Today, Major League Baseball will be making its first significant step towards changing the game of baseball. As fans have continued to complain about the length of an average nine inning game, baseball has the issue in its crosshairs. New Commissioner, Rob Manfred, will be announcing rule changes regarding pace of play today.
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In 2014, the average game took just north of three hours (officially 3:02), a mark that many fans simply deem unnecessary. Looking for ways to shorten each game, baseball has been reviewing options all offseason. In minor league stadiums this season, teams will experience pitch clocks for the first time in baseball history. The major leagues appear to be going a different direction however.
Pitch clocks need to be tested and worked out prior to being instituted at the major league level. That said, there is a whole slate of new rules that will target pace of play in other ways. Major League Baseball spelled out the rule changes this morning.
The rules further focus around the way in which batters approach an at bat, with Major League Baseball focusing on keeping players in the batters box.
Finally, as the replay system in baseball continues to be a work in progress, Major League Baseball is adding to some of the replay rules as well.
In all, it looks as if baseball is taking steps towards speeding up the game, while keeping the integrity of it in tact. Players biggest concern was that no rules altered ball and strike counts for infractions, as it will be a learning process for them as well.
It will be interesting to see how things play out for Major League Baseball both in Spring Training and once the season gets underway.