(Reuters) - Efforts to speed up the pace of play in Major League Baseball have intensified as commissioner Bud Selig has challenged a new committee to find ways to shorten the average time of a game.
Three seasons ago seven MLB teams averaged over three hours a game, while now all but one of the 30 teams do, according to CBSSports.com.
“The goals of the committee will focus on decreasing time of game and improving the overall pace of play in the 2015 regular season and beyond,” MLB said in a statement on Monday.
The committee will be chaired by Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz and comprised of commmissioner-elect Rob Manfred, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, players union chief Tony Clark, Red Sox partner Michael Gordon, MLB VP of baseball operations Joe Torre and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.
“With the cooperation of all appropriate parties, we can make progress on improving the pace of play, and we will have recommendations in the very near future for the 2015 season,” Selig, who is retiring in mid-January, said in a statement.
Some suggestions have included implementing a time limit for pitchers between each delivery, and mandating that batters be in the batter’s box ready to hit without having to go through a series of habitual adjustments between each pitch.
“I believe that this group has the experience and the perspective to be mindful of our game’s traditions while being creative about our approach in the future,” Selig said.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue