Speeding games up on the agenda for next season
ORLANDO, FLA. » Major League Baseball is intent on shortening games next season.
The average time of a nine-inning game was a record 3 hours, 5 minutes, up from 2:56 in 2015. The postseason average was 3:29.
Many owners and general managers want to cut down trips to the mound by catchers, whether the reason is changing signs, talking about pitches or giving a pitcher a breather during long plate appearances.
MLB proposed three changes last offseason that the players’ union didn’t accept, and management can start them next year without player approval: restricting catchers to one trip to the mound per pitcher each inning; employing a 20-second pitch clock; and raising the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level — at the top of the kneecap.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred prefers reaching an agreement with the union.