ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the MLB has proposed raising the strike zone and implementing automatic intentional walks to the MLBPA.
The union is currently in the process of feeling out players on the proposed changes, sources said. For either or both to take effect this season, an agreement would have to be reached “sooner rather than later,” said one source, because spring training games begin in just two and a half weeks.
MLB’s proposal would raise the lower part of the strike zone to the top of the hitter’s knees.
I can’t imagine the strike zone proposal doesn’t go through. Every day we see pitchers taking advantage of low strike zones, and with the magic today’s pitchers can put on the ball these pitches are nearly impossible to hit. The frustration of the hitters is somewhat masked because hitters never think the pitch they get rung up on is a strike, but more than a few reputable mashers have rallied around this cause. Of course, pitchers always deserve the credit for stretching the zone over the course of the game but at least this would give the zone a more fair starting point. It needs to happen.
I’m not sure why people care enough about making the intentional walk automatic to actually have a rule change. Have you ever been watching a game and thought “man, I just lost interest because of that 37 seconds of no action.” If anything, this makes the game less fun. There’s always the glimmer of hope that Jon Lester or Matt Garza will chuck the ball into the second row and dome the hot dog guy.