Tag Archives: baseball

MLB and Atlantic League Announce Rule Changes

Last week, the Atlantic League and MLB announced a three year partnership that would include experimental rule changes.

Today, those rule changes have been released for the 2019 season.

image002.png

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              March 8, 2019

 

MLB, ATLANTIC LEAGUE ANNOUNCE EXPERIMENTAL PLAYING RULES AND EQUIPMENT CHANGES FOR 2019 ATLANTIC LEAGUE SEASON

 

Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) announced today the experimental playing rules and equipment that will be in place during the 2019 Atlantic League Championship Season.  The list of changes is as follows:

  • Home plate umpire assisted in calling balls and strikes by a TrackMan radar tracking system
  • No mound visits permitted by players or coaches other than for pitching changes or medical issues
  • Pitchers must face a minimum of three batters, or reach the end of an inning before they exit the game, unless the pitcher becomes injured
  • Increase size of 1st, 2nd and 3rd base from 15 inches square to 18 inches square
  • Require two infielders to be on each side of second base when a pitch is released (if not, the ball is dead and the umpire shall call a ball)
  • Time between innings and pitching changes reduced from 2:05 to 1:45
  • Distance from pitching rubber to home plate extended 24 inches, in the second half of the season only; with no change to mound height or slope

MLB will analyze the effects of these changes before deciding on potential additional modifications during the 2019 ALPB All-Star Break and in future seasons.

“This first group of experimental changes is designed to create more balls in play, defensive action, baserunning, and improve player safety,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s Senior Vice President, League Economics & Operations. “We look forward to seeing them in action in the Atlantic League.”

“Players sign in the Atlantic League for the Major League Baseball showcase opportunity it offers,” said Rick White, ALPB President. “We are excited to see that showcase grow exponentially, while working with MLB on initiatives critical to the future of the game.”

The experimental playing rule and equipment changes are part of a new three-year agreement between MLB and ALPB.  The agreement covers the transfer of players from ALPB to MLB and enhances MLB’s scouting coverage of ALPB games.  MLB will provide statistical and radar tracking data from ALPB games to MLB Clubs.

 

Players interested in playing in the Atlantic League can check out our Tryout/Showcase information here: Atlantic League Player Showcase.

New Southwest Baseball League(s)

Two new independent baseball leagues are popping up and getting some involved in indy ball talking…

And both just so happen to have basically the same name.

Here’s a quick rundown of what they’re all about…

The Southwest Professional Baseball League is located in Yuma, AZ. Players pay $750 for a training camp (March 11-13th) where they will be evaluated and then placed onto four teams that will play from March 15th to April 15th… all to “chase their dreams in the desert.”

Let me stop you there for a second. If it sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It’s basically a copycat of the folded Desert League. The listed owner of this Southwest Professional Baseball League, John Guy, was also a partner in the Desert League and had ties to the failed National Urban Pro Baseball League. The majority of the staff have also been around the lower independent levels for the last few years.

You can check out their official website HERE and see all of the other information for yourself. I do not have any other further insight to provide other than what is listed and available for the public, and honestly… I don’t want to get into it any further.

The other league is the Southwest League of Professional Baseball located in Texas and Missouri. This league, which was originally slated to start in 2018 but is now supposed to run in 2019, has four teams listed (Waco, Royse City, Joplin and an unnamed Dallas team). The league had previously stated that there would be six teams, but it seems a little late in the game for two more teams to be added. The four confirmed teams are all said to have stadiums, but some of the pictures under their stadium information section are just computer generated.  But don’t worry, you can buy merchandise for the teams!

There has also been no updated information on the website since a post in July that mentioned a tryout that was taking place in Plano, Texas earlier this month.

I had many players message me asking about this league, so I contacted the owner, Mark Schuster, to ask if he would do a Q & A through email as I have done in the past with every start up. At first, he seemed very eager to answer all of my questions. That was until I sent him the email with the questions. He ignored that email and the multiple follow-up emails I have sent.

You can check out their official website HERE, but there really isn’t any more information than what I have briefly posted here.

Same stuff. Different season.

There have been enough of these exact same leagues over the last few years. You all can form your own opinions, but I’m sure my readers know mine at this point…