MLB: ‘Stealing First’ Among Extreme Rules That Won’t Work in The Show

The traditional rules of baseball could change in a big way in the coming future, but they must pass the eyeball test in the minor leagues, before entering the MLB. The Atlantic League, an independent league in pro baseball, has partnered with the MLB. It will allow a few new rules to take flight in the second half its season. Let’s take a look at the brand new and very odd or extreme rules and I’ll tell you why they would hurt the MLB if implemented at that level.


1) The Atlantic League will allow players to steal first base.

This means if a catcher drops a pitch in any count, the batter may take off for first base, but the opponent may attempt to throw the runner out.

This rule doesn’t do the MLB any favors and it gives the offenses the advantage, while at the plate. Pitchers now have to worry about this rule on top of trying to figure out how to retire the opponent. A batter doesn’t deserve a free base just because a catcher dropped an 0-1 pitch — a pitch that maybe was meant to be off the mark on purpose just to find out what the batter is willing to offer at. What if the pitcher and catcher don’t normally pair up?

It seems as if MLB is trying to generate more offense. However, it would take away from the game and make it look like a sport from another planet.

2) One foul bunt is allowed with two strikes before a strikeout is called.

I don’t have as strong of an opinion on this rule compared to the first one we looked at, but again MLB is trying to give more of an advantage to the hitters here.

This rule doesn’t make sense, because a hitter can keep an at-bat alive with a normal stance instead of the bunt formation. It would hopefully get players to put better bunts down and actually execute them, however at the end of the day who’s to say that foul bunt doesn’t land in the glove of the opponent?

It’s a pointless rule.

3) “Check-swing” rule is more batter-friendly

Okay, so let me get this straight. Offenses are breaking records and launching homers all over the place. Nonetheless, MLB wants to try more rules that are kind to the offenses?

Look a lot of hitters go too far on their check swings and deserve to have strikes called against them. How far can a batter swing the bat before it’s called a strike? What are the limits and how far can a batter test them?

This rule pushes the limit when it comes to balls and strikes and it will create more drama. Maybe the problems with this rule won’t be major ones, but it doesn’t help baseball to give them a chance to do so.


4) The pitcher must step off the rubber before a pickoff attempt

If a pitcher can catch a runner off guard from the mound, then kudos to him for that execution.

Baserunners don’t steal as much as they used to, so this rule is pretty much a moot topic.

The Atlantic League is also going to use robot umpires. Basically, human umps are going to be behind home plate and feed the call from the software program to the press box. The ump will share the call with players as usual and overrule any call made.

To put it simply, these rules don’t help baseball and only create more issues. The pace of play needs to be sped up. Instead of three to four-hour games, let’s cut it to 2:45. Keeping players healthy and evaluating how long it takes pitching changes to occur should be priorities.

It’s a shame these are the rules pro baseball chose to waste time on and I don’t know if it gets better from here. Let’s hope so.

Is the MLB better off adopting these extreme rules? Leave a comment below.

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Anthony Fiuza
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