The MLB and MLBPA Make Progress With Plans to Bring Larger Bases to the Field

Though the MLB lockout is still ongoing, there's been progress regarding the desire for larger bases. Why is this the priority? Here's what we know.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Mar. 7 2022, Published 2:09 p.m. ET

Oct. 2021 game between the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Nationals
Source: Getty Images

Nearly four months since its initiation, the 2021-22 MLB lockout remains ongoing. Following the expiration of the previous MLB collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players' union, both parties have met for various negotiations, all of which resulted in little to no progress.

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After the MLB canceled the first two series of the regular season and all spring training games through March 17, it seemed as if there was no end in sight to this conflict.

However, on March 6, the opposing sides met for a lengthy meeting, where the MLBPA made a proposal that permits the league to implement three on-field changes. Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the MLB wants to ban defensive shifts, install a pitch clock, and institute larger bases.

A base on the baseball field.
Source: Getty Images
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Why does the MLB want larger bases?

Although larger bases may seem like a ridiculous idea, it's actually not a ludicrous change. Talk about base size dates back to March 2021, when the MLB used the minor league to experiment with larger bases; they increased from 15 inches to 18 inches.

Regarding the rule revision in the MLB, Yahoo! Sports reported that the MLB cited "a reduction in injuries and collisions" for the change, with "the idea being more room on the bases means more room for runners to reach base without running into or onto defenders. It's also hoped that slightly larger bases will mean slightly increased success on stolen base attempts."

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Now, larger bases seem incredibly beneficial for the MLB — not only will they reduce the number of injuries sustained by baserunners and fielders, but they will also boost the number of stolen bases per game. Overall, the MLB hopes that larger bases will bring more action and excitement to the game than ever.

Plus, with the addition of larger bases, Ken Davidoff of The New York Post believes the MLB might rule out one of baseball's most aggravating consequences.

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He wrote, "You know the play in which a guy steals second base, pops up, and separates from the bag for a blink as the middle infielder keeps his glove on him, which replay confirms upon a manager challenge, thereby sending the baserunner back to the dugout? Wouldn’t it be great if that play ceased to exist? While full eradication might prove too ambitious, a bigger base surely would help."

MLB fans are furious at the league for prioritizing larger bases.

Sure, larger bases do a lot of good for the game of baseball. However, many MLB fans are furious with the league for prioritizing this insufficient change over more demanding issues.

"I’m sorry, but MLB has a lot more important things to focus on than larger bases and a pitch clock. And don’t even get me started on banning the shift. Figure it the hell out, Manfred," @bachy5 wrote on Twitter.

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Other Twitter users commented that larger bases won't do "what the MLB thinks it's going to do for baseball," and wrote that the MLB would rather introduce larger bases than play games this year and preserve their fanbase.

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