More stealing, no shifts and robotic amplifiers: ‘Our fans want the action’

Raul, from the players’ point of view, what are the biggest concerns you hear, and what is important to them if you take this path?

Ibanez: There is always a bit of reluctance to accept change for a moment. But I feel that this generation of players, the guys I’m talking to now, are really more open to a lot of the rule changes and the ideas behind them. Ultimately, the players want the game to move faster as well. I can tell you as a player that when Cliff Lee was on the hill and you faced Jarrod Washburn in a day game and it’s an hour and 53 minutes, a 2-1 game where you get three innings , everyone happily goes home.

Many new ideas and theories are at work here. What do you think will be the most noticeable difference in practice?

Hill: If you look at the defensive positioning and how big a part of our game it has become, with all the analysis, I think it’s going to be an adjustment. But offensively, as a former hit – although I was not very good and they did not have the shift when I played – you are just trying to create more action and put more balls into the game. You open the field; without that guy in the right right field, you can drive there and know you have a hit. I think this is something that will definitely be positive.

Ibanez: I agree with you, Mike. There is nothing more frustrating than a left-handed hit than hitting a 200-foot single jumper to a shallow right-hand field and being thrown out with two steps. And it causes you to actually change your behavior. I can tell you that towards the end of my career I started hitting the shift, and I was like, ‘Well, I’m just going to pull the ball in the air and try to hit the ball in the seats.’ My swing-and-miss rate probably went up, but my home runs per bat also went up. When I take the depth out of it and force guys to play on the ground, I’m very excited to see what it’s like.

Ibanez pointed to the issuance of new bases, citing a play in the 2018 National League Championship series in which Milwaukee’s first baseman, Jesus Aguilar, was cut in the heel when the Dodgers’ Manny Machado crossed the bag. texture to reduce the chance of a player’s foot slipping, and Ibanez mentions another possible safety advantage.)

Ibanez: Historically, guys who were first basemen put their foot on the side of the bag; they expand their range and work towards their backs. If you look back at the Aguilar play now, you see a lot more of this today than ever before, guys with their backs on the heel instead of climbing to the side of the bag. And I strongly believe that this is due to the way the lineup is structured today: you have to get your best bats in line for that game, so you see a lot of guys playing first base who did not come up as first basemen. not.

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