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MLB Playing Rules Committee convenes02/17/2005 4:00 PM ET
MLB Press Release
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and Minor League Baseball President Mike Moore announced today the appointments of the nine members of the Major League Baseball Playing Rules Committee.
The Playing Rules Committee oversees the revision, repeal and adoption of Official Baseball Rules, which govern how the game is played in the Major and Minor Leagues. Sandy Alderson, Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations of Major League Baseball, was named chairman of the committee.
Bob Beban, President and General Manager of the Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League, was appointed to the committee by Moore to represent Minor League Baseball.
Other committee members, each appointed by Commissioner Selig, are: Rod Carew, a Hall-of-Fame player who serves as a consultant to Major League Baseball; Andy MacPhail, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Cubs; John McHale, Jr., Executive Vice President, Administration of Major League Baseball; Terry Ryan, Vice President and General Manager of the Minnesota Twins; John Schuerholz, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Atlanta Braves; Bill Stoneman, Vice President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; and Larry Young, a Major League umpire since 1985 who serves as an umpire crew chief and will represent the Major League umpires. Mike Gaski, Head Baseball Coach at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and President of USA Baseball, will assist the committee as a non-voting, advisory member.
The Playing Rules Committee announced the adoption of an experimental rule for use throughout the 2005 season in all of the Minor Leagues affiliated with Major League Baseball. The experimental rule, designed to encourage an improved pace of play, requires a batter to keep one foot in the batter's box throughout an at-bat, unless certain exceptions apply, in which case the batter must remain within the dirt area surrounding home plate. An umpire will be able to award an automatic strike or strikes, without the pitcher having to deliver a pitch, if a batter intentionally leaves the batter's box and delays play.
A similar rule applies in National Collegiate Athletic Association play. The experimental rule was used successfully in 2004 during the Major League Baseball-operated Arizona Fall League, a developmental league for top Minor League prospects.
With the help of several pace-of-game initiatives introduced over the past several years, the time of the average nine-inning Major League regular-season game has dropped from 2:58 in 2000 to 2:47 in 2004.
"Commissioner Selig remains committed to improving the pace of play in the Major Leagues," Alderson said. "The Playing Rules Committee hopes that the adoption of this rule in the Minor Leagues will encourage players, as they progress toward the Majors, to develop and maintain habits that will improve the pace of play."
No change has been made to the Official Baseball Rules governing Major League play. The language for the experimental rule change for Minor League play follows.
Experimental Rule for Minor League Play in 2005
Official Baseball Rules
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.