Minor League Baseball has Installed Timers to Speed Up the Game

shared on fancred by mary reagan

shared on fancred by mary reagan

Baseball is awesome. In fact, it's the second most popular sport in America. Here's the problem: There are a lot of baseball games (162 per team in the MLB) and those games can really... drag... on. Because of this, interest in baseball is waining amongst today's youth.

In an effort to speed up the game, Major League Baseball is testing new rules and technologies in its MiLB parks. 

Here are Major League Baseball's pace-of-game rules for the MiLB in 2015. Some of our favorites are in bold.

 

INNING BREAKS

  • Inning breaks will be two minutes, 25 seconds in duration. The first batter of an inning is encouraged to be in the batter's box and alert to the pitcher with 20 seconds left on the inning break timer. The pitcher must begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position at any point within the last 20 seconds of the 2:25 break.
  • Beginning May 1, should the pitcher fail to begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position in the last 20 seconds of the inning break, the batter will begin the at-bat with a 1-0 count.
  • Beginning May 1, should the batter fail to be in the batter's box and alert to the pitcher with five or more seconds remaining on the inning break timer, the batter will begin the at-bat with a 0-1 count.
  • Umpires will have the authority to grant extra time between innings should special circumstances arise.
  • The inning break timer will begin with the final out of the previous half-inning. For inning breaks during which God Bless America or any patriotic song is played in which all action in the ballpark stops (similar to the national anthem), the timer will begin at the conclusion of the song.

PITCHING CHANGES

  • The pitching change timer shall begin as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track (or foul line for on-field bullpens) to enter the game.
  • In the event a pitching change occurs during an inning break, the timer shall reset as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track (or foul line for on-field bullpens).
  • Umpires have the authority to reset the timer at their discretion.
  • Beginning May 1, should the pitcher fail to begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position in the last 20 seconds of the pitching change break, the batter will begin the at-bat with a 1-0 count.
  • Beginning May 1, should the batter fail to be in the batter's box and alert to the pitcher with five or more seconds remaining on the pitching change timer, the batter will begin the at-bat with a 0-1 count.

20-SECOND PITCH TIMER

  • Pitchers will be allowed 20 seconds to begin their wind-up or the motion to come to the set position.
  • The pitcher does not necessarily have to release the ball within 20 seconds, but must begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position to comply with the 20-second rule.
  • For the first pitch of an at-bat, the timer shall start when the pitcher has possession of the ball in the dirt circle surrounding the pitcher's rubber, and the batter is in the dirt circle surrounding home plate.
  • The timer will stop as soon as the pitcher begins his wind-up, or begins the motion to come to the set position.
  • If the pitcher feints a pick off or steps off the rubber with runners on base, the timer shall reset and start again immediately.
  • Umpires have the authority to stop the 20-second timer and order a reset.
  • Following any event (e.g., pick-off play) that permits the batter to leave the batter's box, the timer shall start when the pitcher has possession of the ball in the dirt circle surrounding the pitcher's rubber, and the batter is in the dirt circle surrounding home plate.
  • Following an umpire's call of "time" or if the ball becomes dead and the batter remains at-bat, the timer shall start when the pitcher is on the pitcher's plate and the batter is in the batter's box, alert to the pitcher.
  • Beginning May 1, should the pitcher fail to begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position in 20 seconds, a ball will be awarded to the count on the batter.