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America’s Sportswriters Confirm: Bases Big

Joe Martinez, MLB Vice President of On Field Strategy, explains the new bases to the media
Getty Images

Have you heard? The bases are bigger. This is part of a suite of changes designed to make major-league games a little shorter, a little faster, a little less true-outcome-dependent. The bases have expanded from 15 inches on a side to 18 x 18, which makes the distance between them a little more than four inches closer, which should, ideally, lead to more stolen base attempts and successes.

But what does 18 x 18 really mean? Red Sox manager Alex Cora said "they look like a pizza box," but how much of an exaggeration is that? How big are the big bases? With pitchers and catchers reporting this week, our nation's foremost bad-photo-takers have fanned out across Florida and Arizona to document the base bigness. Let's take a look at their work.

That's a base all right, but without something for scale, this is extremely unhelpful, Bob. Go think about what you've done, and don't come back without a photo that has context. Grade: Incomplete.

That is only slightly better. I don't know how large your foot is. Grade: C

Now we're talking. Old base for context; appealing shadows suggest depth; good posing. Grade: A

How did Andy get such a worse shot than Ben of the exact same subject? Grade: C-

Duty fulfilled, sir. Grade: A-

Interesting posing. Nice white balance work to get the texture on the bases. Grade: B+

That's certainly two bases. Grade: B

Big base looks big. Grade: B-

Little base, big base. Grade: B+

A photo of someone taking a photo of the base. Interesting. Grade: B+

Now we have something very special, a Defector Exclusive Photo™ from the Wall Street Journal's Lindsey Adler:

Photo: Lindsey Adler

Terrible photo, Lindsey. Grade: C

Lindsey requested a second chance on this assignment, and this is much better. Grade: C+

Bob, any luck out there?

You did it, Bob! Sort of. Grade: Gentleman's C

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