Friday, February 18, 2005

Steppin' out

Not anymore

Yet another reason to catch a Potomac Nationals or Harrisburg Senators (or Richmond Braves or Bowie Baysox, or whatever) game this season: You'll probably get home sooner:

The Playing Rules Committee announced the adoption of an experimental rule for use throughout the 2005 season in all of the Minor Leagues affiliated with Major League Baseball. The experimental rule, designed to encourage an improved pace of play, requires a batter to keep one foot in the batter's box throughout an at-bat, unless certain exceptions apply, in which case the batter must remain within the dirt area surrounding home plate.

Maybe 10 minutes sooner:

With the help of several pace-of-game initiatives introduced over the past several years, the time of the average nine-inning Major League regular-season game has dropped from 2:58 in 2000 to 2:47 in 2004.

I hope these regulations will be adopted in the big leagues eventually. There's nothing more frustrating than guys stepping out of the box, particularly during the playoffs; that's prime time for Tim McCarver, "whooshing" FOX sound effects, and the infamous robot to do their things.

Next up: Execute Scooter.

(Found the link via Baseball Primer, just to give credit where credit's due.)

I'd really like to see the umps get stingier with time-outs. A player cannot call a time-out, he can only ask the ump for one. If umps start saying no, things will move a lot quicker.
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