The rules of baseball have generally stayed the same since the beginning of the game, but the new commissioner of the MLB, Rob Manfred, is looking to change that.
With the average MLB game lasting 3:13 hours in 2014, Manfred is attempting to attract younger fans and those who do not wish to spend over three hours watching a baseball game.
According to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, MLB and the players association have made progress on the implementation on pace of game changes for the 2015 season:
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have made progress in discussions on pace of play, increasing the chances of rule modifications for the 2015 season, industry sources said.
One driving force behind the proposed changes is MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s desire to have baseball become more popular:
The commissioner’s office believes quickening baseball’s rhythm is essential to the sport’s growth among young fans; the rollout of multiple pace-of-play measures during the 2014 Arizona Fall League reflected how seriously MLB officials regard the issue.
Last season former MLB commissioner Bud Selig appointed a committee to focus on accelerating the pace of games. The committee implemented new rules in the Arizona Fall League, and the results have correlated to games played in the Double-A and Triple-A levels will utilizing a 20-second pitch clock this season.
Baseball currently has rules in place in attempt to prevent batters from stepping in and out of the box at their own discretion, and that a pitcher must deliver a ball to home plate within 12 seconds of a batter being ready.
However, both rules are hardly, if ever, enforced. Under a proposed change, hitters would be mandated to keep one foot in the batter’s box at all times. Additionally, a new rule may require runners to slide directly into second base on double plays, rather than simply being within reach of the bag.