Major League Baseball released its new pace-of-play initiatives that will take effect in the upcoming 2018 season and, surprisingly, the addition of a pitch clock was not part of the changes.
Commissioner Rob Manfred was rumored to be considering unilaterally implementing a pitch clock, which would have been against the wishes of numerous players and fans. Many fans argue that introducing a clock to a game — which has been famous for being “timeless” — interferes with the integrity of the game.
“Players were involved in the pace-of-game discussion from Day One, and are committed to playing a crisp and exciting brand of baseball for the fans,” MLB Players’ Association executive director Tony Clark said in a statement. “But they remain concerned about rule changes that could alter the outcome of games and the fabric of the game itself — now or in the future.”
MLB will give the players a chance to decrease the time of games before forcing a pitch clock, according to MLB Network Insider Jon Morosi.
The full rule changes are included in MLB Network Radio’s tweet below, but one of the more notable changes will be limiting teams to six mound visits per nine innings.
If the game reaches extra innings, teams will be allowed one non-pitching-change mound visit per inning.
This will be the players’ last chance before a pitch clock is forced upon them. If the average time of game in 2018 does not fall close to or below three hours, look for Rob Manfred to implement the clocks for the 2019 season.