Posted September 26, 2018 12:19:00 A big question that remains unanswered for baseball is whether teams will move to electric outfielders in 2020 or 2020-21, according to Jeff Sherman, the president of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
The BA has a proposal to change the game’s rules, but it does not require teams to move.
Players who have played for MLB in the past, however, would like to see the game move to an electrified outfield.
“It’s not a matter of if they’ll move, it’s a matter when,” Sherman said.
“There’s always a debate, and I think the players would be interested in the electric outfield.”
The BA’s proposal would require teams that have played in an electric ballpark for the past six seasons to submit their proposals to the governing body by Sept. 28, 2021.
If the BA’s proposed rule changes are adopted, MLB would have to make a final decision by Oct. 1, 2021, Sherman said, and the decision would be final.
It is unclear how many teams would move to electrified parks.
The BA said the average number of teams in the majors that have made the switch to electric stadiums is about one, but that it does vary by division.
Some players have argued that electrifying stadiums is better for their health.
Last month, former Phillies star Ryan Howard told the Philadelphia Inquirer that “electricity makes it a lot more safe for you.”
The MLBPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A change to the rules for electric stadiums could be made without the approval of the BA.
There are a few other factors that could sway a player’s decision to move to a new ballpark, Sherman added.
He said the most likely reason for a player moving to a stadium is that it would help his or her team win.
If a player has a good relationship with his or the team, a decision to stay could be easier.
“I think it’s something the players can get behind,” Sherman added, adding that he’s heard “everybody’s been very supportive.”