MLB makes major rule changes for the 2022-2023 season

John Anthony Risso, Crier Staff

Baseball is back and the Red Sox already have one big Story. The team owners and players union have agreed on a deal that will last another five years. Since then, the free agent and trade market have opened, and team rosters have changed. Before we discuss the major trades and signings that would affect the Red Sox, I would like to discuss the major rule changes to the game of baseball due to the new contract. 

I have already discussed the universal designated hitter and its effect on baseball in a previous article, so I will make it brief. Pitchers will not hit in either the National League or American League and a hitter will be placed in their spot. I think this is a good thing because pitchers will no longer get hurt hitting, which is something they usually aren’t good at. 

Another new addition is 12-team postseasons instead of the 10-team postseason that we’ve had in previous years. That means two extra teams will make the playoffs. I am mixed about this. I like the way that the 10-team postseason was structured, but the owners wanted to add more teams to the postseason because those games make a lot of money. I think this is a decent outcome because a 14-team postseason was proposed, which is ridiculous. 

It would not be right to let 14 out of 30 teams make the postseason. I’m content with the 12-team postseason because at least it’s not 14 teams. The next rule change is 9 inning double headers. When the shortened 2020 baseball season started, double headers were reverted to 7 innings for each game. The thought process was that it would lessen the probability of injury. I surprisingly liked the 7 inning double headers. It makes a long 18-inning day into a 14-inning day. It is a shorter day for the players and the fans. Even as an extreme baseball fan I can admit that watching two 9-inning games back-to-back is difficult and the 7 innings are more digestible.. 

Next, in 2020 a runner was automatically put on second base when a game went to extra innings to shorten games. This rule will return in 2022 and I am completely neutral on it. 

The last rule change is specifically targeted towards one player: Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani is a rare Babe Ruth esc. two-way player. He can pitch and hit incredibly well. The new rule stipulates that Ohtani can continue to hit in a game even if he is pulled from pitching. This is an incredible rule as it allows for more Shohei at bats, which are always exciting. 

Since the baseball market has opened, the Red Sox made a huge move in acquiring Trevor Story, the ex-Colorado Rockies shortstop. Story is a two-time all-star and a two-time silver slugger. He is easily a top ten shortstop in baseball and the second-best shortstop available in the free agent class behind Carlos Correa. 

The Sox inked Story to a six-year $140 million dollar contract. Story will be playing second base for Boston, as they already have their own star shortstop in Xander Bogaerts. Colorado is known for inflating offense, so there is some concern that Story’s production might go down. I don’t believe this as he is a good hitter and will be playing in hitters’ parks like Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, and Rogers Centre. 

Nolan Arenado, who was traded from the Rockies to the St. Louis Cardinals last offseason, proved that he can hit outside of Colorado. I believe that Story will be an excellent addition to the Red Sox roster. We won’t have to wait long to see if Story lives up to the hype. Opening Day is right around the corner, so baseball fans will flock to stadiums in early April to watch their favorite teams play. PLAY BALL!