The current distance between the pitcher’s mound and home plate is 60 feet, 6 inches. Major League Baseball will test to increase to 61 feet, 6 inches.
New York, NY (Merxwire) – According to the official website of Major League Baseball (MLB), the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball will experiment with two revolutionary rule changes in the 2021 season, limiting teams’ use of the designated-batter position to when their starting pitcher is in the game and lengthening the distance between home plate and the pitcher’s rubber by one foot. The current distance between the pitcher’s mound and home plate is 60 feet, 6 inches. MLB will test to increase to 61 feet, 6 inches.
The original baseball rules did not specify the distance from home plate to pitcher’s mound. When the National League of the United States was established in the 1870s, it required pitchers to be within a square 45 feet from home plate. This distance was too competitive for the pitcher, who dominated the game at that time. In 1881, the league changed its rules to move the pitching area back 5 feet, increasing the pitching distance to 50 feet. In 1887, to limit overhand throw power, the pitching area was limited to 4 feet wide and 5.5 feet long. The leading edge was 50 feet from the home plate, but the back foot was to stand on a 55.5-foot line when pitching. In 1893, the pitching area was replaced with a pitching board, and the pitching distance became 60.5 feet.
According to statistics, modern pitchers’ ball speed has continued to increase, which has caused the strikeout rate to continue to rise. If the distance from the pitcher mound to home plate is extended, the 93.3-mile fastball, the player’s reaction time will be the same as the current 91.6-mile fastball. Since 2005, the strikeout rate in each season has been increasing. The average ball speed of the four-seam fastball in MLB in 2020 is 93.4mph! Although the strikeouts are exciting, too many strikeouts make the pitcher and batter’s competition out of balance, which is detrimental to the game’s entertainment value.
Yankees pitching coach Matt Black commented on this announcement:“It’s something that has kind of been theorized about by a handful of people, just what that impact might be. Obviously moving the mound back gives the batter more time to see the ball, but at the same time it also gives the ball more time to move,” Blake said. “There’s going to be second order effects of that that I think are harder to estimate what exactly that will look like. There’ll be both positives and negatives on both sides of it.”
Baseball is one of the most popular professional sports in the United States. It is also the people’s favorite sport option in Asia and Central America. An adult baseball game takes about 2 hours. However, due to the delicate division of labor and the increasing complexity of tactics, The average game time is close to 3 hours. Appreciating the game is fun, but too long time makes the fans lose their enthusiasm. The general audience likes to see evenly matched attacks and defenses and does not like too strong strike ability or too monotonous pitching battle.
MLB is the world’s top professional baseball sport, this year’s basic salary is as high as 570,500 US dollars. Before the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, the average salary of players in 2019 was nearly $4.5 million.
The distance of the mound moves during the second half of the Atlantic League season, and doing so will provide a control group. The data in the first half of the year will be compared with the data in the second half of the year to determine the true effect of the changes.