Major league baseball has implemented rule changes to speed up the game.
Major league baseball announced some rules to speed up the game. More radical changes may be forthcoming, but it is not clear whether the new rules will actually work.
Major league baseball has been trapped for centuries. Almost everyone agrees that the game has dragged on for too long for a modern, fragmented audience. The average major league game takes about three hours, and the playoffs are much longer. But purists will turn a deaf ear to any changes in the game.
ARI SHAPIRO, host:
Many purists are players themselves. Rob Manfred wants to really change the season, such as setting the time limit between courses and limiting the frequency of managers visiting the mound. But the players disagree. In February, Manfred was depressed.
ROB MANFRED: I think it’s a mistake to bury our heads in the sand and ignore the fact that our game has changed and continues to change. I firmly believe that our fans, whether our fans or casual fans, want us to respond to and manage the changes that are taking place in the game.
CORNISH: there are some rule changes. Deliberate walking is now fast. Now, the team simply sends a signal to walk, instead of throwing four straight balls and putting a dangerous batter on first base.
SHAPIRO: the Chicago cubs were the first team to do this in the regular season, when they gave free passes to the st. Louis cardinals star, adeel molina.
Unidentified journalist: well, of course, if there was a deliberate walk, there wouldn’t be four. And molina went down first. They just said to him, we’ll walk you. So morina took off her shank and handed it to the bat, with a smile on her face. That’s the way it’s going to be done now.
JONAH KERI: I think you can save 39 seconds in every major league game.
SHAPIRO: Keri covers sports illustrated baseball. Manfred could make a unilateral change without the blessing of the players’ union next year. But Mr. Kerry said even the most drastic changes would not make the game more suitable for young fans.
Kerry: you know, if we’re sitting here talking about the four places that we’re supposed to be walking, then I think at that time – you know, the horse has left the barn. You have to really work with the young fans they live in. You have to figure out, what are their digital trends? What do they do for fun? You have to try to get there and be part of that conversation.
CORNISH: yes, it’s slowly coming to a game of tradition and statistics, and the way it’s used for generations, especially if baseball needs more fans. Maybe Rob Manfred could get an intern to show him how to make a model to post his Twitter feed.