Saturday, February 17, 2007

Steve Trachsel is Screwed

I hadn't heard that these were coming, but there are going to be some rule changes this season:

• Time between pitches: The allotment for delivering the ball with no one on base has been reduced, from 20 seconds to 12. The price for each violation is a ball. [The Steve Trachsel Rule]

• Batter's box presence: Conversely, an automatic strike will be assessed each time a batter violates the rule 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. [The Nomar Garciaparra Rule]

• Ball scuffing: Rule 3.02 now calls for an automatic 10-game suspension for any player who intentionally defaces the ball. (Previously, a first offense led to the pitch being called a ball, a warning to the pitcher and an announcement of violation.) [The Kenny Rogers Rule]

• No reason for rosin: The same Rule 3.02 now specifically prohibits placing "soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sandpaper, emery paper or other foreign substance" on the ball. The rule's penalty phase dictates, "The umpire shall demand the ball and remove the offender from the game. In addition, the offender shall be suspended automatically for 10 games." [The Other Kenny Rogers Rule]

• Gender objectivity: 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. [The Babe Zaharias Rule]

Also:

The changes to Rule 10, governing official scoring, may have the most direct bearing on fans' perception of the coming season by affecting the game's lifeblood: statistics.

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.

1 comment:

Sully said...

"Steve Trachsel is screwed" was the exact first thought I had, as well. Should be interesting.