This season the independent Atlantic League instituted a series of rules designed to speed up and shorten games. So far, the plan has shaved 10 minutes off game times.
The results were compiled by John Walk of the York Dispatch, who analyzed game times this season and then talked to players and front-office personnel about what works and what doesn’t. The measures include pitchers being timed between pitches, batters not allowed to get in and out of the batters box, promotions limited to 90 seconds between innings, umpired calling high strikes, and limited mound visits. So far, the measures work: overall, game times are down to 2 hours, 54 minutes, and the ultimate goal is to bring times down to 2 hours, 45 minutes. From the story:
[York Revolution president and general manager Eric] Menzer said he and the Revs’ game-day staff constantly talk about ways to improve between-innings promotions to abide by the 90-second rule. Plus, he said Revs’ manager Mark Mason has done a good job of embracing the mentality to speed up the games.
“First of all, it’s Mark setting a tone with the team and those guys not screwing around on the field,” Menzer said. “I think that noticeably has improved with Mark having bought into it (speeding up games). On our side, we’re making sure all of our promotions are timed at 90 seconds. Still, that’s doesn’t mean things don’t go wrong.”
While he’s pleased with the results to this point, [Peter] Kirk believes there’s still room for improvement. Like many things, though, he feels changes don’t happen overnight, especially when it comes to the sport of baseball.
According to Kirk, MLB officials have been watching what happens with the Atlantic League rule changes.
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