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Major League Baseball is making some changes to speed up the length of games but it won’t implement some of the more radical proposals to make games shorter.
The league and the players’ union announced an agreement Friday to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box in most cases. MLB also will post stadium clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks.
Also, Managers must challenge replays from dugout. No more slow walks over to umpires on the field in order to stall while team replay mavens check their TV monitors.
MLB did not institute many of the ideas experimented with during the Arizona Fall League, such as a 20-second clock between pitches, a limitation of pitcher’s mound conferences involving catchers and managers, and no-pitch intentional walks.
“These changes represent a step forward in our efforts to streamline the pace of play.” commissioner Rob Manfred said. “The most fundamental starting point for improving the pace of the average game involves getting into and out of breaks seamlessly. In addition, the batter’s box rule will help speed up a basic action of the game.”
Penalties for violating the new rules start May 1 and will involve only fines. In the AFL, strikes and balls were called against violators.
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