Adrian Beltre’s probable Hall of Fame career spanned from 1998 to 2018. He played when the sport was at its peak of popularity, but he had also seen its problems.
Amid the latest Major League Baseball rule changes, Beltre wants to see the game grow globally. That’s why he partnered with Mariano Rivera and Barry Larkin as an investor in Baseball United, West Asia’s first professional baseball league.
The league has rules that could make baseball purists’ heads spin. If a home run is hit with a «money ball», double runs are scored.
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Beltré hit 477 career home runs and is one of 12 players in the 3,000-hit, 400-homer club. He maybe he could have hit 2,000 RBI if he had a ball of money. He had 1,707 in his career.
The former Texas Ranger said joining Baseball United and expanding the game to the other side of the world is «something special.» However, he is «not a big fan» of pitch clocks, bigger bases and turn limits in MLB, even though it is a move to regain popularity in North America.
«I can consider myself a bit old school. I’m dedicated to preparing players to do your job,» Beltre said in a recent interview with Fox News Digital. “I understand that some players take too long to pitch, too long to hit. That is a small percentage of players. It’s not your fault.
«Ninety-five percent of the players typically drop in and out at the normal time. I understand what they’re doing. They’re trying to make the game go a little faster. But if you ask me, honest question, I’d rather just play the game as it is. But it is what it is. People try to innovate. MLB is trying to attract more fans and make it more exciting for the fans.»
Major League Baseball is trying to shorten games by half an hour. Last season, the average nine-inning game lasted three hours and three minutes, and the average length hasn’t been less than three hours since 2015 (2:56). You have to go back to 1978 to the last time the average game took less than 2 and a half hours.
But the five-time Gold Glove Award winner is skeptical about how much time it would actually save.
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«How much time are you saving? You’re going through all these changes. They played the game for 100 years the same way, to save five, 10 minutes maybe, out of the game. Because they’ve been making too many changes for the last 10 years? to save two to five minutes. It’s not a big difference when you’re doing so many changes.»
The shot clock shortened minor league games by about 26 minutes last season, according to a report from MLB.com. The league hopes the bigger bases and turn bans will bring more action to the base routes and more hits and stolen bases.
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Beltre will be eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame next year.