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Article: Players’ Union Rejects Pace Of Play Proposals

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#21 Tom Froemming

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 11:10 AM

From the sound of Rosenthal's initial article, the players are somewhat concerned about fan backlash.

 

"But some players, believing the new rules will be unpopular with fans and damaging to the game, want to absolve themselves of responsibility while putting the onus on Manfred to deal with any public fallout and unintended consequences, sources said."

 

It's nice to hear the players are taking the fans into consideration, but they also need to realize that we like to watch baseball. Not guys fidgeting with their caps on the mound or adjusting their batting gloves in the box. We don't need to see you and your catcher discuss every single pitch or a guy who's been warming up in the bullpen for 15 minutes go toss another eight pitches on the mound before play resumes.

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#22 Dantes929

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 11:12 AM

 

Hmm, I don't know how long commercial breaks go for currently... Good point though. If they're eliminating 5 seconds that's not enough to make a difference.

If anything it will end up being 5 less seconds of highlights before the inning begins.

Feels like they are always adding 5 or 10 seconds so to go backwards would be nice just to stop the bleeding so to speak. 

Does anyone know why the union did shoot this down? Do they value adjusting their batting gloves that much" I think it was Tom F that made the good point of if they are both a little rushed then it is still fair. I am sure most offenses in NFL would like a little more time to talk or think about plays but they manage. It seems like these clocks would be more than fair and as was pointed out if a guy is onfirst base a pitcher can always buy time by throwing over there. If there is not a guy on base then what is the holdup? I would be ok with the third visit of player, coach or manager initiating a pitching change and I love the idea of a reliever making his way to the field earlier.Seeing a manager point to the pen holding up an arm holds no value to me. Three warm up pitches should be enough also.Should be enough time for a 30 second commercial.

Thyros said

"I'd rather see them get rid of: character races, T-shirt canons, children's games, dedications to veterans, anthem choir and bands, and everything else non-baseball related between innings or before the first pitch, and then try to change the game."

 

Agree with everything here except instead of getting rid of the canons triple the number and shoot them off as many times as possible for 30 seconds every half inning.T-shirts are not dangerous, catching them is fun and getting freebies are always nice. Just do it and don't make a production of it.

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#23 Dman

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 11:24 AM

 

I'm all for these changes and more. The pitch clock isn't going to be a factor except with notoriously slow pitchers. Fans won't even notice the clocks and will enjoy pace keeping up throughout the game.

I agree I don't think the pitch clock will be much of an issue.I don't remember there being any issues with them in the minors.If someone can bring up problems they had that would be nice to know but I don't remember any.  

 

Commercials are the biggest time challenge but those won't change because revenue is too important to owners and ultimately players as their salaries depend on revenue.

 

At any rate I am for some changes.If they don't work well then fine roll them back but all indications seem to point to these changes not impacting much and hopefully they get players more focused on keeping the game moving.

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#24 Vanimal46

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 11:29 AM

From the sound of Rosenthal's initial article, the players are somewhat concerned about fan backlash.

"But some players, believing the new rules will be unpopular with fans and damaging to the game, want to absolve themselves of responsibility while putting the onus on Manfred to deal with any public fallout and unintended consequences, sources said."

It's nice to hear the players are taking the fans into consideration, but they also need to realize that we like to watch baseball. Not guys fidgeting with their caps on the mound or adjusting their batting gloves in the box. We don't need to see you and your catcher discuss every single pitch or a guy who's been warming up in the bullpen for 15 minutes go toss another eight pitches on the mound before play resumes.


Exactly. Seems like they're grasping at straws claiming that fans think this will ruin the game. They're still doing the same thing for the last 100+ years. The only thing different is asking them to do it in a very reasonable amount of time.

I'd be curious to read Hildenberger, Buesenitz, and other recent call ups who's worked under these constraints.
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#25 Carole Keller

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 11:35 AM

 

I agree I don't think the pitch clock will be much of an issue.I don't remember there being any issues with them in the minors.If someone can bring up problems they had that would be nice to know but I don't remember any.  

 

Commercials are the biggest time challenge but those won't change because revenue is too important to owners and ultimately players as their salaries depend on revenue.

 

At any rate I am for some changes.If they don't work well then fine roll them back but all indications seem to point to these changes not impacting much and hopefully they get players more focused on keeping the game moving.

This is part of my problem. I don't mind some adjustment, but looking for all of it to come from the play of game itself instead of some of the external causes just seems to be, well, self-serving on the part of ownership. Sorry, but ads are out of control, as is all the extra folly. Lessening the actual play time and not the other stuff just doesn't sit well with me.

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#26 Vanimal46

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 11:47 AM

This is part of my problem. I don't mind some adjustment, but looking for all of it to come from the play of game itself instead of some of the external causes just seems to be, well, self-serving on the part of ownership. Sorry, but ads are out of control, as is all the extra folly. Lessening the actual play time and not the other stuff just doesn't sit well with me.


Well, it's self serving for ownership and the cable networks that spent $100 million to broadcast the games.

It would be nice to set a limit on commercial break time before they get to NFL levels. Since they'll never go away, I wouldn't mind split screen commercials or product placement like "Snapper Mow' em down" innings.

#27 Tom Froemming

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 11:55 AM

This might be a bigger deal than I first imagined. FanGraphs has pitcher pace info. Not a single qualified starter had a pace under 20 seconds last year. The two slowest were Sonny Gray (28.3) and Alex Cobb (27.3). In a game where those two squared off and each threw 100 pitches, the 20-second pitch clock would save 26 minutes.

 

That's even before we apply that same idea to the bullpens, who are even slower. Pedro Baez, Bud Norris and Joaquin Benoit all averaged more than 30 seconds between pitches last year.

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#28 KirbyDome89

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:01 PM

Are we certain that replay has nothing to do with it? The number of replay occurrences might be down but that doesn't mean the time each one takes can't increase and ultimately affect game length. 

 

I'm fairly indifferent about the pitcher and hitter clocks. I don't think they'll greatly affect 99% of players. Not sure I'm on board with limiting player mound visits per inning.Maybe if they were limited to one per batter I'd be willing to cede my position. 

 

I get kind of annoyed that MLB seems to have no problem altering or adding rules to speed up the game, but when it comes to addressing their own involvement in slowing the pace, their willingness to change seems to fade. 

 

 

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#29 mikelink45

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:05 PM

 

Can't say I really have a "problem" with most of those proposed additions with the one exception being players talking to the pitcher or "visiting" the mound. That has been a part of the game since it's inception and IMHO should be left alone.

 

I would agree that the hitter constantly stepping out of the batters box to adjust every part of his uniform imaginable is mind numbingly irritating, but to me a huge part of that starts with the umpire. Don't give the player Carte Blanc to step out all willy nilly. Actually hold his feet to the proverbial fire. If the hitter keeps stepping out, let the pitcher throw a free strike. That would keep them honest.

As an old guy I remember Mike Hargrove and his antics.He was called the Human Rain Delay - https://youtu.be/8tGm_JajqLo (watch the video for laughs) but we must realize that we have to address all facets off the game to eliminate the horrible length of game.Yes - I hate these long games and I love baseball.Watching the Twins in the sixties and the Braves in the fifties the games really moved along.It might be hard to get to the bathroom or concessions, but what a pleasure that was to feel like there was no human delay, no need to bring a book to fill the empty spots.

 

 

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#30 mikelink45

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:10 PM

 

Are we certain that replay has nothing to do with it? The number of replay occurrences might be down but that doesn't mean the time each one takes can't increase and ultimately affect game length. 

 

I'm fairly indifferent about the pitcher and hitter clocks. I don't think they'll greatly affect 99% of players. Not sure I'm on board with limiting player mound visits per inning.Maybe if they were limited to one per batter I'd be willing to cede my position. 

 

I get kind of annoyed that MLB seems to have no problem altering or adding rules to speed up the game, but when it comes to addressing their own involvement in slowing the pace, their willingness to change seems to fade. 

Everything contributes to this.Slow pitchers are boring, they detract from the viewers pleasure and contribute to the negative reactions of general fans - check out this list of painful to watch pitchers. http://www.bleacherr...tch-in-baseballAs a fan would you object to speeding them up?I wouldn't.

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#31 Carole Keller

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:11 PM

 

Are we certain that replay has nothing to do with it? The number of replay occurrences might be down but that doesn't mean the time each one takes can't increase and ultimately affect game length. 

 

I'm fairly indifferent about the pitcher and hitter clocks. I don't think they'll greatly affect 99% of players. Not sure I'm on board with limiting player mound visits per inning.Maybe if they were limited to one per batter I'd be willing to cede my position. 

 

I get kind of annoyed that MLB seems to have no problem altering or adding rules to speed up the game, but when it comes to addressing their own involvement in slowing the pace, their willingness to change seems to fade. 

I'm in agreement with you there. If the pace of game is a problem, then look at EVERYTHING. The pace of play isn't just from a player standpoint and if I were a player, I'd have a problem with some of these rule changes for that reason.

 

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#32 Dantes929

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:12 PM

 

This might be a bigger deal than I first imagined. FanGraphs has pitcher pace info. Not a single qualified starter had a pace under 20 seconds last year. The two slowest were Sonny Gray (28.3) and Alex Cobb (27.3). In a game where those two squared off and each threw 100 pitches, the 20-second pitch clock would save 26 minutes.

 

That's even before we apply that same idea to the bullpens, who are even slower. Pedro Baez, Bud Norris and Joaquin Benoit all averaged more than 30 seconds between pitches last year.

Yikes! Maybe ease them into it.25 second clock for pitches this year and then knock it down to 20 next year. I liken it to golf. If a guy takes an extra 5 seconds between shots every once in a while its no big deal but if he does it every single shot it starts to wear on you and its not like the extra 5 seconds every shot even makes a difference in the final score.I am guessing if Altuve was ready for a pitch every 10 seconds without adjusting his gloves he would do just fine.There should be a nice sweet spot between being rushed and being too slow. I don't worry about how long a game takes but I really appreciate a good rhythm to the game.

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#33 Carole Keller

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:13 PM

 

Everything contributes to this.Slow pitchers are boring, they detract from the viewers pleasure and contribute to the negative reactions of general fans - check out this list of painful to watch pitchers. http://www.bleacherr...tch-in-baseballAs a fan would you object to speeding them up?I wouldn't.

But how many pitchers are truly that slow? I don't think that that is a rampant problem, maybe in just a few instances ... so we make everyone play a certain way because of the small handful out there? I'm more annoyed with the time between half innings and innings to make way for ads and other folly ... and that is an issue whether I'm at home or in person.

 

Edit: that list you posted wasn't about slow pitchers, specifically ... there were a couple in there noted for their slow delivery, but otherwise it was a list of 'painful to watch' for a host of other reasons.

“May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new north star.” ~Laura Dern
Nevertheless, she persisted. Time’s up.

#34 mikelink45

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:13 PM

I should not say this as a person who has followed baseball for 60 years, but I prefer to listen to the radio than to watch baseball on TV and many times I have been at games where I wish I had just listened.Life for all of us had a lot of options and watching pitchers parade around the mound, batters step in and out and adjust everything, managers walking slowly to the mound, catchers having to come and talk at the mound, long replays...do not contribute to a good experience.I am delighted with the elimination of the balls tossed for intentional walks and look forward to having the league take the steps to correct this.Since it affects their livelihoods, I am disappointed that the players are not coming forward too. 

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#35 slash129

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:14 PM

I think the catcher should get at least one non-accumulating mound visit per inning that doesn't count towards the visits count.They need to be careful about messing with the pitcher/catcher communication. Signs can get crossed up. Language barriers sometimes exist. A visit from the catcher may end up preventing a dugout visit.

 

Other than that, I don't have a problem with any of these rules.

 

I also don't care if they don't change the rules.It's not a problem from my perspective.I do think many of the arguments from other perspectives are valid.

 

I like the character races, and I usually root for the mosquito.

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#36 Loops

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:15 PM

The problem with all the proposed solutions is that we are just talking a difference of seconds.Yes they add up but overall they are only thinking of saving 5 minutes or so a game.That is nothing.I see two problems which have been somewhat addressed already.

- Time between innings.It is a money thing of course.Less time.Less commercials.Less revenue.At a change get the pitcher out there. 5-10 warmup pitches.Batter up.

- The cat and mouse between pitcher and batter.Batter is out of the box adjusting gear.Steps in.Pitcher shakes off signs.Steps off the rubber.Batter steps out of the box.Adjusts gear.Rinse and repeat.Too much!!!Batter needs to step in the box and be ready.Too much gear on them anyway.Don't allow the constant stepping out and adjusting.

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#37 Dman

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:18 PM

 

This might be a bigger deal than I first imagined. FanGraphs has pitcher pace info. Not a single qualified starter had a pace under 20 seconds last year. The two slowest were Sonny Gray (28.3) and Alex Cobb (27.3). In a game where those two squared off and each threw 100 pitches, the 20-second pitch clock would save 26 minutes.

 

That's even before we apply that same idea to the bullpens, who are even slower. Pedro Baez, Bud Norris and Joaquin Benoit all averaged more than 30 seconds between pitches last year.

How close are the averages though?Like I said I didn't hear of any issues in minor league ball.


#38 Tom Froemming

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:38 PM

 

How close are the averages though?Like I said I didn't hear of any issues in minor league ball.

I'm not sure what the league average is, but here are some more numbers:

 

Twins

Avg. pace: 24.8 seconds (eight slowest in baseball)

Avg. pitches/game: 145

 

Cleveland

Avg. pace: 24.0

Avg. pitches/game: 142

 

So a 20-second pitch clock in theory would've saved about 21 minutes from the average Twins-Cleveland game last season. I suspect players will find other ways to slow things down, but a pitch clock could make a huge difference. 

 

To find the pitcher pace numbers at Fangraphs, go to the Pitch Info tab and click Plate Discipline. Pace should be listed at the far right.

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#39 nater79a

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:54 PM

MLB can tinker around the edges with pitch clocks, mound visits, extra inning changes, etc...but until there aren't a combined 12 pitching changes per game nothing will happen with pace of play. In the 60's into the 80's when guys like Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Bert Byleven and Steve Carlton routinely pitched complete games the times were a hair over 2 hours.  

 

Not saying there is an easy fix.It's just the way the game has evolved over the years.

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#40 caninatl04

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 12:58 PM

Unofficial poll: how many of you watch the games on DVR? I agree that 3 to 4 hours in a ball park is as close to heaven on earth as we might experience. But, 4 hours on TV is a bit long.

I "tape" the game (And by using the word "tape" I admit my age) and start watching around an hour of hour and a half later.

Just curious.



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