Play ball! Quickly! Baseball tries to speed game this spring

Gene J. Puskar/AP PhotoDigital clocks have been installed in ballparks throughout the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues to keep the action moving.

GOODYEAR — Tick, tock, baseball is on the clock.

Major League Baseball's new pace of play rules have begun with Tuesday's exhibition games in Arizona and Florida.

The subtle changes are designed to speed a game long embraced for its leisurely pace. Hitters must now keep one foot in the batter's box between pitches, and pitchers must complete warmup tosses between innings in a specific time.

Digital clocks, though some officials prefer to call them timers, have been installed in ballparks throughout the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues to keep the action moving.

Players will need to get used to the changes. After the first pitch of the game between Philadelphia and the Yankees at Clearwater, Florida, New York's Jacoby Ellsbury completely stepped out of the box, maintaining his routine. Plate umpire Vic Carapazza gave no indication that he reminded Ellsbury of the new rule.

By reducing the time of games, MLB hopes to make the sport more TV friendly and entice a younger audience while not compromising baseball's integrity.

MLBOakland A's & MLB

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

In San Francisco, drug overdose deaths surpass 300

Soaring fatalities ‘generally driven by fentanyl’

Preston finds support for District 5 navigation center at community meeting

Supervisor hopes to narrow down list of possible locations within months

Oprah brings her 2020 vision to Chase Center

TV star, mogul shares wellness advice, personal stories

Department on the Status of Women director resigns

Emily Murase, director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of… Continue reading

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucuses, with Joe Biden running a distant second

LAS VEGAS — Bernie Sanders won a commanding victory in the Nevada… Continue reading

Most Read