Tom Werner via M&C: It is frustrating MLB pace of play initiatives have taken so long to be implemented

Ryan Hannable
February 18, 2019 - 10:07 am

It's become clear in recent years MLB has an issue when it comes to pace of play.

Games are averaging over three hours, which is quite a long time considering there are 162 regular-season games. There have been some initiatives discussed to speed up the game, including a pitch clock and making a minimum batters pitchers need to face, but there now seems to be some resistance from the MLB Players Association.

Appearing on Mut & Callahan Monday, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner expressed some frustration that the initiatives have taken so long to be implemented.

“It is frustrating," he said. "First of all, the NFL changes rules between games. At the half they will change the rule. In the NBA, ‘Oh my God, there’s a three-point shot instead of a two-point shot.’ We’ll get there. And I don’t want to say we have a fire because the game is a great game. Why not have a pitcher pitch to a minimum of three batters? Does he have to have one pitcher, one batter and then he’s changed? There are things we can do to get the pace of the game better.”

Over the weekend, commissioner Rob Manfred said a pitch clock will be used in some spring training games with the hope it will carry over into the regular season. Although it is a first step, there does not appear to be a concrete long-term plan to put it into action.

“I don’t want to blame anyone, but I would like the players to be enthusiastically supportive of it because they are our partners, so we’re continuing to have conversations with them about it," Werner said.

He added: “In the end, that decision will be made by Rob, the commissioner. As you guys know, I am a proponent for making these changes because I think it is good for the game.”

Related: Tom Werner on M&C acknowledges Red Sox, Chris Sale have had discussions regarding new contract