Hurry up! Time's wasting! But let's take another look!
by Bob Timmermann
Back on Wednesday, MLB sent out a directive to umpires and players telling them that they wanted the games sped up. And they had rules they wanted enforced.
Umpires should urge batters to approach home plate from the on-deck circle and enter the batter’s box faster, and to enforce rules such as issuing an automatic strike to batters who linger outside the box.
— In bases-empty situations, pitchers should be warned if they don’t pitch within a 12-second time limit. Pitchers will be called for a ball for each subsequent violation.
In addition to those existing rules, conferences on the pitcher’s mound will be broken up more quickly, and teams will be asked to have a reserve player or coach ready to catch warmup pitches if a catcher isn’t ready.
Teams will also be fined for repeated violations of league rules for in-game entertainment, public address announcements and music and video presentations, such as running too long.
J.D. Drew of the Red Sox got caught up in the slow pace snare last night in Oakland, when umpire Tim Tschida would not allow Drew to leave the batter's box to go back to put more pine tar on his bat. Boston coach Dave Magadan disputed this and got kicked out of the game.