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The MLB is slowly trying to speed up the game, sell watches

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

There are all these new rules trying to speed up the game of baseball. To that, I say hogwash.

If a baseball game could last literally a full day, I would welcome it. As it is, afternoon games for me are a process of checking in periodically to see if anything new has happened. Not unlike observing the weather from inside of an office building that I'm not going to leave for a few hours. Not unlike perusing Facebook to see what second and third cousins have been up to. Not unlike my own writing pace on Gaslamp Ball.

Nevertheless, if they are going to do this, then let's see what it is that they're going to do:

Batters must abide by the batter's box rule and keep one foot in it

Batters have to have that foot in the box unless something special happens like if he swings at a pitch or fakes a bunt or if the pitcher decides to leave the mound or if the catcher steps out of the catcher's box or some other stuff. In addition to the stuff I've listed, one of those other times that the batter is still allowed to leave the batter's box is when the batter calls time and is allowed a timeout, which, if you've ever seen any part of a baseball game, is all the time. Batters are never not allowed a timeout. And they'll call maybe 7 or 8 timeouts at a time. And when the batter calls timeout, as far as I can tell, he's still allowed to wander around aimlessly.

So basically, the Pace Committee looked at something that happened regularly that slowed games down and, in their effort to pick up the pace, said, "Keep doing exactly what you're doing".

Managers have to stay in the dugout during replay challenges

This, I wholeheartedly agree with. All too often, challenge after challenge, the challenging manager will leave the dugout and start glad handing with people in the stands, ball boys in the opposing dugout, visiting dignitaries in the seats behind home plate. Once, I saw Bud Black try to challenge a tag out at second base, and inexplicably, as soon as the umpires attention was diverted to waiting on the call from New York, Buddy ran out of the dugout naked as the day he was placed on God's green earth. Only after Elite security chased him down and dragged him back into the dugout was the game allowed to continue.

Timers! And Clocks! And sponsorship opportunity!

One of the mostly hotly debated items is the addition of clocks. Previously, any sort of timekeeping device was not allowed within 50 feet of the gate of any Major League Baseball stadium. Time itself was frozen and not allowed to partake in the proceedings of a baseball game, not unlike a classical physicist breaking down equations to the quantum level, at which point, upon realizing that one was observing a baseball game, rules governing things like time and space were sumarily thrown out the window.

Now however, in an effort to bridge the gap between quantum mechanics and classical physics, the MLB is allowing a clock to determine temporal distance between things like the start and end of a commercial break. No more are batters allowed to play all 4 minutes of Style by Taylor Swift, blissfully unaware of the precise location of the corresponding commercial break. That stuff has to obey the laws of man now, son.

However, what's really going on with the addition of the clocks should be obvious to anybody who has seen the proliferation of advertising throughout baseball. The clocks are now two new pieces of signage to be sold. In New York, the clock will be presented by Rolex. In San Diego, Southwest Airlines will talk about how they can get you there on time now. In Houston, Deloitte Consulting will sponsor clocks and tell you to hire their project managers. It's all a sham people. They don't care about the important stuff like quantum physics. They just want to sell more space around little red clocks.

But Will It Work?

A committee was formed. They met. They did what they could and it mostly came down to enforcing rules that already existed. In the meantime, they found a new sponsorship opportunity, so in the end, the game may not move any faster, but at least they'll have made some extra bucks trying.