Pace of Play Rule Tested in Arizona Fall League

As an older generation dies off, younger baseball fans are becoming united in a main criticism of the great American past time.  With Mobile devices and Twitter, the length of a baseball game is on a head on collision with those with lesser attention spans.  Baseball realizes this and has proposed several solutions to hone their game to stay relevant..  One of those alterations is being tested out right now in the Arizona Fall League.  In a game where time almost has no meaning, a “shot” clock has been unveiled.

Rules Unwritten and Such

Most of the time when rules are brought up in baseball, it is about some protocol that was broken that is not in the book.  For example, bunting for a hit to break up a no hitter will get your head hunted with a fastball during future plate appearances.  Sometimes, their are laws on the book that no one pays attention to.  One of them does have to do with speed of play.  It sets a length the pitcher has between tosses but is never enforced.  Now the league office is looking into doing that and plunked five shot clocks around the field in the Fall League to do just that.

MLB Pace of Play

Twenty Seconds and Interpretation 

Once the ball gets back into his hands, the clock stars counting down from twenty for the pitcher.  In no one on situations, the pitchers did not have many problems.  However as the game became more complex with runners on base, the clock did have its effects.  Several times a ball was added to the count as the pitcher stepped off to collect himself and did not get the deed done in time.  In contrast, if the batter was judged to be the cause of the delay then a strike is awarded to the count.  Reviews were mixed as the quirks are being ironed out.

So far the average time of the games has been reduced.  Similar fall league games have gone down by ten minutes per.  In comparison to an average Major League Baseball game, the results were thirty minutes less.  The results were close to what was desired but the players involved had serious reservations.  In the end, it will probably fall by the wayside but it is encouraging to see MLB try to improve their product.  More fans means an increase in wagering which is good for us all in the end.