Report: MLB to relax some pace-of-play rules
MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association discussed plans to possibly reduce or not fine players who have not adhered to the new pace-of-play rules, reports ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark.
Fines up to $500 per offense were to be handed out starting Friday to pace-of-play rule breakers. Earlier last month, MLB sent 10 warning letters to violators of the rules.
The new rules were put in place before the season to help speed up the games, which took an average of three hours and two minutes to complete last season.
MLB said through April 29 an average nine-inning game took two hours and 53 minutes to finish.
"The idea here was to effect some positive changes in habits, and to see if, by doing so, we could also shorten the length of games and perhaps improve the pace,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark says. “And the result is that a lot of [players] have done exactly that. ... So to penalize guys just to penalize them doesn't make a lot of sense."
Now, MLB plans to send letters to “flagrant” violators of the following three rules:
Hitters must still keep one foot in the batter's box during at-bats with various exceptions, such as after foul balls. The batter has until five seconds remain on the clock to enter the batter’s box.
The between-inning time clock will continue to be set at 2:25 for most games, and 2:45 for nationally televised games.
Any batter that doesn't enter the box with five seconds left and any pitcher that doesn't throw a pitch with no time remaining is in violation of the rule.
Also managers can now challenges plays from the dugout instead of going out to the field.
- Scooby Axson