Major League Baseball opening day is one of the best times of the year for sports fans. It’s when every team, no matter how bad it was the previous year or lack of a quality roster this year, is a contender. Even the Cubs.
It’s Take Me Out To The Ballgame time, Casey at the bat, 3-and-2 counts and an organist in a ballpark.
Tho going to a game as an adult is sure a different experience than it was as a kid when dad would treat us to a game. It’s ballparks and beers instead of sitting in the stands with a glove hoping to catch a foul ball or home run. Still, going to the ballpark tends to bring out the kid in us unlike any other sport.
For one thing, it’s a slow-moving game. Pitchers take time between pitches (tho now there’s baseball’s equivalent of a shot clock on them, something golf should consider, at least in the non majors) and hitters are only successful once every three times – at less – at the plate. So you have time to chat with your seat neighbors and walk around the stadium without fear of missing much action.
Personally, other than the shot clock on pitchers I don’t like the new 2023 baseball rules changes. Placing the runner on second base in extra innings is just plain dumb. Play it out; have one sport in which the game is decided by the best team not the one that benefits the most by a “gimmie.” This was actually tried out last year and was made permanent for this year.
There is also no shift anymore. Since the very beginning of the game, this was a defensive strategy employed by managers to move infielders to one side of the field in order to compensate for a batter who almost always hit the ball in that direction. Now,what, the fielders have to stand in the equivalent of the coach’s box in basketball?
Baseball has no in-game strategy anymore. That went away with the designated hitter – us purists loved matching wits with managers about whether or not to put in a pinch hitter for the pitcher, have him try and bunt or whatever – and has further deteriorated with the almost robot way managers manage pitchers in the late innings. The no-shift rule takes away what was one of the few remaining strategies managers made during a game.
But there’s plenty of time to complain about silly rules changes during the season. For now it’s Opening Day so play ball!