Commissioner Manfred has come out and said it’s his preferred path to come to an agreement with the players association but if an agreement isn’t made, there will be rule changes in 2018 regardless.
Pitch clock: they want to implement a 20 second pitch clock. Similar to a shot clock in basketball but you must pitch within 20 seconds of receiving the baseball. If not, an automatic ball will be called. The average time between pitch deliveries at the Major League level is 22 seconds. So let’s say you save 2 seconds on an average of 146 pitches per game (times 2). That calculates to saving less than 10 minutes per game. Probably not worth it.
Mound visits - here’s another thing they are talking about limiting mound visits. These are old school and the old timers don’t want to see these go away but doing with less or none of these could be a time saver. How about the only way you can visit the mound (manager or pitching coach or catcher) is to remove the pitcher. No more mound visits by the pitching coach to give the guy in the bullpen more time to warm up then be followed by the managers slow strut out to the mound to bring in the reliever.
Here’s a few crazy ideas:
Shorten time between innings: why won’t they do this? Oh yeah, they need their advertising money.
Bigger strike zone: why won’t they do this? It would tarnish the historic statistics of the game. Players of this era would be at a disadvantage compared to players of the previous era with a smaller strike zone. It would certainly speed up the game.
Foul balls = OUT - that would really speed the game up. Why they won’t do this? Same thing as it would tarnish the historic statistic aspect.
Extra innings: FASTBALLS only. Tired of ongoing 16 inning games that seem like they will never end? Make pitchers groove fastballs every pitch, that will speed it up. If a curve or changeup is thrown, batter takes his base.
10 run mercy rule: there have been games where a team gets up 10 runs and those games can DRAAAAAG. Put in the 10 run mercy rule. No inning minimum, if any team gets down 10 runs, game over, your opponent has quit the match like MLB The Show online.
The sad reality is that the reason baseball is dying is due to the fact of smart phones lowering the attention span of people. Baseball is a slow game, there’s no getting around it. People are checking in on their phones so frequently that it’s nearly impossible for someone of this generation to sit down and watch a full baseball game without checking in on their phone. One solution for people attending the games would be to build something in the stadiums that cut cell service and WiFi once the game begins. That would force people to watch the game and who knows, it could spark the joy of watching a baseball game.
Changes will be made, we just don’t know exactly what will come and what will actually work. What ideas do you guys have?