A new signature on the baseball is only the beginning.
The newly-elected MLB commissioner Rob Manfred revealed opinions in an interview with ESPN on a hot-button issue and a brand new issue. Not only did he state that he “would be aggressive about using the clock over the long haul” but that he was also considering “eliminating shifts.”
Wait a minute, what?
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Your new, forward thinking commissioner who will control the game for the foreseeable future wants to eliminate the new-ish, forward thinking shifts based off of saber metrics that move the defense around from their normal positions, as well as introducing the controversial pitch-clock which limits a pitcher to twenty seconds between throwing the ball to speed up the pace of game, which is one of Manfred’s big priorities.
What positive affect would eliminating the shift have? While it would add more offense to the game, it would destroy the countless work done by front offices, hurt the saga of Moneyball and take away highlight reel plays. Not only that, but the shift speeds up the pace of game. Not slows, speeds. It’s an absolutely idiotic idea and an even more idiotic idea to reveal on your first day holding one of the biggest jobs in sports.
The pitch clock has put itself into more of a grey area. While many fans wish to see the 30-seconds-a-pitch antics of Ervin Santana and Clay Buchholz end, the pitch clock might put unnecessary stress on pitchers and add confusion.
So, to recap: Manfred wants to eliminate the time-saving shifts and also shorten the length of the game.
Manfred is less than 24 hours into his tenure, and he’s already pushed more hot-buttons then there are at Buffalo Wild-Wings.