Pace of play rule changes in 2015

The MLB is to announce new pace of play rules that will be implemented in 2015. This was reported by Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal.

  • Managers have to call for a challenge from the dugout. This is to stop managers from buying themselves times like arguing with an umpire while a coach contacts a video official to judge if the play is worth challenging.
  • Batters must keep one foot in the batters box at all times unless an established exceptions occurs.
  • Play is to resume “promptly” when returning from a commercial break.

These rule changes are the first step to reduce the length of a game. In 2014, that average length of a game was 3.13 hours. This is the longest to date according to Baseball Prospectus. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made it an important mission to reduce the length of the game to attract more fans.

“Attention spans are shorter. I think that it’s very important to us at least symbolically to say to fans,” Manfred said in an interview back in September. “We understand that you want this to move as quickly as possible and we’re going to continue to modernize the game, without harming its traditions, in a way that makes it more enjoyable and more attune to the society that we live in.”

One of the main concerns of players is that pace of play rules will affect way the game is played on the field. They wanted to ensure that penalties wouldn’t include balls and strike penalties. Union head Tony Clark said “Players are willing to consider certain things relating to improving the game. Players are always interested in doing that. But they are always sensitive to making adjustments that will adversely affect the game. They love it, respect it too much to try and reinvent the wheel in such a way that will damage the game.”

Teams are open to these rule changes. Tigers president and GM Dave Dombroski said, “One thing you will see, which will happen right away, is between innings when it says 2:25, between the last out and the next inning starts, that first pitch will come at 2:25. It won’t be at 2:25 the hitter is announced, and he strolls in and the pitcher gets on the mound. The pitcher is going to be ready to deliver the ball at 2:25.”

The official release of the rules are here:

Kevin Bridge

Owner at The Backfield Press
I am an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee majoring in journalism and electronic media. I am the founder of The Backfield Press.