Chipper Jones back in Braves camp as a “rookie coach”

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Chipper Jones has focused mostly on tweeting since retiring, but yesterday he was back in uniform as a guest coach for the Braves.

Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes that Jones looked the part while walking around carrying a fungo bat, but manager Fredi Gonzalez had an amusing Day 1 performance review:

He’s a rookie coach. We’ve got to bring him along a little bit. I will address the issue of him sitting on the bucket for two rounds [of batting practice].

I like the image of various veteran Braves coaches mumbling “ugh, rookies” under their breath whenever Jones does anything.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.