MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred vows rule changes will ‘restore baseball to when it was the most popular’

Fox News Flash top sports headlines for March 28

the baseball world Two days away from the official start of a new era.

It will be pitch hours, larger bases, and bans on certain bouts brought in the regular season After trying out in both the minor leagues and spring training.

The new rules are intended to speed up the pace of play and get more movement on the base tracks, as walks, strikes and runs on the ground have increased exponentially over the years.

Fans didn’t like it, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred took note.

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Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during a press conference in Arlington, Texas, December 2, 2021.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during a press conference in Arlington, Texas, December 2, 2021. (AP Photo/LM Otero, file)

When asked on Good Morning America why the changes occurred, Manfred replied, “The short answer is fans.”

“Our research showed that the game had evolved and changed in a way that the fans didn’t like, and we decided it was time to step in, to make sure we were putting the best form of baseball on the field,” he said.

Of course, old-school baseball purists hate it all — although baseball was never made to last more than three hours as the game has over the past several years.

“The attention span of fans, as we know, is limited, but the game, historically, has been played in a window, two and a half (hours) to 2:45, and in a lot of ways, we think we’re taking baseball back when it was most popular,” he said regarding the batters. Exclusive baseball.

Baseball has always been played without a clock, but pitchers will now have 15 seconds to serve a pitch with the bases empty, and 20 seconds when there are men on base (batters have eight seconds to be alert for a delivery).

But Manfred says that despite the first-timer in MLB history (there was always a rule, though not enforced, that pitchers must deliver a pitch in 12 seconds), the game is still the same.

“It’s still a game without a clock in the sense that the end of the game isn’t set by any time. The game ends naturally, just as it always has, and I see the playing field timer as kind of a simple change to move things along.”

Umpire Matt Brown points to a field clock violation during a spring training game between the Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 12, 2023, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Umpire Matt Brown points to a field clock violation during a spring training game between the Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 12, 2023, in Scottsdale, Arizona. (John E. Moore III / Getty Images)

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The pitch clock did exactly what it was intended to do—spring training games were 26 minutes shorter this year than they were in 2022. The average MLB regular-season 9 innings game last year lasted three hours and three minutes. The previous year it was 3:10, the longest ever.

Sure, there was Some are fickle against the clockBut the commissioner noted that a “stadium timer” would have the biggest impact, but in a positive way.

“Fans will notice that the game is fast paced, and the matches will be shorter,” he said.

At the end of the day, MLB had no choice but to make some adjustments, despite what the old-school crowd might say or want.

“I think nothing stays quite the same. The fact of the matter is that the game has evolved naturally, changed dramatically. And it got to the point where it was important to step in and make sure we were doing our best product on the field.”

Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. on the court for Game 2 of the World Series between the Astros and Phillies at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2022, in Houston, Texas.

Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. on the court for Game 2 of the World Series between the Astros and Phillies at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2022, in Houston, Texas. (Bob Levy/Getty Images)

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All 30 teams are scheduled to start their season on Thursday — assuming there are no postponements. It is the first time since 1968 that every MLB team has started their quest for the World Series on the same day.

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