Monday, Oct 2, 2023

Former Pitcher Bill Lee Offers A Great Idea To MLB

Bill Lee

Former Pitcher Bill Lee Offers A Great Idea To MLB | Sports Takes & News |

As Major League Baseball embarked on its crackdown of pitchers using foreign substances to improve their abilities, former pitcher, Bill Lee, offered an interesting idea to assist pitchers who may otherwise need to cheat to get batters out. While his idea may scare many purist, it isn’t any worse than trying to stop pitchers from doing what they have clearly been doing for decades on the mound. Which is find ways to get a little something extra when they need it most … making this idea at least something MLB should consider along with all of its other out of the box proposals.

If you are old enough to remember why Bill Lee was given the nickname “Spaceman,” then you understand that there is very little that the former lefty starter for the Boston Red Sox could say or do that would shock or surprise anyone.

Last week, as Major League Baseball was poised to begin stopping the use of foreign substances used by pitchers to increase spin rate and pitch movement, Lee, now 74, said that baseball “has gone to hell in a handbasket,” but did offer this thought about how to help today’s pitchers get an edge while also making the game more interesting. Lee’s idea would both help put more pitches in play and help those on the mound who don’t always have pinpoint control with or without foreign substances; his idea, make the strike zone wider.

Lee proposes making the strike zone wider but as little as an inch on both sides to force hitters to swing an more pitches, thereby putting more balls in play, while also not forcing pitchers to “lay one in there” when they are behind in the count. This idea sounds so simple, and yet might just be one of the best ones offered to help a game that is lagging behind other sports with more action that have surpassed fans of today’s “action generation.”

This idea is, in real terms, only offering to make the strike zone wider by less than the width of a baseball; but with human umpires may result in a full ball width being added on both the inside and outside of the plate for pitchers to aim for. The result is a few less full counts and maybe, dare we say, a few more opposite field hits as batters go with an outside pitch rather than try to pull it and ground into a double play to end a rally and an inning.

With ideas about making three balls a walk or two strikes a strikeout, making home plate and the strike zone just a little bit wider is not the crazier idea in Major League Baseball history. And with MLB messing with the height and distance of the mound in different places, something that is likely to increase injuries, making the strike zone just a little bit bigger makes as much sense as anything else. Think about it, would you really care if there are maybe five or ten more pitches a game called a strike under this format than there would have been under today’s rules?

For a game that had so many purists oppose Wild-Card teams and so many other rule changes, making the strike zone a half inch or an inch wider makes sense for baseball on so many levels; and the beauty is it would be so simple to implement but have such a positive effect on the pace of play and the increased level of action each game would see. Try as I did, I don’t see a downside to what Bill Lee is suggesting here, and the upside would be tremendous, and I hope that a wider strike zone is in the future of Major League Baseball since it is just the jolt the sport needs now. 


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Former Pitcher Bill Lee Offers A Great Idea To MLB |

The post Former Pitcher Bill Lee Offers A Great Idea To MLB appeared first on TOOATHLETIC TAKES.


By: Rafael Thomas
Title: Former Pitcher Bill Lee Offers A Great Idea To MLB
Sourced From:
Published Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2021 12:18:42 +0000

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