Report: Major League Baseball could eliminate pace-of-play fines
On the eve of the implementation of fines regarding pace-of-play, Major League Baseball could eliminate the penalties altogether, according to an ESPN report.
MLB and the players union are discussing either relaxing or eliminating fines, MLB Players Association president Tony Clark said, according to the report.
Sources from both the MLB and the MLBPA told ESPN that fines for slow gameplay could fall by the wayside due to the relative speed of games so far during the 2015 season.
If the 2015 season's current mark were to hold throughout the entire season, it would constitute the largest shift in average game time since the 1963 season, according to ESPN, during which games lasted two hours and 25 minutes.
In February, both the MLB and MLBPA announced a broad set of pace-of-play-related rule changes designed to speed up games. The changes included making managers stay in the the dugout during replay changes and having hitters remain at least partially in the batter's box during at-bats.
The rules were to be introduced in the month of April, then enforced with fines beginning May 1.
MLB tested several other pace-of-play rules during an Arizona Fall League game in September.
So far during the 2015 MLB season the average game has lasted two hours and 53 minutes, down nearly nine minutes from the 2014 MLB season average.
In January, Fox Sports reported it was highly unlikely MLB would utilize a pitch clock during the 2015 season.
- Will Green