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Report: MLB warns Dodgers about 'pace of game' violations

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

To hear MLB tell it, Dodgers pitchers like Josh Beckett need to pick up the pace. (USATSI)
To hear MLB tell it, Dodgers pitchers like Josh Beckett need to pick up the pace. (USATSI)

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According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre recently wrote a letter to the Dodgers warning them about the slow pace of some of their pitchers. As Plunkett notes, this season only the Yankees and Rays are running longer average game times than are the Dodgers (and AL games tend to run longer in the first place). Here's more from Plunkett:

The warning cited a number of Dodgers pitchers for their violations of baseball's “pace of game” regulations. A number of relievers were cited for taking too long to get from the bullpen to the mound when entering the game. Continued violations could result in $5,000 fines though none of the players have been fined to date.

In terms of slowest pace (i.e., time between pitches) among 101 qualifiers this season, according to FanGraphs data Zack Greinke ranks 12th and Josh Beckett checks in at 32nd. As a team, the Dodgers as a staff have have the sixth-slowest pace in baseball. The Rays "lead" when it comes to the category of "most contemplative on the mound."

Personally, I would love nothing more than for umps to start strictly timing pitchers to the letter of the rule and forcing hitters to stay in the box at all times. In lieu of that, sternly penned letters from persons of authority will have to suffice.

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