Atlantic League Adopting New Rules Including Stealing First Base

Atlantic League Adopting New Rules Including Stealing First Base

The most talked-about changes to date have been the idea of banning defensive shifts, moving the pitching rubber back a couple of feet to mitigate hard-throwing pitchers which have led to a strikeout boom and to work with electronic ball-and-strike calls.

That was the case Wednesday night in the Atlantic League All-Star Game, putting them one step closer to the big time.

The Atlantic League, an independent pro baseball league, debuted the ABS, or automated ball-strike system. According to Yahoo Sports, the robotic umpire, called TrackMan, helped home-plate umpire Brian deBrauwere assess whether pitches were balls or strikes via an earpiece connected to an iPhone in his pocket.

The Atlantic League, which has been the MLB's guinea pig when it comes to revolutionary rule change proposals including extended instant replay, banning defensive shifts, pitch clocks, three-batter minimums for pitchers, and even robotic umpires, is now ready to introduce perhaps its most freaky experiment yet. For what it's worth, the Major League Baseball claims the technology is meant to help busy home-plate umpires and pinky swears that human umps are still needed and is working with the union to keep everyone happy. Of course, players will only agree with the umpire until they disagree with the call, but that's just part of baseball.

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I'm assuming the impulse is to increase game "action" and to make up for the lack of non-homer hits in the game by allowing runners to reach base on plays that are more exciting than walks.

Among other new rules to be tested in the Atlantic League?

"I have seen this coming". Allowing a player to steal first base.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred can consider implementing new rules after his league's labor agreement expires in 2021.

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