MLB introduces new rule to speed up games in 2017 - KCTV5 News

MLB introduces new rule to speed up games in 2017

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The change is expected to speed up the game by an average of 14 seconds per nine innings. (AP) The change is expected to speed up the game by an average of 14 seconds per nine innings. (AP)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Major League Baseball is changing the game and on Wednesday they announced a new rule intended to help speed up the game.

Fans will experience a new type of baseball this year at Kauffman Stadium.

The traditional intentional walk is officially gone.

No more throwing four consecutive pitches outside the batters box to the catcher. Now a signal from the dugout will allow a batter to head straight for first base.

Fans of the rarely seen base hit off an intentional walk pitch were heartbroken on Wednesday as the MLB did away with pitchers actually throwing towards home on intentional walks.

The change is expected to speed up the game by an average of 14 seconds per nine innings.

Royals Manager Ned Yost weighed in on the new rule.

“The game kind of took a step backwards a little bit, as far as pace of play,” Yost said.

Saving 14 seconds per game certainly won’t drastically improve pace of play, but it is a start.

“Anything they can do to improve the pace of game I’m willing to try, as long as it doesn’t interfere what goes on the field,” Yost said.

Wild pitches that change the outcomes of games or hitters stretching out and hitting an intentional walk pitch are moments that won’t happen on the field anymore with the new rule.

Whether those moments matter or not, is up to each fan individually, but it’s clear baseball is doing everything it can to keep the game moving.

“It’s something I think we are all trying to work together with to make it better for everybody involved,” Yost said.

The intentional walk is a minor change compared to other rules the MLB proposed, like a new extra inning rule that allows a runner to automatically start on 2nd base in efforts to help teams score easier and keep games from dragging on. That rule is still being discussed for the 2018 season.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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