As Major League Baseball nears the midpoint of the 2023 season, players are generally positive on rule changes that have helped increase fan interest, according to a new survey.
Banning the shift, implementing a pitch clock, and increasing the size of the bases have all helped MLB attract more fans to ballparks this year — the league projects up to an 8% attendance increase by season’s end.
The Athletic polled 103 MLB players, asking them to rate the changes on a scale of 1-5. All three rules averaged nearly a 4.
A majority felt the pitch clock should be altered in the postseason, with a popular suggestion being to add five seconds.
One player who voted against the postseason change idea said, “No one wants four-hour games back,” while one who voted in favor of it said, “In the playoffs, the fans are not leaving until the game is over. It doesn’t matter if it’s five hours.”
Nashville Up Next?
Another interesting finding from the survey was MLB players’ thoughts on the best potential expansion city.
Nashville was the overwhelming favorite, with nearly 70% of players suggesting Music City as a viable MLB town. Montreal was second with 10%.
Last year, one potential ownership group from Nashville was trying to raise $2 billion to buy an MLB team.