Raul, from the players’ point of view, what are the biggest concerns you hear and what is important to them as they get on this path?
Ibanez: Quickly, always for a moment, there is little reluctance to accept change. But I think that like this generation of players, the people I talk to now are really open to a lot of rule changes and ideas about them. Ultimately, players want the game to progress even faster. I can tell you, as a player, that when Cliff Lee was on the mound and you are facing Jarrod Washburn in a one day game and it’s an hour and 53 minutes, 2-1 game where you have three bats. See you, everyone is happy and goes home.
Many new ideas and theories are working here. What do you think will be the most noticeable difference in practice?
Hill: If you look at the defensive position and how big of a game our game has become, with all the analysis, I think it’s going to be an adjustment. But offensively, speaking as a former hitter – although I was not very good and it was not his innings when I played – you are just trying to create more action and put more balls in play. You are opening the field; Without that guy in that small area, you can hit a line drive there and know that you got a hit. I think this is something that will definitely be positively embraced.
Ibanez: I agree with you, Mike. There is nothing more frustrating as a left-handed hitter than hitting a 200-foot one-hopper hitting shallow right field and exiting two feet. And this actually causes your behavior to change. I can tell you that at the end of my career I started hitting innings, and I was like, ‘Okay, I’m just going to pull the ball in the air and try to hit the ball in the seats. ‘ My swing-and-miss rate might have gone up, but my home run per run-bat also went up. So while getting out deep, forcing people to play on the dirt, I’m really excited to see what that is like.
(Citing a play in the 2014 National League Championship Series, Ibanez spoke on the issue of new bases, with Milwaukee first baseman Jesus Aguilar wrapped in a heel as Dodgers Manny Macron crossed the bag. Class AAA bases will have a different status. Textured to reduce the likelihood of a player’s foot slipping, and Ibanez noted another potential safety advantage.)
Ibenz: Historically, those who were the first baseman put their foot on the side of the bag; They expand their range and work towards their backhand. Now, if you go back and look at the Egiller play – you see it a lot more today than before, people instead of putting the heel with their back to the edge of the bag. And I believe that’s the way the lineup is structured today: for that matchup you’ve got your best batsman in the lineup, so you see a lot of guys playing first base as the first baseman Did not come.