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Monday, March 30, 2015

Pace of play Kabuki dance.

There's a rumor that spring exhibition games will continue through the rest of the week.  It's the eternal question: how can you tell when the regular season has started?

By now the big initiative of the new commissioner's reign is pretty much a joke even before it actually starts.  April, the first month of the regular season, is supposed to be a grace period during which batters are merely warned about delaying play with stuff like stepping out of the box.  After April the Major Baseball League (MBL) is supposed to actually start imposing those $500 fines on players.

You'd think that during the practice games the umpires and players would be, you know, practicing.  I noticed Ryan Howard become self conscious when he stepped out of the batter's box in the first or second exhibition game.  But it quickly became apparent that the most that we fans are getting is that batters are not turning their backs on the plate and walking away.  They now delay in place.

The umpires continue their dead head mode of recent seasons: standing there and not calling time when a batter steps out.  It's become an implied time out and the pitcher accommodates by waiting for the batter rather than throwing a pitch right down the middle and calling the umpire's attention to the fact that he, the umpire, never called time out and, hey, call that pitch a strike.

If the umpires have not practiced warning the batters and the batters have not practiced staying in the box, then what can we expect when real games are played?  Correct.  Nothing.

Kabuki dance (synonym for political posturing) MLB style will be on full display.  Commissioner Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer, will boast of his achievements.
Kabuki Acrobats, Sadler's Wells Theatre, London June 11, 2010 by Flickr user: GanMed64 via Wikimedia Commons
Manfred, the A-Rod slayer, here's simple change of pace stuff you can implement NOW.  Monday, February 2, 2015

1. Enforce this:

Selig refuses to enforce existing 12 second rule between pitches!  Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Allan Huber "Bud" Selig should suspend himself 211 games and self flagellate indefinitely. 

2. Order, yes, order, the umpires to not grant time out to a batter for any reason.

David Ortiz: high and tight, low and away. That's all you need to think about.  Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I just heard David Ortiz (Fat Papi) run his mouth on MLB Network about how he needs to strut around between pitches so that he can think deep thoughts about what might happen next...

Call the batter out.  I've long advocated: you step out, you're out.  Teammates will turn on a player who is putting himself above the team.

Pace of Game Committee: It is not an objective of ours to achieve a dramatic time reduction right away.  Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Baseball Think: keeping time without a clock: "one Mississippi, two Mississippi, ...".  Saturday, February 21, 2015

Say what?  They do not want to "achieve a dramatic time reduction right away".  What?  Do it so slowly that it will not be noticeable and therefore ineffective.  That's the objective?  To doom the effort?  ...

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