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Rules Changes for 2007

Last night MLB.com posted a story on changes in the game. Normally I roll my eyes at things like this (whatever happened to the consistant strike zone attempt from a couple of years ago), however, some of these could be interesting. Here’s some of the points they made:

  • Tie Games: Used to be if a game was a tie and was called for weather, they’d be replayed, but now according to the article, “While previously such games were considered official and replayed in their entirety from the beginning, hence they will be “suspended” and resumed at the point of stoppage.” According to the article, “Tie games will resume prior to the next scheduled game between the teams, in the visitors’ park if no more games are scheduled at the same site. If no more games are scheduled between the teams, the tie would stand unless an outcome would decide a playoff spot — in which case the game would be replayed in its entirety. ”
  • Time Between Pitches: Apparently a pitcher gets 20 seconds between pitches to deliver the next one. That’s been reduced to 12. I can see a lot of fidgety guys complaining that it’s ruining their pitching if they start going bad. The violation each time is a ball. Al Hrabosky wouldn’t like this, I’m sure. :)
  • Batters Box: What might be called the anti-Nomah rule, you now have to keep one foot in the batters box during your at-bat, otherwise they call a strike. Now things like almost getting hit by a pitch and bailing out, that would be OK, but the article states “requiring they keep one foot in the batter’s box throughout his at-bat, except for certain game-play conditions — during which he is still not allowed to leave the dirt area surrounding the plate.” That seems pretty wide open to interpretation.
  • Ball Scuffing: A major change here. Used to be they’d call a ball if you were busted scuffing the ball. Now it’s a 10 game suspension? Wow. That’s a HUGE change. I wonder what they’ll do about 42 year old pitchers in the world series with substances on their hands? 100 game suspension, and a forced listening of Kenny G’s catalogue?
  • Rosin on ball: Whoops. Spoke too soon. There’s the Kenny Rogers rule. 10 game suspension.
  • Political Correctness: While the rules have never ruled out women, there hasn’t been a woman get anywhere near the major leagues (that I’m aware of) on the grounds of merit before. So in order to make things more “fair” (WTF), the rulebook now has a disclaimer that says “The rulebook now includes the disclaimer that references “to ‘he,’ ‘him’ or ‘his’ shall be deemed to be a reference to ‘she,’ ‘her’ or ‘hers'” where applicable.”. (WTF 2)

According to the article, they’re the first rule changes since the attempt at unifying the strike zone in 1996. There were a couple of changes to the official scoring rules, too. I’ll just quote from the article, since neither are a major deal to the way I score a game:
“”For instance, the guidewords for deciding whether to credit a batter with a sacrifice bunt have changed from him being possibly retired on a “perfect play” to “ordinary effort” by the defense.
And fans weary of hearing “defensive indifference” on stolen-base attempts will be heartened to learn that the scorer must now base that call on all game circumstances, not merely on whether someone covered the base or the catcher got off a throw.”