D-backs’ CEO Derrick Hall addresses potential rule changes
Major League Baseball has made pace of play its No. 1 priority.
At the owner’s meetings this week in New York, all the teams gather to discuss the current state of the game as well as any potential adjustments.
There have been some radical suggestions as well as more mainstream ideas to pick up pace of play.
Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall doesn’t see anything major happening soon, but he does think there has been some progress in regards to game speed.
“We’re all traditionalists, but we do want to speed up the game,” Hall said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf. “I think the pace has definitely improved, five minutes have been shaved off the average game time. I think we’ve done a lot to kill the downtime, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
A potential hurdle in improving game time is the way the game is played. With an emphasis on taking pitches and the stigma removed from striking out, this leads to less action and longer games.
A higher reliance on bullpens has also prolonged game times. Buster Olney proposed a rule change limiting the amount of pitchers available for a game to four.
Hall does support one rule change that could draw the ire of baseball fans.
“I kind of like the idea of putting the runner on second base in extra innings. They are doing it in the minor leagues in some settings it’s been successful,” Hall said. “International baseball does it, it worked for WBC. I think it’s fun, it brings some excitement and it usually brings quicker closure.”
Ideas like these are radical but under commissioner Rob Manfred, baseball hasn’t been afraid to make changes he believes will speed up the game. There haven’t been any radical changes yet, but there does appear to be changes on the horizon.