Last year, Major League Baseball finally realized that the ballpark is becoming a good place to take a nap, so it began cracking down on things that make ballgames take too long, even though some people still feel a slow, endless game is what a lot of fans want.
Ten years ago, the average game took two hours and 48 minutes. It took just over three hours in 2014. Last season’s pace-of-play rules shaved only six minutes off the average length.
Clearly there’s more work to be done, so Major League Baseball has announced more changes for the upcoming season.
Pace of game program expanded for 2016 season to include timed visits to the pitcher’s mound for managers & coaches. pic.twitter.com/nXMO8HjtwS
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) February 25, 2016
The big change is eliminating the baseball “tradition” of endless conferences at the mound between managers, coaches, and pitchers — often designed to give a pitcher in the bullpen more time to warm up. Starting this season, the mound conferences can only last 30 seconds.
It will also cut the time between half innings and innings, a move which has sparked a mini-protest on Twitter by fans who say it doesn’t leave enough time to go to the bathroom.