Major League Baseball's Pace of Play Changes are Meaningless
Much fanfare was made of Major League Baseball's announcement on Monday they were making changes to speed up "Pace of Play".
Before getting into why this is dumb--let's explain what exactly they announced....
TV Break Times:
--Games on Local Cable Sports Channels during the season will have a maximum of 2:05 break time between innings
--National Games will get an extra 20 seconds or 2:25
--Playoff Games will get 2:55
All will be on a "Countdown Clock" that starts at the conclusion of the innings "Final Out"
--Except when said play is Under Review
--Or a pitcher or catcher is hitting, on deck to hit or on base
--Six Mound visits per game, in extra inning games, one extra visit per extra inning either by players or coaches
--There are exceptions...as designated by Umpires who have the ability to not count certain visits in the event of pitchers and catchers getting their signals crossed.
--New pitchers entering the game will be on a timer (see TV break times)
--There will be new video feeds from the Replay Office to team dugouts with "Super Slo-Mo" replay....
((Note--these are quick summaries, CLICK HERE for MLB.com's full description of the rules))
Now....does anyone REALLY believe this will change anything? I supposed it could, but I'm skeptical.
Yeah, sure, baseball has problems with the length of games, 2017 saw the time a game took to be played increase to 3 hours, 5 minutes a game. Which is a LOT of time.
And some of this (TV Break Times) will likely help. The local TV coverage breaks can at times seem ungodly long. and does at times slow down the game.
In addition, the lack of regulation of "Warm Ups" between innings can seem interminable. It needed to be fixed.
The Replay thing is going to be a problem. You DON'T want more replays. Just ask The NFL how well that is working.
For all its strategy and the slower game pace in general due to the nature of the game, baseball is far less choppy than watching a football game. Particularly an NFL game where there are timeouts between change of possession, kickoffs, first plays after kickoffs and replays that can last 5-10 minutes sometimes.
I don't think the "Mound Visit" thing is or has been an issue. Coaches don't go out to see their pitchers every inning, they never have. And this rule could really hurt teams getting hammered in a particular inning.
Say you go out twice in the 6th inning and make a pitching change as normal--you lost two of your 6 visits.
Then your relief pitcher gets hammered and you need to replace him. That's 3....and the cycle continues until you get out of the inning.
What this does is simple: It lowers the chance of having a "Relief Specialist"...say a left handed reliever pitching to get out a left handed hitter and being removed after 1 out/ 1 batter.
And yeah, that may pick up the game pace. But it takes out strategy.....
Anyway....I guess this is one way to avoid having a "Pitch Clock"....something else I don't think is needed.
But I don't make the Major League Baseball rulebook.
Do you think any of this will work or is it just plain a stupid way to work around a problem that may or may not exist? Let me know your thoughts....