MLB, players will reportedly meet to discuss pace-of-play rule changes for 2018
Improving pace of play remains a focus of commissioner Rob Manfred
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred for much of his brief tenure has been committed to improving the pace of games. To this end, he's already cut down on between-inning breaks, mandated that batters keep a foot in the batter's box at all times, and, most recently, instituted automatic intentional walks. Possibly because of these measures, game times declined in 2016, but that trend reversed course last season. As such, Manfred wants to attack the problem again.
On that front, here's this nugget from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick:
Officials from Major League Baseball and the Players Association expect to meet next week in New York to discuss new pace-of-play initiatives that would go into effect during the 2018 season, a source said Thursday.
Crasnick goes on to note that likely changes include the implementation of a pitch clock at the big-league level (it's been in use in the minors for multiple seasons) and limiting the number of mound visits by the catcher. Manfred has broad powers in this regard and doesn't need the MLBPA to sign off on any such measures. However, consider it a gesture of collaboration that these talks will reportedly be taking place.
Either way, you'd better get used to the idea of a pitch clock at major-league ballparks starting on Opening Day 2018.
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