The slow pace of a baseball game, one of the charming elements of what was once America's pastime, seems to have become a problem. Personally, I question whether it is a real problem.
After all, what are we talking about? Cutting 10 minutes out of a game that lasts 3 hours? If it was 30 minutes, I could see the concern. But 10? Come on, man!
How about something important, like earlier starting times for postseason games so young people - and old people like me - can watch?
There's nothing better than a pitcher who works fast or a batter who doesn't need to step out every pitch. But not all players are of that ilk. In golf, many of the greatest players ever were very slow. Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus come to mind. They got even slower at crunch time.
Golf has a pace of play rule that is enforced. If the group gets out of position, the players are put on the clock and warned about the possible penalty of adding a stroke for a bad time.
Baseball is much different. You can't add a ball to a batter's count or take away a strike if the player is out of line. All the umpire can do is tell the player he's out of line.
I'm an analyst for Phillies weekend games and I can't tell you how often we criticized the video replay rules. It was comical to watch the managers sashay out to the umpire, waiting for a signal from the dugout on whether to challenge a call. Now that was a waste of time.
It also took away another part of baseball that fans often enjoyed, seeing the manager and umpire arguing. The manager's slow walk to the ump is now eliminated, in favor of a quicker process and the use of modern technology. Maybe a good ol' rhubarb that takes 10 minutes wasn't so bad, after all.
The other change won't offer much time savings, but might anger some sponsors as fans will rush from the concession areas in order to not miss a pitch.
The first pitch of the inning will be ordered immediately upon return from the commercial TV break. A play clock in view of all will start counting down after the final out of the previous inning.
A big concern is enforcement of the new rules. Not so much the commercial break or the video replay rules, but those around the batter's box.
Baseball has never been good at following the book. It's had a strike zone on the books that is not enforced. And there has been a time rule on pitchers and batters - again, not enforced.
Many of today's superstars have a routine at the plate that includes a practice swing between pitches outside the box. Is the plan to first scold them, then warn them and finally fine them? What after that, a suspension? You're messing with fire here for what - 10 minutes, max?
Truthfully, there's no place in baseball for a time clock. The thought of it makes me cringe. I'll never forget my college coach saying, ''You can't run out the clock in baseball, you gotta get 27 outs before the game is over.''
Part of the beauty of our game is that it's mostly slow moving, then come moments of action. One, two, three strikes, you're out. Or crack of the bat, home run.
The game has a pace, albeit a slow pace, that is one of the few slow things left in sports. Do we really need to cut 10-15 minutes out of baseball games?
If so, we're on the right track. Speed up replay and start play immediately following the commercial break. After that, be careful, it might not be as easy.
Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt was a three-time NL MVP, hit 548 home runs and led the Philadelphia Phillies to their first World Series championship in 1980.