Baseball ' s Answer To Speed Up Games - Follow The Rules - project cyber

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Baseball ' s Answer To Speed Up Games - Follow The Rules

Major League Baseball is constantly complaining about the length of their games and has implemented several Rule changes to speed them up.
Unfortunately, they have not allowed their umpires to strictly enforce all Rules currently on the books.
Although modified from time to time, most of these Rules are not new. Over the past 60+ years their enforcement has been slowly eroded to the extent that they are virtually ignored. When they were strictly enforced, and penalties applied, all players, coaches, and managers willingly complied, no questions asked. The results were quicker, faster paced games that produced an energy that is now non-existent. Just the fact that there is a Rule requiring an on-deck circle confirms the original intent of Rules to induce faster play. No lingering in the dugout.
The Batter's Box:
Rule 5.04(b)
(1) The batter shall take his position in the batter's box promptly when it is his time at bat.
(2) Umpires will not call "Time" at the request of the batter or any member of his team once the pitcher has started his windup, or has come to a set position even though the batter claims "dust in his eyes," "steamed glasses," "didn't get the sign" or for any other cause. Umpires may grant a hitter's request for "Time" once he is in the batter's box, but the umpire should eliminate hitters walking out of the batter's box without reason. If umpires are not lenient, batters will understand that they are in the batter's box and they must remain there until the ball is pitched.
(3) If the batter refuses to take his position in the batter's box during his time at bat, the umpire shall call a strike on the batter.
(4)(A) The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batter's box throughout the batter's time at bat, unless one of the following exceptions applies, in which case the batter may leave the batter's box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate: (I) The batter swings at a pitch.
Despite these Rules, umpires routinely call "Time" once a pitcher has started his windup, or has come to a set position, and are very lenient regarding (3) & (4)(A).
Pitchers Delay:
Rule 507(c)
When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call "Ball."
The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball.
The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire.
Please note the specific language used regarding the umpire's sole responsibility to not, in any way, allow batters or pitchers to delay the game unnecessarily. The Rules are there for all to see and follow. Is it MLB, or the player's union, or player's agents, or all three of them, that have conspired to stop the umpires from doing their jobs?
In addition to dismissing the Rules, there are repeated visits to the pitcher's mound by catchers and pitching coaches, and constant pitching changes by the managers. It's no wonder why the games drag on, and potential fans would rather watch paint dry.
There are two more things that should be mentioned. The new Rule for automatic walks was supposedly enacted to save time. As there is only 1 per team for every 5 games, that's a figment of someone's imagination. Also, manager or player tantrums are more fun to watch, but probably take longer than replay challenges, which may reverse a wrong call. Tantrums never do.

No comments:

Post a Comment