Gallo believes new rules will create excitement, draw in fans
How will Major League Baseball’s new rules for the 2023 season impact the game? We can start providing answers to that question when Spring Training games begin this weekend.
Shift restrictions, a pitch timer, bigger bases – there will be an adjustment period for players and fans alike. But you can count Twins slugger Joey Gallo as someone who is all for the changes, which aim to quicken the game’s pace and increase offense.
For Gallo, more offense means more excitement.
“I just don’t think people want to watch pitching and defense,” he said recently on the Audacy Original Podcast Baseball Isn’t Boring with WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “I think they want to see people hitting the ball and scoring runs and running around the bases.
“Hopefully these rule changes kind of implement a little bit more action and entertainment for the casual fan and not just always the diehard baseball fan. I think, for baseball, you’re trying to attract a bigger, grander audience, and it’s hard to do that if it’s just not exciting to watch and slow-paced games.”
Gallo equated lower-scoring MLB games to some of the matches he saw during the 2022 FIFA World Cup that ended in 0-0 draws.
“To me, we’ve got to open up our eyes a little bit and understand the world now,” he said. “If we want to attract the younger demographic, they want to see offense, they want to see homers, they want to see people running the bases, they want to see excitement and they want to get up and cheer. ... For me, I think that’s the biggest priority: creating excitement, creating a reason for people to get out of their seat and cheer. I think we’re on the right track for that.”
Gallo may or may not personally benefit from the new shift restrictions, but with pitchers throwing harder and nastier stuff than ever before, he is glad to see baseball adapting in ways that emphasize offense and hopefully result in a more entertaining product.
“At the end of the day, the entertainment is for the fans. The game is for the fans,” he said.