If you didn’t already know, the Atlantic League has created the Pace of Play Committee. A group dedicated to “cut down on all the things that slow the pace of the game, these great baseball minds want the fans to come to the ballpark and enjoy their time. They don’t want people bogged down by delays. They want a fast-paced sporting event that truly showcases the talent of the athletes.”
According to Newsday, the game clocked in at 2 hours and 15 minutes, approximately 45 shorter than the average Atlantic League game in 2014. Scoring wasn’t much of a factor. The game ended 1-0 and 19 of the 72 batters were affected by way of the “new” rules. Ten foul outs that are called “klunk-outs” and nine three-ball walks.
There were some who took the game for what is was. Lew Ford, a MLB and Indy ball veteran adjusted his game to the rules. He went 2-3.
“I just tried to start the at-bat a little earlier,” Ducks outfielder Lew Ford said.”
On the other hand, Sean Burroughs, was the first victim of the rules and had nothing good to say. He wasn’t shy in hiding his feelings.
“They were completely ridiculous,” Burroughs said. “It was something that takes away from the history of the game . . . Hitters are already in a hole enough. You’re up there battling and then you foul a ball off and you’re out, that’s a joke.”
Burroughs ended the game going 0-2 with two walks.
As I mentioned previously, the odds on this being implemented anywhere is less than nil. Baseball is baseball and rules are the rules. In saying that, Indy baseball needs to think outside the box to continue to separate itself. It doesn’t have the money or the firepower to compete with MiLB or MLB. What it does have is passionate owners, players, and fans that want to make the game the best it can be.
This was only an experiment we all know that, but in the end more eyes are on the Indy game than ever before. The more eyes on the Indy game the more the talent gets seen. That’s what matters.