In recent days there has been a lot of controversy about Twitter. People buying followers? No! A “dark side” of social media? Say it ain’t so! Well, my conscious is clear. I’ve never bought a follower in my life. Full disclosure: I did buy one of my followers lunch this week, but that was not a contractual agreement, just two friends eating and laughing.

In light of recent stories I felt forced to examine my social media use. I came to the conclusion that social media is my friend. Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, doesn’t matter; our relationship is pure and healthy. In fact, just this week I found that it reinforces that I am not alone in my beliefs.

Case in point: Major League Baseball announced this week that they are working on finalizing an agreement with the MLB Players Association to improve “pace-of-play” by adding a pitch clock, limiting mound visits, pitching changes, expanding the strike zone and changing the rules for extra innings by allowing teams to begin the extra frame with a runner on second base.

These changes would come in addition to the new intentional walk rule (2017), replay challenges (2015) and home plate collision rules (2014) in recent years. In what feels like a single breath, the game of baseball has — and continues to — change.

First, why? According to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the game is too slow and too long for the latest generation of fans. Manfred explained that recent changes (and proposed changes) are an effort to “streamline” baseball by cutting out “dead spots” and improving “pace-of-play.”

My first reaction was, well, maybe I am getting older and I don’t like change. I heard this is what happens as you age and get “set in your ways.”

As the changes continued, I took to social media and voiced my disdain. I was certain I would be in the minority and would be chastised for my thoughts on the subject. He’s a purist.  Another old school baseball fan; a dying breed. He will fade away like all the others.

But I was surprised to find out I wasn’t alone at all. Friends and baseball fans across the country feel the same way.

So, it’s not just me. Indiscriminate baseball fans are confounded by the “experiments” being suggested by the commissioner. Five tweets from baseball fans is not exhaustive research. I get it. But it doesn’t suggest there are multiple generations of fans who disagree with Manfred’s line of thinking.

Which leads to the next question: Is the decision based on assumption? Opinion? Research? Before Major League Baseball begins making wholesale changes to a game with nearly 200 years of history, I hope there is some foundation that clearly explains why.

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About the author

John Strubel

Hi. My name is John Strubel. Thanks for visiting my website. I write primarily about my passion: baseball. In addition, I occasionally publish posts and podcasts related to sports media, journalism and technology impacting the industry. You can also connect with me on social media @johnstrubel.

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