They say speed kills, but Major League Baseball is hoping picking up the pace will help increase the sport’s popularity.
MLB on Friday announced new initiatives for the 2015 season aimed at speeding up the pace of play. The league changes mostly center around keeping batters in the box during at-bats, keeping managers in the dugout during replay challenges and speeding up pitching changes.
“These changes represent a step forward in our efforts to streamline the pace of play,” new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “The most fundamental starting point for improving the pace of the average game involves getting into and out of breaks seamlessly. In addition, the batter’s box rule will help speed up a basic action of the game.”
MLB announced in September it was looking to improve on average game time which was up over 3 hours during the 2014 season.
Among the biggest guidelines are:
-The program will “enforce” the batter’s box rule, meaning batters must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box.
-Timers will be installed to “measure non-game action and break time between innings and pitching changes’ during games. The timer will count down after each half inning.
-Managers can now invoke instant replay from the dugout instead of going out to the field.
Thumbnail photo via Rick Scuteri/The Associated Press