Major League Baseball officially revealed Friday that there will be some high-profile rule changes for the 2023 season. The rules contain details upon intricacies, but the "yada yada yada" version is: 

  • The bases will be bigger
  • There will be a pitch clock
  • Shifts are banned

I'm a huge proponent of all three and have been for years. I actually did some digging and found my personal push for a pitch clock dates back in 2011. It took until Jed Lowrie set me straight in 2018 before I was on board with limiting the shift. Once I heard about the bigger bases, it was a no-brainer. 

The ultimate, over-arching goal with these changes is to make baseball more exciting and more aesthetically pleasing to the largest audience possible. The rules attack issues from different angles, but the goal is the same. 

On that goal, though, there's still a missing piece. We'll get to that. You just have to be patient, much like we've had to be these last two decades with watching batters take an eternity to get in the box only to see pitchers match that eternity while they stare at home plate. 

Here's why I like the rule changes and how they'll make the game better before we get to the great reveal. 


Larger bases

There isn't much discussion needed here. At least there shouldn't be. Players today are far larger than they were when the current base size was drawn up. As such, their feet are bigger and there's less of the base to work with. Bigger bases alleviate some of the involved safety issues while also, maybe (hopefully!) triggering more attempted stolen bases and other risk-taking on the basepaths. 

Aside from that stuff, we probably won't even notice when watching on TV or in person. We can safely move on. 


Pitch clock

Have you ever watched a game from a few decades ago? The average game time in 1984, for example, was two hours and 39 minutes. This season, it's three hours and seven minutes. I'm still perfectly pleased with three-hour games, but there are some pretty damn tedious games that reach upwards of four hours and it's especially a problem in the playoffs when we're fighting for the eyeballs of casual fans. 

The biggest problem there isn't the actual time of game. The on-field action is great, too, when we get it. The most amazingly stupendous game I ever saw in person took five hours and 17 minutes. I couldn't stop alternating between an exaggerated smile and just sitting there with my eyes wide open in astonishment over what I just witnessed. It was Game 5 of the 2017 World Series. 

That game also ended at 1:38 a.m. ET on a traditional "work" and "school day."