Coming into today Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano hadn’t gotten a hit since July 8, going 0-for-42 during that time. Another hitless game and he would have tied or maybe even broken the modern hitless record of 45 at-bats, which is shared by Craig Counsell in 2011 and Bill Bergen in 1909.
But instead Ruggiano notched three hits today against the Royals, singling in second, fourth, and ninth innings. He was also thrown out trying to steal second base after his first hit, which is pretty hilarious for a guy who just snapped an 0-for-42 slump with an infield single.
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.