5 Things MLB Can Do to Speed Up the Pace of Games

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MLB Games Need to Speed Up

speed up mlb games
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The average length of MLB games has skyrocketed from two hours and 30 minutes in 1970s to over three hours today, and fans, players, and executives alike are fed up. Of course, few people actually want to make the changes necessary to actually change the game, but I have volunteered to take on this task. Here are the five things MLB can -- and should -- do to speed up games.

5. Ban Managers From Coming Out of Dugout Without Challenging Play

speed up mlb games
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5. Ban Managers From Coming Out of Dugout Without Challenging Play

speed up mlb games
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Since replay was instituted, managers have started to come out of the dugout simply to stall and wait to see if they should actually challenge a play. This undoubtedly wastes everyone's time, and an easy way to fix this is to require managers coming out of the dugout to challenge a play. Doing so will make the replay a true gut call on the manager's part and save fans the agony of watching three and a half hour long games.

4. Ban Players From Stepping Out Of Batter's Box

speed up mlb games
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4. Ban Players From Stepping Out Of Batter's Box

speed up mlb games
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Batters have always loved to readjust their gear after pitches, but nowadays things are beginning to get ridiculous. There is no need to step out of the batter's box after every pitch; in fact doing so at all should be banned, with no timeouts being given by umpires. This will speed up the game and save everyone else from watching batters needlessly adjust their gear after every pitch.

3. Give Teams Three Mound Visits Per Game

speed up mlb gams
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3. Give Teams Three Mound Visits Per Game

speed up mlb games
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Another thing that has gotten out of control is the number of times catchers and infielders now approach the mound to give a pitcher a tip, while coaches still get one mound visit per inning before having to make a change. An easy way to fix this is to give teams three mound visits per game -- aside from pitching changes -- which may make the job of a pitcher more difficult but will be worth it in the long term.

2. Enforce Rule 8.04

speed up mlb games
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2. Enforce Rule 8.04

speed up mlb games
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Rule 8.04 states that pitchers throw the ball within 12 seconds of receiving the ball, but pitchers have gone over the 23-second mark on average this year. If one considers that roughly 300 pitches are thrown per game, then simply enforcing the 12-second rule would save 55 minutes per game. If it takes installing a pitch clock to enforce rule 8.04, then that surely needs to be done.

1. Make Games Seven Innings Long Instead of Nine

speed up mlb games
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1. Make Games Seven Innings Long Instead of Nine

speed up mlb games
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This is a bit of a long shot, but when one considers that youth baseball games are only seven innings long it doesn't seem so ridiculous. Furthermore, it would save pitchers' arms, promote more complete games and there is no doubting that it would make more games more competitive. Plus, it would speed games up exponentially.