Why the MLB’s new batter’s box rule might actually work to speed up games

09/04/2015 § Leave a comment

I give you Adrian Beltre:

Major League Baseball has introduced a whack of new rules this year, aimed at speeding up games, which are on average more than 30 minutes longer now they were in the 1970s. Much of the lengthening has taken place in the last decade. Some of that is TV, some of it is pitchers facing hitters more patient than their predecessors and taking more time to deliver those pitches.

Pitchers and hitters must now be ready to play right when commercial breaks end (a easily-visible clock gives them a countdown), but the bigger influence will surely be preventing batters from taking both feet out of the batter’s box. They won’t be wandering about between pitches. It’ll be a matter of seconds for each at bat, but those all add up.

Twice already this week Adrian Beltre has caught himself before wandering from the box. Players will face fines if they don’t respect the rule, the Commissioner’s Office says.

I think it will work.

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