It’s almost been a joke of an idea historically in baseball – what if you could steal first base lolololol!!1!!! – but the Atlantic League is actually going to start trying it in the second half of the season:
The league MLB has tapped to study new rules is about to try something wild: stealing first base.
Any pitch on any count not caught in flight is live, and a batter can run to first base, like a dropped third strike. https://t.co/cgHzSUMSmo
— ((( Jacob Bogage ))) (@jacobbogage) July 10, 2019
When you talk about rules changes that fundamentally alter the game as you know it, this one is up there with any other I’ve heard. It’s so wild as an actual idea that I don’t think I have a position just yet.
It would certainly create some crazy and interesting situations. You might have super speed guys – Billy Hamilton – getting a little more value, and also getting pitched a little more in the zone. You might have sluggers unwilling to run, even in two strike counts, when a ball gets away because they want their hacks. And you would definitely have some shenanigans when the batter decides to run, but a runner at first base was not expecting it.
And then you would have Javy Baez deciding, improbably, to just steal first base as a regular pitch is being thrown, and somehow still make it.
What do you think? Too fun not to do? Too crazy to do? Want to wait to see how it plays out in the Atlantic League?