Saturday, February 21, 2015

MLB's New Rules to "Speed Up the Game"

Watching Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki bat is painful. It's not painful from the slumps that he regularly suffers, and it's not about the injuries that have plagued his career. It's painful because it is painfully, mind-numbingly boring. Troy Tulowitzki has helped slow the game down to an annoyingly turtle-like pace. And, MLB's new rules to "speed up the game," are not - despite complaints by players and purists - about "speeding up" the game. The new rules are designed to simply return it to the reasonable pace it had for a hundred years. And, the "new rule" that requires a batter to keep one foot in the batter's box between pitches (with exceptions) is not even new. It's just been so rarely enforced.

Watching Tulo at the plate - or actually backing off of it to readjust his batting gloves in some type of OCD-inspired ritual - is one of the more unpleasant parts of Colorado Rockies baseball (and there are plenty of others). After each swing of the bat, he walks around like he has all the time in the world, and there aren't thousands of people waiting for him to get his (oft-injured) butt in the box to do his job. It's a shame MLB had to act, but these prima donna players had done their best to alienate a generation of fans. In 1980, MLB games averaged two and a half hours. By 2014, the length had extended past three hours.

If the pitchers would stay on the mound and the batters would  stay in the box, the game would be much more enjoyable, with no real loss to the integrity of the game.

Kudos to the league for - finally - acting.

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