Tim Anderson refuses to help Blake Snell in MLB ad explaining the new shift rule

The ad is part of a campaign by MLB to educate fans about this season's rule changes

Tim Anderson took the shift rule to the extreme in an MLB ad with Blake Snell. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
Tim Anderson took the shift rule to the extreme in an MLB ad with Blake Snell. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)

If you're the type of MLB fan who doesn't pore over Twitter all offseason in search of even the most minute crumb of a baseball rumor, you might be surprised when you turn on a game in 2023. The pitch clock is finally here, the bases are bigger, and the shift is dead. It's going to make for a different style of baseball.

To make sure fans know exactly what's going on in 2023, MLB released a series of commercials Thursday explaining the new rule changes. And the league doesn't just have players standing in front of a green screen explaining new rules; it tried to inject some humor into the ads.

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Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and San Diego Padres pitcher Blake Snell star in one of those ads, which features Anderson refusing to help Snell thanks to the new shift rules.

The league released three other player-centric ads. One involves New York Mets slugger Daniel Vogelbach debating stealing his first base. Another sees Cincinnati Reds veteran Joey Votto express surprise over hitting a single thanks to the shift being banned, and the final one shows New York Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes telling catcher Jose Trevino he has to be faster this season due to the pitch clock.

The campaign is a fun and creative way to educate fans on the rule changes. Unsuspecting fans will be surprised when they tune into games early in the season, and this is a smart way to inform those fans why things seem different on the field. The ads will play on MLB.TV and various other national networks.


Bryan Cranston, Sebastian Maniscalco also appear in MLB ad campaign

MLB recruited actor Bryan Cranston and actor/comedian Sebastian Maniscalco to take part in the ad campaign. Cranston is featured in a more serious ad hyping up fans for the 2023 season. In it, he delivers the line, "Field like Ozzie, run like Rickey," references to MLB Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith and Rickey Henderson.

Maniscalco gets to be himself in a series of ads, and that's a good thing. The three ads feature Maniscalco coaching a youth team. He sarcastically teases and scolds the players while talking about the new rules in MLB. These spots are probably the funniest of the new ad campaign.

We should point out, however, that whoever wrote these ads really hated the shift. It doesn't get a touching eulogy here, making us think the person who created the ads must've been left-handed.