Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: New MLB Rule Changes Will Change the Vibes at Dodger Stadium Forever

Word came down on Thursday that some big rule changes are coming for 2023: bigger bases, banning the shift, and pitch clocks.

There’s plenty to talk about with all of these, but let’s focus on one tiny detail of the pitch clock rule. Actually, first, let’s get Fabian Ardaya’s take on it:

Here’s the text that Fabian is booing:

The length of batter walk-up music cannot exceed 10 seconds. Music between pitches is to be limited so hitters aren’t encouraged to leave the box.

Now, that first sentence has actually been the rule for a few years now. It’s why you sometimes hear a player’s walkup music end and then Dieter Ruehle picks right up and continues the song on the organ for a couple more seconds.

It’s the second sentence that has Fabian booing and all of us wondering how the vibe at Dodger Stadium will change. “Music between pitches is to be limited.” What does “limited” mean? Eliminated? We sure hope not. Will there be specific rules, or will Dieter have to test the limits and see what he gets in trouble for?

Imagine a world where you can’t hear water-based songs when Madison Bumgarner is on the mound, or the Simpsons theme song when Joey Bart is at the plate, or “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” when Zach Davies is pitching. (We haven’t heard that last one, but Dieter, that idea is a free gift from us to you.)

The organ music at Dodger Stadium has been a part of the vibe ever since the organ was installed in 1972, from Donna Parker to Helen Dell to Nancy Bea Hefley to Dieter Ruehle, and we won’t lose that entirely. Organ music between batters is presumably still fine, so “Hit the Road, Jack” after a Carlos Correa strikeout is still just fine, as is the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” theme after the Padres let a routine infield popup drop.

But music between pitches is part of the experience, and we sincerely hope “limited” isn’t just a code word for “eliminated.” Ruehle is the best in the business, so if anyone can find the line and push right up to it, it’s him. The pitch clock is going to make baseball better, but let’s just hope they don’t throw out the organ music with the bathwater.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. I see they apparently did not consider one rule change which was recently implemented-the showing of commercials while an inning is active. They also seemingly did not address the time between innings and half innings for the airing of commercials. As a youth ( the 1940s) most games were under two hours. Now it seems we gett hat much time in a game to watch (or not) commercials

  2. We didn’t need these rule changes. We do however, need a commissioner change.

  3. It’s time they speed up the game again. I’ve been a huge baseball/Dodger fan for 60 years but the games are so long with stuff that just wastes time. Speed it up and make it more exciting. Watch a minor league game and it moves fast and is exciting.

  4. Just eliminate the commercials. This is the big reason why games are so long. They’ll just have to find another way to pay the inflated salaries. Maybe wages paid for merit based play.

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