Saturday, August 3, 2019

Frank Viola Not a Fan of ALPB Rules Changes

Three weeks removed from his ejection for arguing an Automated Ball/Strike System pitch call in the Atlantic League, High Point Rockers Pitching Coach Frank Viola is still dissatisfied. Experimental rule changes adopted by the ALPB in its partnership with MLB have provoked a strong reaction from Viola, who has become somewhat of a de facto leader of the independent league rebellion against some of ALPB/MLB's most daring initiatives.

Viola recently categorized some of the ALPB's second-half rules changes - which include allowing batters to steal first base on all uncaught pitches (passed ball, wild pitch, etc.) and requiring pitchers to disengage the rubber before attempting a pickoff - as "horrendous."
Related PostAtlantic League Debuts New Rules, E-Zone (7/10/19).

The former big leaguer was the Atlantic League's first electronic pitch caller's ejection, less than one inning into the technology's official debut.
Related PostHistory - Baseball's First Ejection Due to TrackMan (7/12/19).

Viola said of ABS, "It’s making a mockery of everything. We played a game night in High Point that at least a dozen pitches were missed, and this is the second week into TrackMan. It’s not just my team, it’s the other team as well...Until they get it right, it’s just potluck guessing.”

And in a similar vein to our chief complaint about PitchCast's propensity for visual error in Major League Baseball, Viola summarized a key part of the problem as a lack of communication and transparency: "It’s like we’re out in the cold, not having a clue what’s going on, and I think that’s the biggest complaint we have. Show us what you’re doing and give us an understanding of how we can work with it instead of having to be against it right now."
Related PostPodcast - Truth About Baseball's Electronic Strike Zone (6/5/19).


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