Jayson Stark reports from the front lines of the pace-of-play war:
Under a new proposal by Major League Baseball, pitchers would be required to finish their warm-up pitches and be ready to make their first pitch of an inning 30 seconds before the end of all between-inning commercial breaks, sources told ESPN.com.
Similarly, hitters would have to be in the batter’s box, ready to start their at-bats, 20 seconds before the end of each break.
There would be the same amount of commercial time, but less of the messing around with warmup pitches and walkups and all of that. Back from commercial and — bam! — game play.
Which would be a good idea, I think. It would have way more impact on TV production crews, I reckon, than the players or game itself. Fewer crowd shots over the scoreboard and less time for introductions of relief pitchers and things with stat overlays as we wait for the warmup pitches to be completed. As Stark notes, it’ll also squeeze the time available for kiss-cams and other on-field nonsense at the park.
Which, in addition to the 10-15 minute game time savings Stark mentions MLB officials believe this will create, make it a win-win, right?