Originally Posted by Roy Tucker
Sure. But how the game is played today isn't how it will be played in 30 years. Some other tactics, strategies, skills, *something*, will come along. How the game is now isn't how it's always going to be.
Yep, back then the fields were larger, the grass was fake and the game was much faster when the ball was in play, games were more dependent on fleeter players and home runs were not as plentiful as today yes... but walks were as common (1969 1/9.77ab - 2012 1/11.23ab) meanwhile K's were 1/5.8ab and now are every 4.3ab)
The game changes, it ebbs and flows, the bat hits the ball less these days then ever before... there is no revolution about getting on base in baseball, FC Lane wrote articles about OB% 100 years ago.
No generation has the call on when the game will stop evolving, take Buck Showalter's POV concerning the fake to 3rd rule being banned, he thinks it will change the game and he might be right.
“Relief pitchers are really squawking about it,” Showalter said. “I chuckle when these announcers always say, ‘Oh, that never catches anybody. Why do they ever do it?’ The things that keeps from happening were huge. These guys sit up there and say, ‘Why are they doing that?’ It shuts down the first and third. A right-handed pitcher had to have that move. Otherwise, you’re giving up 90 feet all the time.”
Here’s why: With runners at first and third, a pitcher is in the stretch. For a right-hander, that means his right foot is on the rubber. Before the rule change, when he picked up his left foot, he had three options — a pickoff to third base, a fake pickoff to third base, or a pitch to home plate.
For the runner at first base, the possibility of a fake pickoff to third would keep him at an honest lead. He couldn’t take off at the pitcher’s first movement, because the pitcher could pivot and pick him off a split-second later.
Now, the right-handed pitcher has only two options after he picks up his left leg — a pickoff to third base or a pitch to home plate. Either involves the pitcher actually throwing the ball. So, if the runner at first base has decent speed, he should be able to make it from first to second in the time it would take the defensive team to throw the ball from the mound, to third, to second.
The situation would most often come into play when there are fewer than two outs. That’s because the offensive team, in many instances, would be happy to trade an out for a run; the runner on third can steal home if the catcher throws to the shortstop or second baseman in order to nab the runner attempting to steal from first base.
The upshot: Runners at first base will enjoy a strategic advantage they didn’t have in years past, turning average runners into legitimate threats to cause mayhem — if not stealing second, then acting as a decoy to score the runner from third. MLB games could see some of the first-and-third hijinks normally associated with the teenage PONY or Senior leagues.
Little rule changes have that affect, tighter seams, higher mound, umps chest protector in the suit or out of the suit, night games, plane travel, double headers, no double headers, wool uniforms, double knits, DH, larger rosters, smaller rosters, horsehide, cowhide, humidor, White Sox moldy closet.
The game is outside any bubble we fans create for it, it's a giant living and breathing organism.