Tagged: Pace of Game efforts

New Efforts to Speed Up Game are Step in Right Direction

timecalled.jpg

I applaud Commissioner Selig on his latest efforts to address the seemingly ever-increasing amount of time it takes to complete a regulation MLB game. An entire article devoted to this subject appeared on MLB.com on May 21st, 2008, which I will
reference it throughout this post (Bloom, Barry M. “MLB focuses on pace-of-game efforts.” MLB.com. 21 May 2008.). In the article, the Commissioner is quoted as saying, “Clubs and fans share the common objective of seeing a game that is
played as sharply and crisply as possible. We have reminded our staff
and our umpires to enforce the rules in order to achieve the progress
we need in this area.”

The specfic rules that will be used to are
6.02(a), 6.02(b), 6.02(c) and
8.04.
I had questioned the use of time limits as they pertained to the batter
and pitcher when they were first implemented, but now my concerns have
been addressed, as rule 8.04 in particular makes time limits
enforceable by calling a ball on the picther.

I was under the impression that other efforts mentioned in the
article, like fines for entertainment between innings running too long,
and having a second bat at the ready with the bat boy, were things that
MLB has done for most of this decade. Still, the extra empahsis on
these things certainly won’t increase game times. Beyond the time limit
enforcement, the other aspects dicussed in the article seem to direct
the umpires to place extra emphasis on things they are already good
about doing, like breaking up meetings on the mound, not letting the
batter linger outside the box between pitches, and not letting the
batter get away with calling time when the pitcher delivers the ball.
Nothing revolutionary that we don’t already see during games, but still
welcome.

One question that comes out of this is how umpires will count the
seconds between pitches in a partical way; do they use stopwatches on
the field, or use some other method? I will research this and hopefully
have a answer in a later blog post where I will also evaluate the
results of these new efforts. 

(Photo Credit: Rusty Kennedy, AP)

Discussion Questions:

1.) Do time limits between pitches betray the spirit of a game that
doesn’t use clocks, or are they a necessary reaction to how The Game is
played today?

2.) What other ways do you think MLB can trim down the average time of a game?