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3 reasons the MLB are cowards for banning the shift

MLB

The MLB shocked fans yesterday afternoon when they announced some significant rule changes to the game of baseball. These changes will be implemented at the start of the 2023 season, and figure to have an interesting impact on the game of baseball as seen in the MLB. One of the biggest rule changes announced was the banning of shifts in the field across the league.

The use of shifts had become quite popular over the past decade of play. Once considered a radical new style of fielding, teams across the league eventually began to take note of the increased success of shifts in both the infield and outfield to limit the overall success of batters. A once radical implementation to the game has become a widespread tactic used regularly across the league.

And in the blink of an eye, the shift has been eradicated. The MLB opted to outlaw shifts in their latest update of rule changes that will be put into play next season, and fans everywhere are divided on these new rule changes. Let’s take a look at three reasons the MLB are cowards for outlawing one of the biggest showings of creativity in the history of their league by outlawing shifts.

3. The MLB shift ban destroys the balance of game

The MLB has always tried to focus on the balance of the game. Different rules are created to help pitchers and batters out, but the overarching ideology is that neither batters nor pitchers should have a significant advantage over the other. You can make a case that outlawing the shift significantly helps batters rather than pitchers.

Some will say that the game needed to be re-balanced due to pitchers dominating the game in recent years, but wasn’t that what the ban on substances pitchers were using to aid their grip last season was supposed to do? By eliminating the ability for their defense behind them to shift, batters will undoubtedly see an uptick in production next season.

If you enjoy seeing runs scored, then sure, this will be a great move for you. But for the overall landscape of the game, this could offset the balance of the game of baseball. The game may become more entertaining, but at what cost? It seems the MLB did not consider that question when making their decision here.

2. The MLB shift ban limits the creativity of its teams

Throughout the history of sports, radical changes have helped make the games we love what they are today. Passing the football wasn’t always at the forefront of the NFL, and the three-point shot wasn’t always the weapon it was in the NBA nowadays. The shift wasn’t always used in the MLB, but it has changed the game since its implementation.

Maybe the biggest issue with this rule is that the MLB has decided to destroy one of the games greatest adaptations. The league didn’t come out and declare the shift a thing; this was gradually built upon by managers and players looking to find any leg up on their competition that they could. That’s the essence of sports and competition as a whole, and the MLB has decided to destroy it.

Will this continue on in the future, where changes the league doesn’t like will get outlawed? It sets a frightening precedent for the changes that the MLB will see. If the league doesn’t like it, it will be outlawed, and that’s a concerning thing for baseball fans to see, not just in this case, but for the future of the MLB as well.

1. The MLB shift ban shows the MLB is pandering to its fans

The MLB banning the shift is a big problem for a number of reasons, but the most pressing reason is that it seems to be a move to desperately try to get fans more interested in the league again. It’s no secret that baseball has become less popular over the past decade, and apparently the solution to that decrease in popularity is eliminating one of the game’s greatest creations.

The MLB believes that this change will make baseball games more action packed, which in turn will make them more interesting for fans. Therein lies the problem that continues to hurt the MLB. The league is becoming increasingly concerned with its perception to its fans and the outside world; while their changes may increase engagement, they are destroying what the game is about.

Limiting the creativity of its teams just so more fans will pay attention to the league seems very shortsighted. There are going to be people who don’t like baseball no matter what changes are made, that’s just how it’s going to be. But the MLB still has a very large fanbase, which is something they don’t seem to recognize.

By implementing rule changes like this, they are ostracizing the true fans of the game in hopes that people who don’t actually like baseball will begin to like it. That type of flawed thinking may ultimately destroy one of America’s favorite past times.