2017 Major League Baseball

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The 2017 Major League Baseball season was the eighteenth season in which the two major leagues, the National League and the American League, were consolidated into a single entity under the authority of the Commissioner, Rob Manfred.

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A new Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed on November 30, 2016, to last until the end of the 2021 season. As had been the case in 2006 and 2011, the agreement was negotiated in a positive climate without recourse to the threat of a work stoppage.

One of the provisions of the CBA was that the All-Star Game would no longer determine home field advantage for the World Series, as had been the case since 2003. Thus, the American League's win in the 2017 All-Star Game, played in Miami, FL, had no impact on the postseason.

The season was preceded by the 2017 World Baseball Classic, the fourth edition of the tournament. The United States won for the first time, defeating Puerto Rico, 8-0, in the final game.

Before the season, Major League Baseball adopted a rule change through which a pitcher no longer has to go through the motion of making four pitches outside the strike zone in order to issue an intentional walk. Instead, the defensive team's manager simply needed to signal his intention to the home plate umpire, who would immediately direct the batter to advance to first base. The rule change was ostensibly adopted to speed up the flow of the game, although its effect was expected to be microscopic given the low number of intentional walks being called (less than one per game). Another rule change affected instant replay: managers now had thirty seconds to initiate a challenge, and reviewers needed to see clear evidence to reverse a call within two minutes or the call would be left to stand.

On the field the season was characterized by a record number of home runs and strikeouts. The 30 teams combined to hit 6,105 dingers and to strike out 40,104 times. Both leagues set a record for strikeouts in a season (20,310 in the NL and 19,794 in the AL), while the AL also set a new home run record (3,170). A record 25 players struck out 150 or more times during the year. The progressive disappearance of the complete game continued apace, as only 59 were recorded all year, the fewest ever; this also applied to the complete game shutout, a feat which was performed only 27 times.


See also[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Anthony Castrovince: "Rules changes and modifications: What they mean", mlb.com, March 2, 2017. [1]
  • Doug Miller: "A look back at the 10 best games of 2017", mlb.com, December 30, 2017. [2]