tampa Bay Rays played the Marlins in Miami on July Third, an intrastate battle that should have generated all types of excitement in the house of Spring Training and three pennants. To highlight the serious attendance problem baseball has had there for over two decades, only six thousand people were in attendance.
The game itself went sixteen innings, dragged on nearly six hours, and featured two four unique batters between the two clubs. Eighteen different pitchers took the mound, in addition to the three others who were called on to pinch hit and or perform a position at some point throughout the Sunshine State Bore-a-thon.
When it finally ended, an estimated two hundred fans stayed in the seats.
A better gift for them, and most other baseball fans, would be for the sport to accommodate the extra innings rule started in the Minors this year. If tied after nine innings, each team begins the excess frame with a runner on second. That scenario would almost guarantee that a match would be decided long before the sixteen innings it took before Tampa Bay finally beat Miami.
Besides reinforcing the fact that games are too long, that night also exposed another issue that plagues the game. It must induce the National League to adopt the designated hitter rule.
Since they were playing at Miami, the Rays had to allow their pitchers to hit. This stipulation might not be a new issue for the starting pitchers, who have been accustomed to getting at least one plate appearance in a multiplayer league game on the road.
But having to bat poses a real problem for the multitude of relievers on the staff, for most of them never swing a club all season. What can happen when they’re forced into such a function, is exactly what happened to some Tampa reliever that night.
The injury would never have happened had baseball enforced a universal DH rule, and it also might have been avoided had the extra innings rule been used at the Big League level instead of just the Minors.

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