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Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by rdavis414, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. rdavis414

    rdavis414 New Member

    As Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com reported, many Cubs players are not in favor of the new change of pace rules. However, these amendments will actually give the Cubs some advantages come opening day.

    During the offseason, the MLB, MLBPA, and the World Umpire’s Association agreed to new rules meant to control the pace of the game such as enforcing the rule that batters must keep one foot in the box unless an exception occurs, and limiting the down time between innings— including timing how long pitchers can warm up.

    For one, any pressure placed on the young Cubs such Javier Baez, Mike Olt, Arismendy Alcantara, Jorge Soler, and Kris Bryant to perform at the big league level will wane since offensive numbers are expected to stagger league-wide due to the new rules. They will also be more likely to face a pitcher who has not completely warmed up yet early in the game, which may lead to a more offensive showdown.

    Another advantage will come from the fact that the Cubs spent the majority of their offseason bolstering a less than reputable pitching staff that ranked in the bottom 10 in all of the Major Leagues in ERA, hits, and homeruns given up in 2014. Their pitches will now be facing batters that are uncomfortable in the box, which bodes well will the deceptive style of Kyle Hendricks, as well as the unmatched brilliance of Jon Lester.

    The Cubs offense should see improvement to an offensive squad that never rose above 23rd in ESPN’s power rankings in 2014. The new rules inevitably effect the pitchers and batters very similarly which should allow the Cubs offensive struggles to be less worrisome to the Cubs faithful.

    Making the game more offensively exciting for fans is something the new commissioner Rob Manfred seems to be focusing on with these rules when he said, “the batter’s box rule will help speed up a basic action of the game”, but disrupting the pace of play may not be the best solution to this problem.

    “It’s definitely advantage pitcher.” Chris Coghlan joked when asked about the new rules, but his sentiments could not be truer.

    Jason Hammel added, “Guys need to do certain things to get ready, and I think that’s the most important part.”

    These rules will not only pad offensive statistics, but also give players less opportunities to learn from each other while playing the game. Anthony Rizzo said, “If you think of guys like Ryan Ludwick orJay Bruce, every at-bat, taking a pitch, they’re stepping out of the box”. I’m interested in seeing guys, you know, that have been in the league for 10-plus years.”

    For some players, their routine holds the key to their success and if that is stripped from them, what kind of game is the pace pushing us towards?

    Jon Lester went on record to say, “For me, I've always been a big believer in the fans know what they're getting themselves into when they show up. If it's a three-hour game it's a three-hour game. If it’s a five-hour game it’s a five-hour game.”

    The Cubs have high expectations for this season, and the new pace rules seem to be falling in favor of that notion. Chicago was ranked as the 10th youngest team in 2014 with an average age of 27.1 and their prospects seem eager to prove their worth.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
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