LADY AT THE BAT: MLB's Pace Of Game Initiatives Only One Step In Right Direction

Friday, February 20, 2015

MLB's Pace Of Game Initiatives Only One Step In Right Direction

"There's no clock in baseball."

As of this year, we can no longer say that about the National Pastime.  Along with changes made by the Instant Replay Committee, MLB's Pace of Game Committee has seen to it that, not only is there a clock in baseball, there are two:

Timers...will measure non-game action and break time between innings and pitching changes during each Major League game. One timer will be installed on or near the outfield scoreboard, and a smaller timer will be installed on the façade behind home plate near the press box. Immediately following the third out of each half-inning, the timer will count down from 2:25 for locally televised games and from 2:45 for nationally televised games. An MLB representative attending each game will operate the timers from the ballpark and will track the following events:

Time Remaining
Activity
40 Seconds
PA announces batter and begins to play walk-up music
30 Seconds
Pitcher throws final warm-up pitch
25 Seconds
Batter's walk-up music ends
20 Seconds-5 Seconds
Batter enters the batter's box
20 Seconds-0 Seconds
Pitcher begins motion to deliver pitch

Traditionalists will likely balk at this, but it is a step in the right direction.  New Commissioner Rob Manfred is committed to making the game more appealing to the younger set, and this will go some distance in making it happen.

Notice I didn't say it will go "a long way."  Even with these changes in place, baseball will still be slower than other sports.  Like it or not, the Pace of Game Committee is engaged in a give-and-take, their own little game of sorts. They have scored in the top of the first inning. Now it's the bottom of the first: parents and mentors need to step up to the plate and do their part, by convincing kids that faster doesn't always mean better.

Let the game continue.

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