Opinion: Why Baseball is Going Downhill



There are many who still love this game, but can they keep the rest of us interested?

Leo Colena, Staff Writer

Although baseball has always been one of America’s greatest past times, it is going downhill rapidly. The game is changing every single day, and we are all trying to keep up with these changes. There are many things that went wrong with baseball over the last decade. The game is trying so hard to appeal to the younger minds that all they are doing is making it harder to watch for the longtime fans.

One of the biggest mistakes baseball has made is instant replay. What ever happened to the umpire making a bad call and the manager comes storming out of the dugout throwing a fit? That’s one of the most entertaining things to watch. If the umpire makes a bad call, that’s just part of the game. There shouldn’t be a way to change the call; they make mistakes just like everybody else on the field. I haven’t been around long enough to see a live baseball game without instant replay, but I sure wish I could have.

The only time you can ever see something like that these days is on a bad ball or strike call, and now they are changing parts of the game that will get rid of that. In what part of baseball is getting robot umpires that will call balls and strikes good? That’s terrible. Umpires get payed at the highest level to call balls and strikes. What is the point of them working so hard to get all the way up to the major leagues just for a robot to relay balls and strikes into an earpiece they wear? Anybody could do that.

Umpires are professionals–let them do their job. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

As a pitcher, painting the corners is the best thing that you can do, throwing a ball in a good enough spot where the batter doesn’t want to swing, but could be called a ball or a strike. Where is the advantage if the batter knows not to swing if the ball isn’t in the zone?

Yet another poor addition to the game is the automatic walk. There are good intentions to the idea, but it did not need to be added. Before this new rule, an intentional walk was where if a very good hitter is up and they don’t want to pitch to him, they are able to throw a bad pitch where the hitter doesn’t even have a chance to hit it so he automatically walks. The only positive to this new addition is that the pitcher can save his arm instead of throwing four wasted pitches.

This rule is pointless for two reasons. For one, if you are a major league pitcher, or just a pitcher in general and you can’t afford to waste four measly throw away pitches, then you shouldn’t be pitching at all. Second of all, every great once in a while the pitcher makes a mistake and throws an accidental one right over the plate and the batter that they don’t want to pitch to is able to hit it.

Mistakes like that are entertainment and by changing the rule, it takes away any entertainment that it may have brought.

The pitch clock is unnecessary. It was added to speed up the game. College and professional baseball added a 15 second pitcher’s clock where if the pitcher doesn’t pitch a ball before the clock expires, then the batter is awarded an automatic ball. Pitchers have 20 seconds if there is a runner on base. Although that is plenty of time, there is no point in it. It takes away some advantages of the pitcher as well. A great strategy as a pitcher is to mess up the hitters timing. For example, pitchers can vary the time between the pitches to keep batters off balance, but with the pitch clock this advantage is diminished.

There is no need for a pitch clock–leave the pitchers alone. (Rich Schultz/Getty)

Hitters are able to mess with a pitcher’s timing as well. If the pitcher is in a rhythm then the batter can call time out before the pitch and step out of the box and take their sweet time just to get into the pitcher’s head. Some batters do it multiple times an at bat. If the pitcher is forced to a time limit for each pitch, then the hitter should be limited to how many times he is able to call time out in one at bat.

Over the years baseballs have been manufactured differently, and every year the make the baseballs tighter and tighter. This makes the balls go much further when their hit. This year they finally stopped doing it and it has brought offensive stats down to levels not seen since the 1980’s. Up until the beginning of the 2022 season, there were new offensive records every year. It seems unfair to the players in the past who did not have this advantage and are getting all of their records broken. I hope they are able to manufacture them like they were this year.

Last but not least, the worst rule ever added in baseball was the runner automatically put on second base in extra innings to speed up the game. The MLB could not have made a worse rule. In extra, the batter who made the last out in the prior inning, is put on second base to start the next inning. Although it may not sound appealing to many, games used to go way past 9 innings pretty frequently. The longest game ever recorded was a 26 inning game in 1920. That will most likely never happen again, or even get close. To most baseball fans extra innings is the best kind of game to watch. The anticipation of seeing your team come on the field not knowing if the game is going to end in this inning, or in 5 more innings. Not to mention you should not automatically be rewarded with a man on second base, it should be earned. A hitter should have to make his way to second base on his own instead of just being placed there.

There are so many things going downhill with the game these days, and I hope that they are able to make big improvements in the future.