The Phillies’ edge for 2018

Will Franco finally blast 30 homers because Hoskins is now the cleanup hitter? Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images.
Will Franco finally blast 30 homers because Hoskins is now the cleanup hitter? Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. /
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Pitchers will test Hoskins’ patience and power in 2018. Photo by H. Martin/Getty Images. /

While the Phillies are strategically employing a new wrinkle for run production, other franchises are also taking different steps in another aspect of the game.

Experimental baseball:

Of the many reasons to bemoan the game, change causes the most friction. For instance, the Philadelphia Phillies are ready to use their hit-or-sit technique for an offensive advantage.

With any departure from the norm, many reluctantly accept something new, but for most that will eventually diminish to nothing over time.

"IN OTHER WORDS: “How do you let go of attachment to things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.” – Eckhart Tolle"

Before the first season of the American League in 1901, the refining of baseball had already occurred. The mound replaced the pitcher’s box, but the “ball hit through the box” expression is still around. Additionally, the infield fly rule was also not new at the time, and hand signals had previously increased because of a deaf player.

In 1961, the Chicago Cubs had a manager rotation consisting of eight coaches. It bombed! On the other hand, former skipper Gene Mauch of the Phillies made the double switch popular in the mid-1960s.

With the first NLCS and ALCS in 1969, the introduction of the playoffs began before growing from a five-game series to eventually include divisional contests and the wild cards. But some purists still hold onto the original tradition of the World Series, which at that time also included 16 teams and 154 games.

Beginning innocently enough, instant replay was originally for viewing home runs for accuracy on those hard-to-determine shots. And before you know it, eight 162s have come and gone, but the pros and cons are still here due to more reviewable plays.

After a collision at home had taken out a star catcher–bam!–a path to the plate and instant replay became a two-headed monster. And it didn’t take long for the second base rule to follow. Basically, baseball is only an injury away from another change. Money!

While many fans crunch the numbers with sabermetrics, scoring runs have always been the main factor in making adjustments to the sport. In other words, the sweet spot is 4.5 runs per game: Lower favors the hurler and higher benefits the batter. That balance is paramount.

If you really think about it, change in baseball is not only new but also not unusual. And gaining an edge despite efforts for fairness is difficult, but trying for the upper hand is ever-present.