Mariners Insider Blog

A few possible baseball rule changes

'Jayson Stark of ESPN wrote this quick piece on a few possible rule changes for the upcoming season. Why is it important. Well, the first possible rule change would affect the Seattle Mariners.

Under the proposed rule,  a manager would be able to bring a translator to the mound to speak with a pitcher, if that pitcher is foreign born and doesn't speak fluent English. Obviously, Wedge wouldn't need an interpreter for Felix Hernandez, whose English is improved, and often only says, "I don't want to come out."

But for Hisashi Iwakuma having an interpreter would be useful. Iwakuma's English is rudimentary at best. So if Wedge were able to bring team translator Antony Suzuki, it could be beneficial in their communication. Could it make the game longer? Maybe.

Another possible rule change would be the addition of a seventh uniformed coach to the bench. Right now, teams can only have six. Would a seventh coach make that much of a difference? Probably not. But for Wedge, who has mentioned the possibility of bringing an assistant hitting coach to help out new hitting coach Dave Hansen, this might make the decision even easier.

The third rule is the one I hope gets approved more than the rest. The infamous third to first move ... fake the pickoff move to third and then look to first ... might be made a balk. While this fake move might lead to pickoffs in little league, the move in the major league is often used to see if runners on first are leaning toward stealing second, or if the batter might be squaring for a possible safety squeeze. It's a micromanaging strategic move that managers use. But it also slows the game down and makes it longer, and I think we can all agree that isn't a good thing.