Stop the Implementation of "Pace of Play" Rules in Baseball

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Changes are being made to the game of baseball; changes that are being implemented to cater to a population that has been labeled, "the casual fan."

While some of the alterations to the pace of play show potential, a number of them have been deemed unnecessary--and possibly inhibiting--by the players at both the minor and major league levels (disagreements between the MLB and the player's union are aplenty).

Call them old-fashioned, traditionalists or simply stingy, but a strong percentage of fans that watch modern baseball see absolutely no reason to change the way the game is played. Players union executive director Tony Clark understands that, while this is true, it is important to allow for constructive discourse regarding changes that could help the game reach a new age of fans.

"I've said all along there are challenges related to pace of game and simple implementation of a rule or rules," Clark said. "It's a delicate balance you try to strike in improving the game while not changing it so much that even the current baseball fans don't recognize it."

In other words: change to the sport is good, and it should be celebrated, as long as it doesn't completely take away from the experience that made something great to begin with. Putting runners on second base in extra innings, limiting mound visits and forcing pitchers to have their motions in progress (or otherwise be faced with a ball penalty) are all tactics that, yes, could possibly speed up a game. However, they are ultimately contributors to the beginning of a slippery slope that could evolve the game into something we no longer recognize or appreciate.

This is the takeaway - keeping the game's foundation in tact is key, and attempts to tear away at that should not be accepted by the fans of this sport that provide such a great deal of viewership, revenue and attention to these teams; teams that, without said viewership, revenue and attention, could not survive.

 



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