Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quick Hit: Pace of Play Rules Tweaked Again

Commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred has been in the top position overlooking the league for a little over a year now and the amount of change he has brought the league is astounding. I’ve listed his accomplishments and changes many times on the blog and you all probably know them by heart by now but one I haven’t paid much attention to is the pace of play changes.  Manfred wants to shave some time off the games and he did just that in 2015 but the Commissioner is far from done. Manfred announced more changes to his pace of play rules for the 2016 season and I bring them here to you today as an FYI.

MLB and the MLB Players Association have not finalized these plans yet, keep that in mind, but the two sides are working towards an agreement. Since these have not been finalized we do not have the entire and complete list to bring to you but we can confirm, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post anyway, that the league is trying to eliminate the slow walk to the mound and/or all the stalling tactics many managers use to give their relief pitcher a few more throws in the bullpen. The possibility of a time limit for making a pitching change has also been discussed. Also MLB is going to shave off another 20 seconds of commercial time in-between innings. Last season the fans had to wait 2:25 seconds during commercials and this season it will go down to 2:05 at the end of every half inning. The idea would be that the batter would be in the box with 20 seconds left on the commercial break timer while the pitcher would be required to throw the pitch once the timer hits zero.

I think the most important thing here is that Manfred is shaving time off the game without noticeable changes to the sport and game itself. This is keeping the purist happy, the traditionalist, the hardcore fans, the casual fans and the new fans alike happy and content I think. The best sort of change is change for the better but, and maybe this is the ignorance is bliss in me talking, the second best change is the change that you don’t notice. Well done Manfred and well done MLB. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)