The 80 year old Selig, outgoing commissioner of the Major Baseball League (MBL), actually admitted this in a New York Times article. He won't enforce a rule, one that most fans do not know exists. A rule that most fans could only dream about, which would help pave the way for achieving my objective of limiting games to two hours.
Selig Addresses Tedious Play and Oakland’s Decrepit Park
By JOHN BRANCH AUG. 19, 2014 The New York Times
Commissioner Bud Selig said he felt the pain of fans who complained that Major League Baseball games have grown too tedious and long. He, too, shouts at the television ...
... I’ve been listening to this nonsense for 56 years now,” Selig said on Tuesday ...
Selig said the issue was rarely raised by fans in polls conducted by the league ...
He is unsure how to do it...
Selig is not in favor of putting a clock on pitchers, requiring them to adhere to a little-enforced 12-second rule between pitches.
“I think it can be enforced in a better way,” Selig said. “We’re a game without a clock. It’s one of the great things about this sport.”
There are many more things that could be done to quicken the pace of games but for the one person who has the power to actually do something to state publicly that he, on his own personal authority, chooses to ignore a rule that has been on the books for many years is the height of arrogance. It's no wonder he treated the Dodger owner so differently than the Met owner a few years ago when both franchises were in serious financial difficulty. And why he suspended Alex Rodriguez 211 games and most other players 50 games.
Is baseball a game of rules? Is the commissioner charged with enforcing the rules? Is the commissioner responsible for the entertainment value of baseball? Then why is this complete failure allowed to remain in office until January 2015, through yet another annual winter meeting in December? His successor was chosen at the owners meeting last week. And now Selig further embarrasses them with this colossally foolish statement. The owners should not only remove him immediately but sue for non-performance of his contract and recovery of the $20 million per year that Selig has been paid for several years now. The clock is ticking.
I have written two recent posts calling for the MBL to immediately limit games to two hours. Selig's statement demonstrates that the current MBL decision makers have no intention of implementing any meaningful changes. We fans must force the issue. We must boycott games and especially MBL sponsors. Refuse to buy their products and services. I'll highlight this in a future post.
On The Clock. Sunday, March 24, 2013
How many times have you heard some moron rhapsodize that baseball is great because it does not have a clock? Incorrect and dumb. There is a clock but it is not enforced and it does not go far enough...
8.04 When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.”
The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball.
The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire.
I can understand that greed trumps all and that allowing more than one minute between half innings permits more commercials and that means more revenue, especially for bigger games on national TV. The bigger the game the longer the commercial interruption. I get that.
But what about the delay between pitches? That’s what really sucks the life out of the game. ”the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box” before the first pitch. If the batter simply remains in the batters box the batter should remain “reasonably set”. Makes sense, right? So why do MBL umpires permit the batter to step out of the box on every pitch and wander aimlessly before needing to reset? No commercials are run. Those on screen ads behind home plate have only been around in recent seasons but the protocol of batters wandering goes back many more seasons. Why would an industry permit something that NOBODY likes and that EVERYBODY wants changed? Even the no clock people agree. So what the heck?
Quick Pitch Monday, July 8, 2013
The Major Baseball League (MBL) has lost control. Batters go for a stroll between each pitch that is not batted. If the pitcher had any brains he would pitch quickly before the dopey batter returns. Travis Hafner currently does his thing with the Yankees by turning his back on the plate as he walks away. He wouldn't even notice the next pitch.
You say that would be a quick pitch, which is against the rules. Here is the rule:
Rule 8.05(e) Comment: A quick pitch is an illegal pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted.
Let's try a scenario. Obviously the batter is set before the first pitch. Let's say the batter takes the first pitch. Then the batter takes his stroll. Now here is the key point: the plate umpire never calls time. Never. The batter has abandoned his set position in the batter's box with no protection from the umpire. The pitcher can and should immediately throw his next pitch right down the middle and it should be called a strike. It's not dangerous because the batter is far away.
Where are the radicals?
A rogue plate umpire who tells both managers before a game that he intends to enforce existing rules and that he will not grant time out when a batter wanders away.
An owner who has his team unilaterally speed up its pace of play.
Even some players: batters who stay in the box, pitchers who throw that "quick pitch".
Come on. Somebody do something. Baseball is nearly dead.