Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association jointly announced the several additions to the game’s pace of play program, which will be in effect for the 2015 season. Batters will now be required to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box the majority of the time and play will be expected to resume more quickly after commercial timeouts.
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It was also announced managers will not need to leave the dugout to challenge a play and invoke instant replay.
“I’m a huge fan of it,” said Manager Mike Matheny of the initiative to speed up the game. “It will change routine. We’ve got some very regimented players that–part of it’s their training. They know in their mind, ‘I want to clear that’–there’s a mechanism that they have for getting past the last pitch, but there’s going to be an adjustment where they have to do something else and get ready for the next pitch.”
Both pitchers and position players alike around the St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse on Friday were agreeable to moves, which have also been approved by The World Umpires Association.
PACE OF GAME
- The pace of game program will enforce the batter’s box rule, requiring that all batters must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box unless one of a group of exceptions occurs. The new rule at the Major League level mirrors 6.02(d), which was in place in Minor League Baseball in 2014.
- A second new component to the pace of game program is the addition of timers that 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:
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