Team officials for multiple Major League Baseball teams have confirmed the league office has issued warning letters to players, imploring them to pay attention to the new pace of play rules. The MLB letters also noted, starting May 1 players will be fined for violating the policy.
According to MLB, the new guidelines have helped improve pace of play overall. Through the first 10 days of the season the average time of a game has dropped eight minutes, from 3:02 to 2:54.
The league is confident pace of play will continue to drop as the season unfolds. MLB believes the pace of a game can be improved if:
- Batters keep one foot in the batter’s box
- Innings start on time
- Replay challenges are made from the dugout
What is the penalty when Major League Baseball umpires chew up five minutes and 44 seconds on an instant replay ruling?
Thats exactly what happened Thursday night at Citi Field. In the top of the seventh inning with one out, Ichiro Suzuki attempted to score from third on an infield ground ball. Home plate umpire Eric Cooper ruled Suzuki out at the plate.
Mike Redmond challenged the call and the game came to a screaming halt. The umpiring crew waited fans waited Jerry Blevins waited (before finally throwing some additional warm up pitches) finally, the play was overturned.
If players and managers are going to be held accountable for pace of play, so should umpiring crews and MLB. Where was that same attention to pace of play Thursday night at Citi Field? Crew chief Gary Cederstrom tried to make a funny:
Crew chief Gary Cederstrom to pool reporter on length of review: It was long enough for everyone in the stands to yell out their opinion. — Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) April 17, 2015
While Major League Baseball attempts to take one step forward by improving the pace of the game, they took two steps back ignoring how their own rules slow the pace of the game.
NOTE: The longest replay in MLB history was on July 31, 2014. It was six minutes, 10 seconds and, ironically included Remond and the Marlins.