Making Baseball Bigger!

An adult American male is 4" taller than he was in 1860. This is approximately a 5% increase in size. When you add to this improvements in training, diet and analytics baseball players are playing a very different game than old Abner envisioned. Over the years, MLB has fiddled around the edges attempting to make the game as appealing as possible to the fan. These have generally been efforts to improve the offense at the expense of the pitching including baseballs that travel better (live ball era), lowering the pitchers mound, reducing the size of the strike zone. Now there is considerable talk about banning shifts.

I agree with efforts to improve the potential for something other than one of the three true outcomes (walk, strikeout, Homerun) because two out of the three are boring. And in an recognition of the value of the other two outcomes the most boring one has increased the most. There were once again more strike outs in 2018.

Perhaps the answer is to reconfigure baseball based upon the larger and better trained people playing it today. This would mean increasing the circumference of the ball and bat by 5%, moving the pitchers mound 3 inches further from home plate, and extending the distance between bases to 91 feet. I realize for folks who like nice even numbers these new measurements could be troubling; but hopefully we can get over it for betterment of the game.

The end result should be more balls in play and a greater appreciation of speed both in the field and at the bat. The larger ball and bat will reduce the ability of the pitcher to create spin and thus movement while also enlarging the hitting area and sweet spot of the bat = fewer strike outs and more balls in play.

It will also slightly reduce the ability of players to hit homeruns as a larger ball will create more drag when flying through the air = fewer homeruns and more balls in play.

The greater distance between the bags creates more holes for a ball in play to sneak through. The foul lines would continue straight through the new bags to the edge of the outfield grass and then depending upon individual stadium configurations change angle to intersect with where the current foul poles are located or the foul poles could be moved to continue the line straight. This will have to vary based upon configuration of stands along the foul lines at different ballparks. It will provide for even greater variations among stadiums which is one aspect of baseball that is unique and interesting among the major sports. End results is more balls landing in bounds = more balls in play will be hits.

With these adjustments baseball will once again regain the same symmetry that it once had and there will be more untrue outcomes and more interesting plays in the game of baseball. It is time for baseball to grow up and get a little bigger!