It’s Not Broke, but They’re Fixing That


Welle (WELL-lee) is a professional baseball player. If you were to try to guess the team for which he plays, you would get it on the first try, even if his name does not sound familiar. You will never see anyone wearing his jersey or number, although sports fans have his number.  

Welle is facing a huge problem: Everyone loves Welle, but Major League Baseball (MLB) officials are afraid that most fans do not love him anymore. They feel that Welle could be the death of baseball. So, MLB has even taken Welle under their wings. He is the reason for many changes to foundational rules in the last few years. 

Welle has been having trouble reaching base, so officials decided to add timers to the pitchers. He works just fine under pressure, but if he does not hit the ball, there is no sense in making everybody sit through such a long at-bat.  

When Welle does reach base, he loves to steal, but those pesky pitchers never let him lead off more than a foot or two. His numbers of bases stolen are not the highest, but they are not the lowest in the leagues. Apparently mediocre for one player is not good enough, so they have limited the number of pickoff attempts. Now if Welle makes it back safely twice, he could theoretically steal second base by walking, according to If the pitcher tries to pick him off a third time, he does get to walk to second base. 

This will not be enough to make sure Welle gets from base to base. He has been around a bit, so his eyesight may not be the best. The remedy: make the bases bigger. They will be easier to see, and the increased size will shorten the distance that Welle and all the other players will have to run. After all, speeding up the game will keep fans coming when all the plans to better Welle fail. 

It appears that the MLB is not doing enough for Welle in the minds of the umpires, who traditionally have been the biggest supporters of Welle. This year they have declared an “emphasis on an existing rule” and have become legalistic to the point of over-correction in giving runners the benefit of the doubt on obstruction calls.  

But what about when Welle and his team are on defense? Surely the MLB must think they could use a tip. On second thought, let us just make it a rule. 

According to a Feb. 1, 2023, article by Anthony Castrovince on called “A guide to rules changes in MLB (and sports) history,” “Beginning in 2023, a minimum of two infielders must be on each side of second base, with cleats in the dirt as the pitch is delivered.” 

In his prime, Welle was a great fielder. Errors were an occasional occurrence, and a mandated defensive shift will not change this now in his less popular years. 

Who is Welle? Rarely does he go only by “Welle.” In case you have not figured it out yet, we are talking about none other than Welle Nough. 

Doubtless, there will be more changes. But I say that baseball is a great game and could return to the status of America’s national pastime or sport, if once and for all, the powers that be would just leave Welle Nough alone.