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Major League Baseball to push forward with process for rule changes

Major League Baseball to push forward with process for rule changes

In a world where we are over-scheduled and consistently exhausted, the unpredictable timeline of a relaxing summer game of baseball feels to me more like a gift than a deterrent. Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis pointed out on Twitter that he has twice scored on errant pitches during intentional walks, one of which was featured in a video posted by another Twitter user. I think the word the commissioner is looking for is flow. It would seem the overall aim is simple - shave off a couple minutes of playing time here and there, and continue Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred's mission to tighten up the game to attract a new, younger (supposedly bored and easily distracted) audience.

However, changing the rules won't be easy for Manfred.

The average major league game previous year lasted three hours. He said he will send a letter to the union in the coming days and plans to continue dialogue with Clark and others in hopes of reaching agreement. "Two years ago we negotiated pace of play protocols that had an immediate and positive impact. As I've said, fundamental changes to the game are going to be an uphill battle, but the lines of communication should remain open".

"There's a variety of changes that can be undertaken", Manfred said.

Manfred said Major League Baseball is considering imposing pace-of-game alterations for 2018 with or without union approval.

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Players also have been against limiting mound meetings.

Eliminating the four pitches that have to be thrown to intentionally walk a batter compromises the integrity of the game.

The head of the players union, Tony Clark, has signaled that it is amenable to the change, according to The Associated Press. The minor leagues will test a rule where a runner would start on second base at the start of the 10th inning and each inning that follows if the game hasn't ended.

Manfred also said Tuesday that a renovated Wrigley Field would be a great choice to host an All-Star Game and Las Vegas could be a "viable market for us".

I'm not suggesting that baseball should be immune to change and improvement, or that it shouldn't listen to the needs of its players, but killing something that fans either don't care that much about or passionately love, something that has the potential to enhance the drama, enjoyment, and therefore fans' willingness to come back to the park, feels like the wrong way to go.

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