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After the start of spring training in Major League Baseball (MLB), Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora joked about one of the new changes in the competition for this season. The strategist compared the new bases to a pizza box.
In statements collected by the ESPN network, Cora expressed his opinion this Tuesday in a speech with journalists. “The bases, they’re the bases (…) wait until you see them, they look like a pizza box, to be honest with you.”
However, the Puerto Rican stated that he agreed with the new rules that will be implemented for this season. One of them is the increase in the size of the bases, which will go from 15 inches to 18. Apparently, the objective of this measure is to provide more security to players against the possibility of being stepped on and achieve an increase in stolen base attempts.
For Cora, this will not bring big changes with respect to stolen bases, since he does not consider that he can increase the average exponentially.
“Talking to minor league coaches and everyone who used the rules last year, it’s not like we’re suddenly going to steal 100 bases with a guy (…) the value of the out is still up for grabs, and you get 27. So you have to be smart, you have to be efficient,” he said.
Among the novelties presented is the use of a pitching clock in charge of keeping time, which will be 15 seconds when there are no runners on base and 20 seconds with a runner. “You’ll see a lot of pitch clocks everywhere, and you’ll hear horns and all that trying to remind guys about the pitch clock, which is the most important thing,” Cora said.
Another change will be a ban on defensive shifts. Now, by regulation, four players plus pitcher and catcher must face the outfield grass when a pitch is made, including two of the four on each side of second base.
It should be remembered that this strategy of changing defensive positions in order to take advantage of hitters who almost always connect to a different profile, was strongly questioned.
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