Boy, when will baseball just leave stuff alone and try and build some traditions? Is nothing sacred?
Yep, yet again the sport of baseball as it is practiced at the highest level here in the United States (and Ontario and even Missouri) has up and decided that the sport wasn't perfect before and will try futilely to make it perfect now.
To that end, baseball will implement three changes to its existing rule book for the 2013 season. They are:
- Teams can now have an interpreter come out to the mound to talk with the pitcher during mound conferences.
- Teams can now have a seventh coach in uniform.
- The fake to third and then throw to first pick off move will officially be a balk.
Although the Jayson Stark ESPN article that I am cribbing notes from doesn't specify, I assume that the interpreters are only allowed during conferences with a coach and thus are limited to one per pitcher inning. Maybe they can come out each time the catcher decides to have a little chit-chat as well, but I hope not. Baseball takes too long already.
The seventh coach push came about because many teams are hiring a second hitting coach. In this ever-competitive landscape, teams were finding that they were running low on available scapegoats. This revolutionary new addition is expected to alleviate that concern, but some analysts warn about future coach inflation, issuing a dire warning that soon we could see so many coaches on a team's payroll that baseball becomes some sort of socialist quagmire with radical wealth redistribution and a bureaucratic mess that inhibits change or adaptation even on the simplest and most obvious of concerns.
The last change was something baseball agreed to last season, which is good because that fake throw thing is really stupid, but the players' union postponed implementation of the rule because they are also stupid and therefore like stupid things.
None of these are meaningful changes and you could easily go an entire baseball watching season (roughly 15 games for Mariners fans) without noticing that anything is different. But in case you do, now here's an article that someone else can point you toward when you forget and look like an idiot.