Update: February 23, 2015 7:00pm PT
I know I’m an entire weekend late on updating this post but I figured better late than never. Plus it gives me a chance to add another poll to the growing group of BBST’s Current Polls.
So last I reported on the subject only a few of MLB’s new rules for governing the pace of play had been revealed, they are highlighted in the orginial text of this post below by Fox Sports’ insider Ken Rosenthal.
On Friday morning, the league in agreement with the MLB Players’ Association (MLBPA), announced the first set of rules to be applied during the 2015 to improve the pace of play in baseball games.
When these, as well as other methods, were experimented with during the Arizona Fall League and games went from an average 2:52 minutes in 2013 to 2;39 minutes in 2014. That isn’t a significant amount of time but it shows that some of these changes may, in fact, be somewhat effective.
Besides the new rules that a manager must make his challenge from the dugout, a batter must keep one foot in the box unless an established exception occurs and that play must resume promptly after a commercial break (this third one is the only one I feel completely comfortable with).
This third rule is going to be enforced as follows according to ESPN.com,
“Also, two timers — on or near the scoreboard and another on the facade behind home plate near the press box — will be used in every major league ballpark to help quicken the pace. For each half-inning break, teams will have either 2 minutes, 25 seconds (for local telecasts) or 2 minutes, 45 seconds (national telecasts) from the time the commercial break begins until the first pitch should be thrown to the next batter, who should be in the batter’s box with no fewer than 20 seconds remaining on that timer.
If a pitcher fails to complete the traditional eight warm-up pitches before the timer reaches 30 seconds, he forfeits the right to do so. Pitching changes will also be timed like between-inning breaks.
Personally I don’t approve of the rule that makes it possible for pitchers to potentially lose their warm-up pitches. Pitchers are very methodical in their game routines and it seems like this could mess with each pitcher’s own pre-pitching rituals and warm up rituals.
However, the MLBPA had to agree to each of the new rules and so far they do. MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a statement.
“The players believe that enforcing the rules that currently exist regarding between inning breaks and plate appearances is the best way to address the issue of pace of play, We’re confident that today’s announcements will have a positive impact on the pace of the game without jeopardizing the integrity of the competition.”
Another change coming to Major League Baseball is regarding the managers challenges. The mangers, as previously stated, will have to decide whether or not to challenge a play from the dugout to reduce them taking the time to walk on the field to speak with the umpiring crew.
However, there are other changes surrounding challenges that were also explained (better than I can explain them!) on ESPN.com,
“Managers, who used to retain their challenges after the first overturned call, now will retain their challenges after every call that is overturned. In addition, they will get a new second challenge to use during during regular-season tiebreaker games, the All-Star Game and postseason games.”
I still don’t like the idea of the clocks on the field that will govern these rules. Players and fans, in my opinion should not be subjected to countdown clocks in baseball. It just seems wrong on so many levels!
At least for now they have kept the pitch clock, which was not agreed upon by the MLBPA, out of the Major Leagues. Although I feel sorry for the pitchers in the Minors who will be subjected to such an atrocity. Let me know what you think of the new rules by voting in the poll below!! You can also vote for this and other polls on BBST’s Current Polls Page.
Original Text: February 19, 2015 8:30pm PT
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi, Major League Baseball intends to announce the first pace of game rule changes for the coming season on Friday/
More may be added in the future but the new rules for the 2015 season will now be made official. Rosenthal pointed out the three main tenets that will be going into effect this year.
1. Managers must challenge replays from dugout. 2. Batters must keep one foot in box unless an established exception occurs . . .
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 20, 2015
3. Play to resume promptly once broadcast returns from commercial break. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 20, 2015
With the average game being three hours and eight minutes in 2014, the first time the average game was over the three-hour mark, former Commissioner Bud Selig put together a Pace of Game Committee. The committee came up with a number of ways to increase the speed of the games and the initiatives were, like expanded replay, tested during the 2014 Arizona Fall League. Games were managed to be shortened under the new initiatives so some will now be taking effect in the Majors. There will not be a 20-second pitch clock like the one that will be instituted in the minor leagues for 2015. The timing of the announcement by Commissioner Rob Manfred is smart. The players, managers, coaches and umpires will be able to get used to the new changes during spring training. I’ll have more on this soon once the announcement has been made …. in the meantime just be thankful there is no pitch clock <—– read my post on it if you are bored waiting! Clocks of any kind should not be allowed on a baseball field!!