MLB's New Bases Look Like 'Pizza Box', Will Lead To Increase In Steals, Says Thievery Expert Alex Cora

MLB is introducing several significant rule changes for the rapidly approaching 2023 baseball season.

The league will institute a pitch clock, ensuring that pace of play improves. They're severely limiting defensive shifts as well. Shortstops, for example, will no longer be allowed to play short right field.

In an attempt to boost the batting average on balls in play, two fielders will be required to remain on either side of the second base bag.

That's another one of the most substantial changes; the size of the base itself.

MLB decided that for player safety and the potential for injecting more stolen bases, they'd substantially increase the size of the physical base.

While certainly a legitimate concern, MLB's change to the base has already created consternation and controversy.

One of the first, most vocal critics is Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora. He spoke to reporters recently and compared to a "pizza box."

"The bases, they're the bases," Cora said Tuesday. "Wait 'til you see them -- they look like a pizza box, to be honest with you."

Will MLB's Changes Increase Steals?

The primary purpose of the base is to protect safety, by ensuring that first baseman aren't sharing too much space with runners.

But one other purpose is to potentially increase the rate of stolen base attempts.

Cora said that from his conversations with minor league coaches, that may not necessarily play out.

"Talking to the minor league coaches and everybody that used the rules last year -- it's not that all of the sudden we're going to steal 100 bags with a guy," Cora said. "The value of the out is still in play, and you get 27. So you got to be smart, you got to be efficient."

And if anyone has intimate knowledge on stealing, it's Alex Cora.


Beyond the ramifications, the bases do look cartoonishly large. But with most changes, fans will likely get used to it over time.

Unless of course, MLB winds up agreeing with Cora and changes course on the pizza box bases relatively soon.

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Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC