On Friday, MLB announced the pace of play changes for the upcoming season that we heard about yesterday. There are four changes that will be put in place, along with some notes below on things the players rejected.
The new rules include the managers staying in the dugout when they call for instant replay, the batters keeping at least one foot in the batter’s box during their at-bat, quicker pitching changes and the game resuming as soon at they return from the commercial break. Violation of the rules will result in fines for the offending players according to Jayson Stark.
As noted in the article, an MLB representative will be at every game operating a timer to keep track of the pitching changes and the commercial breaks. There are a series of events laid out in the article for the commercial break that includes set times for the PA announcer, final warm-up pitches, the batter’s intro music and the actual pitch being thrown.
Aside from the changes for time, there are also changes to the instant replay system that were announced. Managers will have more challenges in postseason games and unlike last year, when the manager got one extra challenge if the call was overturned, he now has an extra one for every call overturned. It’s unlikely that the last rule will make a big difference because there was on average, one challenge issued every other game played last year around baseball. Based on that number alone, you would have to assume there wouldn’t be many games in which one team would use three or more challenges(and get the first 2+ overturned)
The players voiced concerns over the new rules affecting play on the field. In the Arizona Fall League, the violations led to ball-strike calls, but that won’t be an issue in the Majors this season.
Players’ concern in pace-of-play rules changes was that game on field NOT be affected. Hence, no ball-strike penalties for violations.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 20, 2015
Speaking of the AFL experiment with the pace of play, Neil Walker confirmed that the pitch clock was something that the players shot down.
— Tom Singer (@Tom_Singer) February 20, 2015