Chris Bassitt continues to speak out against MLB rule changes

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Chris Bassitt is frustrated by Major League Baseball continuing to change rules on a seemingly annual basis.

Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Chris Bassitt is someone who's unafraid to let people know what he really thinks, particularly when he comes to his sport. For example, he was extremely critical when teammate Daulton Varsho missed out on a Gold Glove despite leading the Majors in Defensive Runs Saved, calling it a level of stupidity only baseball could pull off.

Well, the Blue Jays pitcher is at it again, this time criticising the latest rule changes which will be implemented for the 2024 season. One of the new rules which will particularly impact Bassitt, is the pitch clock being reduced from 20 second to 18 when runners are on base.

The 34-year-old spoke on Sunday in Dunedin, about his frustration with the most recent rule changes. As per Gregory Strong of The Canadian Press via The Globe And Mail, he said: "We’re yet again having to learn new rules. Hopefully in 2025 we stop doing this charade."

Just last year Major League Baseball added a pitch timer, limits on defensive shifts and bigger bases, as part of their attempts to speed the action up. As per Strong, it certainly seemed to work, with nine-inning games reducing by just under 24 minutes, to an average of around two hours and 40 minutes.

It is entirely understandable why Major League Baseball has done this, in their attempts to retain the interest of current fans and bring in new followers. They are well behind the NFL these days in terms of popularity in North America, and looking to do everything possible to remain ahead of the NBA.

As per Statista, the NFL was the most watched sports league in the United States specifically during 2023, with viewers watching for a combined 974.7 billion minutes. MLB was second with 329.7 billion minutes, followed by the NBA with 285.2 billion minutes.

Interestingly, despite Bassitt's criticism, he is coming off a year where he was as durable as ever. He had single-single highs with 200.0 innings, 16 wins, 33 starts and 826 batters faced, with him leading the AL in the latter three categories. (He finished second in the AL in innings pitched.)

The 2021 All-Star also produced a 3.60 ERA and 1.175 WHIP, while ranking first on the Blue Jays with 21 quality starts. By season's end he finished 10th in voting for the AL Cy Young.

In this respect, Bassitt is to be commended in thinking about more than just himself, in asking when all the constant rule changing will end. He said: "The fact that we’re changing rules yet again, it’s just when is it going to stop. We just need consistency among our game and the officials are just not providing that at all."

Other rule changes made for this year, included widening the runner’s lane along the first-base line and reducing the number of mound visits from five to four. As per Anthony Castrovince of, the tweaks are aimed at getting back some of the seven minutes of average nine-inning game time that were lost by September last year, compared to the average game length during April.

3 Blue Jays the organization has way too much faith in right now. 3 Blue Jays the organization has way too much faith in right now. dark. Next

Overall, while Bassitt appreciates that sometimes changes are necessary, he can't wait for the day when Major League Baseball takes a break from the seemingly constant modifications. He said: "Obviously I’ve been in the league a long time and I feel like the last seven or eight years, it’s been like a different league every single year we walk in. I look forward to the year where it’s like, ‘Hey, we did nothing from a year ago.’ That shouldn’t be too hard to do."