MLB planning to speed up game

Published 12:56 am Friday, September 12, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig expects to receive a recommendation in the next 30 to 60 days from a committee he formed to deal with the issue of pace of game.

Baseball has come under scrutiny this year for its increasingly long games, which stem from a number of reasons such as batters briefly leaving the box, pitchers stepping off the mound, catchers going to the mound and the addition of expanded replay this season. Selig isn’t sure what to expect from his small group in terms of suggestions. Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz is taking part.

Selig, speaking Thursday at the Giants’ AT&T Park as part of his farewell ballpark tour, said this is an issue he wants to improve before he steps down on Jan. 25 and turns over the commissioner job to Rob Manfred.

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“I have a small committee that’s already gone to work on it,” Selig said. “They’re hard at work. I really want to get this done before I go because I think it’s that important. We’re at 3 hours, 1 minute and 47 seconds, not that I follow it closely. We’ve actually made a little progress lately but there are things I just think we need to do.”

Regarding replay, Selig acknowledges: “I was a little bit of a reluctant dragon on that. I had some concerns.” But overall he considers it a positive thing.

Selig said there have been a number of shorter games — in the 2 1/2-hour range — and he gets an update each Friday morning.

“We’re doing it because I just think we can knock some time off in the pace of the game, which will benefit everybody,” Selig said. “I expect to have a recommendation in the next 30-60 days. I will let them decide.”

Also Thursday, Selig said he won’t argue about whether Barry Bonds is the home run king, even if Hank Aaron is a close, longtime friend.

“Barry Bonds set the record. That’s the way it is,” Selig said. “One thing about commissioners, you get on a slippery slope when you try to change facts as they are. Whatever the record books say is what it is.”