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MLB News: Rob Manfred Mentions Changing the Rules to Limit Defensive Shifts

Rob Manfred is once again doing anything he can to ruin the game.



Rob Manfred is always doing his best to upset MLB fans, especially in 2020. Any rule change he has ever suggested has never gone over well, but fans have sort of had to accept them this year. The universal DH and the extra-innings rule were just a product of the challenges baseball had to face this year, so fans were fine as long as they got baseball.

This week, Manfred is at it again talking bout changing the game. MLB’s commissioner made an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show today to talk about some of the rule changes this year and how they will carry over to next year. Manfred revealed that there is a committee that will discuss that further, but also revealed that defensive shifting is being discussed

A lot of people feel that the extreme shifting that you’re talking about has changed the game in ways that are not positive and it remains a really hot topic of conversation withing that committee. 

Manfred has been an advocate for placing bans on defensive shifts dating back to 2018. He felt that despite a poll showing that players didn’t want a ban on it being revealed. Funny enough, both teams in the World Series have leaned pretty heavily into the defensive shift movement across MLB. The Rays even take it to the extreme of having 4 outfielders at times. 

I can’t say how realistic this is or even how much it’s seriously being discussed. But what I can say is that I can’t imagine MLB limiting defensive shifting, or how they would even enforce that. Let’s hope we don’t have to deal with that argument over the next few years. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Was manfred in the Navy? He sure likes cause waves. Don’t change things now, not while the season is almost over. Put it to a vote between players.

  2. We need a new commissioner who will reverse everything Manfred has done. As for the shift, I don’t like it, but leave it alone. If teams want to use it let them. Fielders have always adjusted to specific hitters. It just makes sense. If they want go overboard on it, let them. Baseball is like life, the fewer rules, the better. Freedom works. We have enough rules. I want to see more versatile hitters who can go the other way to break the shift. Let the batters, rather than more rules deal with the shift. Manfred’s approach is if it ain’t broke, fix it anyway. Change isn’t automatically better, unless we’re talking about changing commissioners.

  3. If these milionaire ballplayers would learn to bunt against the shift there would be no shift. All they do is swing for the fences. Good to see Dodgers sacrificing last night. It can be done!

  4. So, Manfred wants to make changes again. Mr. Manfred, first make a change to your decision not to punish the Astricks* – take away their WS win as the minimum.

    As for changing the shift rule…no need to do that. The teams/players can control that…as soon as they start to push the ball the other way or to learn how to bunt, the shift will take care of itself.

  5. Defenses have been shifting on hitters since baseball began. Good players will hit the ball the other way. Maybe they just brought Manfred in as a temporary Commish to stink up the baseball world for a couple of years. Then the owners will change to an even worse one, but nobody will give a damn. We’ll all be so happy that Manfred is gone. Then the new Commish won’t have to deal with all the LAME rule changes made by Manfred. This must be what the owners want, because I can’t imagine this stroker doing anything on his own.

  6. Casual fans want to see action, and it’s the biggest thing that’s causing modern baseball to rapidly die. All shifts do is turn the game into a 3-up, 3-down, repeat game, with the games being decided almost exclusively by the home run. I’m not a casual fan (I’m a Toronto fan that found this site by googling about the commissioner after the WS was over hahaha) by any means, but anything that brings more excitement to the masses will ultimately be better for the game. Having every play result in a routine flyout instead of being hit into the gap is not something we need in the already lengthy and repetitive game of baseball.

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