Speedball – Baseball but Faster

by Matt Fischer

Baseball has gotten boring. The MLB season goes on forever it seems when half the league has been out of postseason contention for months now. MLB games in 2019 are the longest they’ve ever been, averaging 3 hours and 9 minutes. That’s just too long.

Well I have a plan to reinvigorate baseball called Speedball – Baseball but Faster. Check out my plan and vote below if you’d like to see a game of Speedball.

What's Inside

Speedball Overview

  • Faster at-bats
  • Shorter season
  • Games should be 2 hours long
  • Computerized Strike Zone
  • Major division realignment
  • Incredible Excitement in the Postseason

Speeding Up the Game

Baseball is best when the ball is in play. When you hear the crack of the bat and see the fielders scramble to make an out. With Speedball, we’re encouraging the action.

With a fast at-bat that awards a walk after two balls or a strikeout after one strike. If the batter fouls it off, he stays alive but if he misses or takes a strike, he’s out.

With the computerized strike zone, batters should know what will be a ball and what will be a strike. No longer needing to learn an umpire’s strike zone. It’ll be a uniform strike zone that players and pitchers can adjust to so the game can move faster.

The other major rule changes to speed up baseball:
  • Only 4 pitchers can be used in a game
  • 3 warm up pitches between innings
  • Instant replay is limited to 1 minute
  • Extra innings start with a man on third base

Shorter Season

162 games is way too many. Teams are out of the postseason with months left in the MLB regulars season. With only 88 games, games become nearly twice as as impactful to the postseason chase.

Teams will play divisional foes eight times, four at home and four on the road. They will play the other 24 teams twice, rotating home and away, season by season.

Opening Day starts on Memorial Day and the season wraps up on the Saturday before Labor Day to set up a spectacular Labor Day of postseason baseball.

MLB Realignment

Interleague play helped generate new excitement to MLB as regional rivalries came to life. Let’s make those permanent and watch the stands be packed at every ballpark all season. 30 teams in MLB are now divided into five divisions with six teams in each.

Here are the new MLB Divisions:

New York Yankees
New York Mets
Boston Red Sox
Philadelphia Phillies
Toronto Blue Jays
Montreal Rays
Washington Nationals
Baltimore Orioles
Miami Marlins
Atlanta Braves
Texas Rangers
Houston Astros
Minnesota Twins
Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati Reds
Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians
Pittsburgh Pirates
Kansas City Royals
St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Oakland A’s
San Diego Padres
Seattle Mariners

I’m doing away with American and National Leagues. It’s just Major League Baseball in Speedball. And yes Tampa Bay, is now the Montreal Rays.

The New MLB Postseason – Speedball Style

With no more leagues, each of the five division champions make the MLB Postseason with the next three teams with the best record joining them.

This sets up a spectacular start to the MLB Postseason. On Labor Day, it’s four single elimination playoff games! The top four seeds host the bottom four in a winner take all start to the postseason. Massive ratings!

This is what the lineup would like based upon today’s MLB standings (September 23, 2019):

(5) Cardinals at (4) Twins – 1 PM ET

(7) A’s at (2) Astros – 3:30 PM ET

(6) Braves at (3) Dodgers – 6:00 PM ET

(8) Rays at (1) Yankees – 8:30 PM ET

The winners advance to play a best of three series beginning the Wednesday following Labor Day. Then we’re at a 7 game World Series.

It’s time to modernize baseball. The game is dying. Making it faster and more interesting game by game will give it a chance to flourish and build a new audience for future generations. Make Speedball happen MLB!

Goals of Speedball

The major goals of Speedball are making the game faster and end in 2 hours or less, make the games have a bigger impact on the season and increase fan interest with more rivalries.

MLB hasn’t had 9 inning games under two hours since 1946. MLB needs to adjust to fans’ interest and tv viewing. A two hour game can allow for better tv audience as networks can air doubleheaders regularly for fans who can enjoy them in four hours instead of six or more.

The shorter season and increased rivalries will lead to more fan engagement. With the new divisional alignment, you strengthen allegiances as regional rivalries (like Royals vs. Cardinals, Yankees vs. Mets, A’s vs. Giants) become divisional foes.

Get our data driven MLB predictions for the rest of the MLB regular season and postseason.