ATLANTA — Carl Edwards Jr. worked on a new delivery all spring that involved an exaggerated pause and toe tap, but two games into the season, he’s abandoning it. It’s not entirely by choice, though, as Major League Baseball informed CJ that the new delivery is illegal. By rule, pitchers are not allowed to take a second step toward home plate with either foot.
The Cubs were miffed at the explanation, since Edwards modeled the delivery after Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, but they were also upset it took the league so long to inform Edwards that he couldn’t use the delivery. It wasn’t until the end of Spring Training that umpire Bill Miller mentioned that the delivery was illegal.
Edwards worked on the delivery over the offseason because he was not content with his command. Although he struck out 30.2 percent of the hitters he faced, he also had a 14.4 percent walk rate, which was fifth-highest among pitchers with at least 50 innings. Edwards felt the new delivery gave him more consistency.
Major League Baseball needs to take a lap. It’s exhausting trying to figure out the cut of their jib. They were literally celebrating CJ Edwards’ changes just weeks ago:
It’s okay to talk about CJ’s delivery when that pads pageview counts to your bottom line. It’s okay when it’s February and there’s nothing to talk about so let’s make a story out of the young guy trying to figure his shit out. Let’s spend weeks having the opportunity to evaluate it in the constrains of the rulebook. Let’s give ourselves every opportunity to privately address this with team officials. You know, take advantage of the whole concept behind spring training to iron out some kinks before the season starts. Let’s use our goddamn brains!
Or we could do what MLB always does and confuse the shit out of people because it’s way easier to be reactive and lazy. That way you get two stories, one of which gets to use the headline “Rangers Manager OUTRAGED” and get more pageviews. But then in the same vein, MLB waited like 30 minutes to publish Bryce Harper’s bat flip last night when literally the entire internet instantly turned into one big circle jerk at the sight of this:
Almost 30 minutes between the biggest moment of the early year and MLB’s ability to get it shared on the “proper” channels. It’s so bad you’d think one of the best players in baseball history could retire and they wouldn’t tell anyone
Honestly though idk if I can be mad at MLB because it’s just so dumb. At some point you just have to accept that they’re not smart at all and will always be dumb. Doesn’t matter if it’s media, marketing, rule enforcement, public relations, etc. Nothing is safe from their ineptitude.
Personally tho it just gives me another excuse in my bag for the 2019 season. I’m already conditioning myself for a lot of remote throwing and sleepless nights due to the bullpen but now that we have an illegal delivery no one told us about I’m feeling much better. Like a last second technicality to save my emotions: the bullpen doesn’t suck it’s just MLB changed the rules. The offseason wasn’t bad we just didn’t have any money to spend. See how that works?