time clock persistance of memoryToday, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association jointly announced the long-awaited “pace of play” rules changes that will be in effect for the 2015 season.

As expected, MLB is going with some of the easiest, least-dramatic rules changes/enforcements at first, but there could still be a significant impact on both the pace and length of games this year. Among the new changes/enforcements: batters must keep at least one foot inside the batter’s box during an at bat and stand ready to receive pitches more rapidly than they have in recent years, players must be ready to start the action as soon as the commercial break ends between half innings, and managers must challenge plays from the dugout.

Here is the full series of changes, as sent out by MLB:



I support not only the rules, themselves, but also MLB/MLBPA’s efforts to work on the pace of play issue. Well done.

My only concern, however, is that they’ve implemented these rules (or, for the most part, merely reiterated that there will be enforcement of already-existing rules) without much in the way of teeth.

What’s the punishment for violating these rules, you ask?

Not much. There will be a warning and fine system in place after April, with fines reaching a whopping $500 at the high end, according to Jayson Stark. Hrm.



MLB was apparently very sensitive to not pissing off the players with respect to on-field impact, and instead opted for a “behavioral modification” route with the penalties, and we’ll see if it makes a difference. I would have much rather seen balls and strikes impacted, but change comes slowly when there are so many interested parties.






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