MLB announces multiple 2024 rules changes much to the displeasure of players

MLB continues to cook with four new rules going into next season.
Jul 11, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred talks to the media before the
Jul 11, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred talks to the media before the / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 season came with some truly monumental changes to how the game of baseball is played. MLB instituted a pitch clock and limits on pickoff attempts to speed games up, increased the size of bases for safety/injury reasons while also making steals a little bit easier to come by, and put limits on defensive shifts to make pulling the ball less punishing.

Overall, the rules changes were a resounding success in terms of what they aimed to do. Games were a lot shorter, stolen bases were a larger factor in games, and pull hitters were complaining a lot less. There were certainly some players that didn't love the pitch clock (more on that in a bit) and others who silently struggled to adjust. Still, the reception was mostly positive on all fronts.

However, MLB still saw some areas that could be improved in their eyes and announced some brand new rules changes for the 2024 season and it is safe to say that MLBPA is not particularly pleased about it.

MLB announces 4 new rules changes for 2024, MLBPA is not happy

A couple of the above changes are relatively minor and make sense for what the league is trying to go for. Widening the runner's lane should prevent the more dumb obstructing the running lane calls and help prevent collisions that very often end in guys getting hurt. Mound visits going from five per game per team to four isn't likely to be noticed by anyone given that most games don't come anywhere close to the cap as things stand.

The other two are a bit more controversial. Decreasing the pitch clock from 20 seconds to 18 with runners on will certainly speed games up and make looking runners back more difficult, but it will also not make those who worry about having less time to recover between pitches increasing the likelihood of pitchers getting hurt feel great. The warm-up rule should only apply to situations when a pitcher warms up in a game and a pinch hitter comes in which will inevitably hurt the pitching side more.

MLBPA did not waste any time in expressing their opposition and displeasure with the new changes.

The players honestly have a point here. While fans are big fans of games not being as long, there is a real risk that these moves to give pitchers less and less time between pitches could have long-term effects that we are not aware of yet. Taking a couple of seasons to assess how the previous changes impact player health doesn't seem like an unreasonable ask, but MLB probably wants to make changes now while everyone is more receptive to changes instead of waiting and letting players and fans getting entrenched again.