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MLB Spring Training is Underway

In what seems like the shortest offseason in all of professional sports, Major League Baseball’s spring training is underway for all 30 clubs as pitchers and catchers reported for duty on the 16th of February. All 30 MLB teams are slated to begin the regular season at the end of March and early April. 

Being such a long season, including the regular season and the postseason, Major League Baseball’s 162-plus games are taking a toll on fan bases around the country. In light of this, the sport is taking action in order to make the game more enjoyable and exciting and allow fans to be more engaged. 

The progression of analytics in professional baseball has allowed teams to create advantages in places where they never even thought of them before. One of these places is on the diamond, and it has to do with the defensive positioning of the infielders. 

If a hitter typically hits the ball in one direction every time they step up to the plate, the infielders will "shift" to that side, creating an advantage for them because they now have a higher percentage of fielding a ball from that particular hitting. This goes against the straight-up defense with four infielders equally spread through the bases that have always been played in baseball. 

Now, after years of testing in Minor League Baseball, MLB has decided to ban the shift, allowing for more offensive action and thus creating a better environment for fans that like to see more offense. This is coming after years of scrutiny that the league is dying out and losing its viewership.

This is just one step of many that Major League Baseball is taking to improve the game for everyone watching. 

Along with the shift, MLB is also adding a pitch clock that requires each pitch to be thrown within a certain amount of time of each other, creating a faster-paced game. Not only does this make the game faster, but it also makes the game more exciting. 

Now, as all 30 teams are set to prepare for the upcoming 2023 season as spring training begins, one thing is for certain: there are different rules in play now that are hoping to make the sport just that much more engaging for fans around the world. 

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