Thursday, June 20, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, June 20, 2024 -- "Automation, Pt. 2"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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Unlike some of the other suggestions for balancing the batter/pitcher relationship, such as my crusade to move the mound back, using ABS to change the called strike zone is consistent with baseball history. The powers that be have tweaked the zone repeatedly over the years, most famously in the 1960s, when a vertical expansion in 1963 created a second deadball era that was eventually reversed in 1969. Modifying the strike zone in an effort to change gameplay has a long history, and the difference here is just using technology to do so.

There is no single change MLB can make that will have as many positive effects as moving to full ABS. It won’t just make umpiring better, it will make baseball better.