New pace of play rules will be enforced this year

On Friday, Major League Baseball unveiled three rules dedicated to speeding up the pace of the game during the 2015 season. The three new rules aren’t game changers, and should help eliminate some of the dead time that plagues the game.

That’s a lot to digest, so here are the Cliffs Notes.

-Batters must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box during their whole plate appearance. However, they *can* leave the box (but not the dirt area around home plate) after a swing, if a pitch makes them leave the box, if a player is granted time, if there’s a defensive play (pickoff), if the batter tries to bunt, if there’s a wild pitch or passed ball, if the pitcher leaves the mound, or if the catcher leaves the box. In other words, a batter can’t step out of the box after every pitch and compose himself.

-The game will promptly resume after commercial breaks, and pitchers will need to throw their final warm-up pitch with no less than 30 seconds remaining in the break. Batters must be in the box before there are five seconds remaining in the break.

-Managers must challenge plays from the dugout instead of on the field, except in the case of a challenge at the end of an inning, and will retain his challenge every time he successfully challenges a call.

-Players will be warned and fined for violating the new rules, though no fines will be issued in Spring Training or during April.

Now, are these new rules going to change everything? Nah, probably not. Games aren’t magically going to average 2:20 now. But the aim is to eliminate some of the dead time during games, and I don’t think that’s an awful idea. We’ll see what ends up happening this spring during games, but I can definitely see players getting irritated at first…only to end up following the new rules without even thinking about it come the summer.


About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.