MLB Pace of Play Experiment

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Major-League-Baseball-Fan-SleepingToday, MLB announced they are going to be experimenting with some pace of play rules in the Arizona Fall League (AFL).

Personally, I don’t think a lot needs to change, and baseball is supposed to be a slower sport. It’s supposed to be America’s pastime that teaches us to relax, slow down, and enjoy what is happening around us.  Baseball is an escape.

That being said, It’s possible there are some changes that could help the game (like shorter commercial breaks) and it’s appeal to our modern fast-paced society.

Here are the rules being tested, along with my thoughts:

(see link for details on each rule)

  1. Batter’s Box Rule – I think this one is rather silly and really messes with the batting experience.  I’d rather see them say something like “the batter has 10 seconds to be ready for the next pitch”.  Forcing the batter to keep one foot in the box is going to mess with the hitting experience.  Sometimes you just need to step away and regroup.  I’d be surprised if this one goes over well.
  2. No-Pitch Intentional Walks – I can get behind this one.  How many times do those 4 pitches get messed up anyway?  Some will hate this rule but I like it.  Put the batter on base and don’t waste the time or the pitches.
  3. 20-Second Rule – This rule basically puts a limit on the pitcher between pitches.  I’m okay with this one though I don’t think it will change the game much.  I wonder how often pitches take 20-30 seconds to deliver a pitch when no on is on base.  Does this add up to like 1 minute in overall game time?
  4. 2:05 Inning Break Clock – Yes this one is great.  I’d even make it 1:35 but they need some time for commercials.  Hustle on and hustle off.  You also don’t need that many warm up pitches between innings.
  5. Three “Time Out” limit – Limited the amount of conferences on the field and trips to the mound is a good thing.  These are pro athletes out there – how many times do you need  to go talk to them?  I’m also not a fan of the delay tactics sometimes used to get a pitcher ready in the bullpen.  They get warm up pitches before they throw anyway.  Deal with it.


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