Atlantic League experiments with three-ball walk and two-strike foul out
By Devon Teeple
Come April 18, the Atlantic League is really going to test the waters. These changes are not yet implemented league wide, though the proposed experiment will be for all to see in a game against the Long Island Ducks and Bridgeport Bluefish.
The league’s Pace of Play Initiative is, in all fairness, meant to make the game more enjoyable for fans. To cut down on all the things that slow the pace of the game, these great baseball minds want the fans to come to the park and enjoy their time. They don’t want people bogged down by delays. They want a fast-paced sporting event that truly showcases the talent of the athletes. If that means tweaking the rules and upsetting the historical balance, so be it. With that being said, it’s not meant to disrupt the integrity of the game. Everyone has to adapt to keep up with the times, it doesn’t mean changing your whole persona, only a minor change here and there.
With the three-ball and two-strike foul out experiment will, without a doubt, speed up the game significantly, suggesting that every at-bat will last no longer than five pitches. League president, Rich White, sees this as a way to get people talking and a way to improve the pace of today’s game.
‘’While these rules are not under consideration by the Atlantic League, we continue to serve as an experimental laboratory for ways to improve the pace of games,’’ said White in a statement Tuesday. ‘’The changes should spice things up for fans as the 2015 season approaches.’’
The odds on this experiment gaining traction and being implemented as a rule is extremely premature at this point. But, if successful, this could be the start of something big. Yes, it would cause immense discussion, but if cutting down the times of games brings more fans to the game isn’t that a good thing?