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When it comes to the Atlantic League's new rule changes to speed up the pace of its games, many players seem to think the league just needs to slow down.
Atlantic League president Rick White confirmed that recommendations of the Pace Of Play Committee of which Somerset Patriots manager emeritus Sparky Lyle is a member will go into effect on Aug. 1.
Among the more controversial changes to be made include a pitcher's warm up pitches being reduced from eight to six, a "courtesy runner" being installed any time a catcher reaches base and Arian Foster Limited Jersey pitchers being allowed just 12 seconds to throw a pitch upon receiving the baseball.
Whether it be the rules themselves or that they're being implemented in the middle of the season, players seemed to be universally opposed to it.
"Pretty much every rule change I've heard is ridiculous, and Jonathan Tucker will go on record saying that," said the Patriots second baseman/outfielder, currently in his 11th season of professional baseball.
CONTINUE READING: "Everything I'm hearing is absolutely ridiculous and I think it's just going to hurt www.texansonlineprostore.com/WOMENS-JADEVEON-CLOWNEY-JERSEY.html the league."
"I think we need to be very careful in not changing the game. It's one thing to try to incorporate rules to speed up the game, but if you're affecting the overall game or possible outcome of the game with those rules, I don't think that's right."
"I disagree with a lot of what's going on, to be honest with you. I don't know if it's going to work, and I think it's changing too much of what baseball is. I think we're worrying about the wrong things, and we need to worry about getting things done in the game the right way rather than try to reinvent the game. This isn't high school baseball, this is professional baseball. And professional baseball is played by professionals."
"I am surprised that's it happening in the middle of the season, the main reason being we've already played half of a season one way, and you're going to expect guys to change what they do overnight. What happens if you have a fast catcher and he can't run the bases? James Skelton, for example. He was with us, he's still in this league, Brian Cushing Authentic Jersey and you're telling us he can't steal a base because he has to come out of the game for a pinch runner? I don't know."
LUIS LOPEZ, BRIDGEPORT BLUEFISH
"It's kind of weird to do it in the middle of the year. I know the one that really caught my eye was the about catcher, pinch running for him to try to speed up the game. I don't really think you are speeding up the game, and you're changing the game. If you lay a bunt down, we know we aren't going to have a chance to get him out at second. The other thing is you have to stop the game anyway for him to come off the field and for the other guy to get on, so you're wasting time anyway."
"I thought the pace was good. Speeding up the game goes far as the game being played well and smoothly; no errors, walks, stuff like that. As far as pitches inbetween (innings), if you're going to cut it from eight to six, that's fine. But you've got to be careful because you're risking injury as well. I know it's only two pitches, but after a long inning and a pitcher only gets six pitches, he might not be warmed up, especially early in the year or late in the year when it's cool."
"As far as a hitter standpoint, I try to get in the batters box as quickly as possible. I don't like to stall too much. I just have a routine where I step out, take one swing and get back in the box. There's guy we see in the league that walk around, do a tour. The rule for them? That's good. Me personally? I usually get right into the box. Any time I step out, I'm checking on my sign and I'm right back in."
"I don't like it too much. It's baseball, and I think they're bringing a little too much Little League into it if you ask me. I also didn't like them changing the home plate collision rule, I like old school baseball, just letting everything go. I think they're taking it a little above and beyond for this."
"I don't like it at all to bring into the game, and I think doing it in the middle of a season is even worse. That's just my opinion. It's going to take away from a lot of teams. We had James Skelton last year, and he's a big base stealer. Now you're going to tell him he can't run the bases? To me, it's just plain stupid."
"I'm not the fastest guy Brian Cushing Elite Jersey like you said, but I like running the bases. It's fun. You get on base, it means you got a hit or did something well at the plate. I loved scoring and high fiving the guys in the dugout because you helped the team. It's one of those things where you're going to be missing out."
"The (rule) with the catchers (needing) a runner, it's absolutely ridiculous. The six to eight (warmup) pitches, absolutely ridiculous. (Twelve seconds between pitches is) ridiculous. If you don't want to watch baseball the way it's played and you don't want to be in the business of baseball the way it should be played, you shouldn't be in the business of baseball. This is the way the game has been for the last 150 years, it's the way the game is. I don't think the Atlantic League or the people in the front office of the Atlantic League should try to change it. Pretty much every rule change I've heard is ridiculous, and Jonathan Tucker will go on record saying that."
"I think what you're going to have happen, is you're putting even more pressure on these umpires to enforce these rules. There's already been a disconnect between players and umpires, and this is going to further push things apart. You're going to have hitters complaining about the stepping out of the box, you're going to have pitchers and hitters complaining about the high strike. I think these umpires are already at a disadvantage with the speed of this game, like anybody's eyes are that good without some training? So, everything I'm hearing is absolutely ridiculous and I think it's just going to hurt the league."
"My personal take on it is I think it's nonsense. This game has been around a long time, and to have these rule changes, it just makes no sense. We'll go with the catcher (rule). Having a catcher leave first base or whatever bag he has occupied after his at bat just because you want to speed the game up, it's foolish. If you watch between innings, we have the bullpen catcher or our backup catcher catching the pitchers. For me, that makes no sense. Personally, I don't understand it. I don't understand why you would change the rules of a beloved game."
"I'm literally scratching my head. If you were going to do this, why not do this before the season Arian Foster Womens Jersey and kind of work into it instead of just all of a sudden they're going to change everything. There's no logic behind it. I would be more OK with it if was implemented before the season, possibly. I'd like for the league to tell the players why, as a whole."
"After 15 years in professional baseball, I have a routine. I have a routine of how I kick the dirt out before I toe the rubber between innings, I have a routine of how I grab the rosin bag, I have a routine of how I throw three pitches just to make sure I'm loose, because after 15 years I'm not 18 years old anymore. So I have to throw about three at half speed to make sure I'm loose and then I go into my next five being quality pitches exactly the way I want them, and I've done that for 15 years. Now you're telling me and former major leaguers who have routines like me that they can't do it. I don't understand. It takes away from our mental sharpness when we prepare. And the 12 seconds between pitches? I don't get that either. I understand if you've got a guy up there who might be a human rain delay, something might have to be done. But I'm going to give this example; if I toe the rubber with nobody on and I toe the rubber, I throw five pitches. If I shake the first one, shake that one, shake the next one, to the point where I'm second guessing myself and I have to step off, regroup and start the count over, that's going to take 12 seconds. For me to be punished by them calling a ball, it's not fair. What about in York where Salvador Paniagua doesn't speak good English and he has an English speaking pitcher? What's he going to do, step off and say, 'I want a fastball here.' How are you going to justify that? Or say you have a guy on second base and he might be tipping pitches and signs and you want to call your catcher out to say, 'Instead of going second sign, we're going first sign,' how are you going to tell him that? Are you going to step off the rubber and yell it? These rules aren't justifiable."
"I think they should have stepped back and taken a consensus with the pitchers in this league. These aren't A ball pitchers, these are former major leaguers. We've got a former All Star throwing against tonight us, Dontrelle Willis. The guys I've talked to throughout the league, no one's happy about this."
"For certain teams, absolutely (there was a need to speed up games). There are managers in this league who micro manage and don't have confidence in the relievers they put in. There's a lot of managers in this league who play matchups. He'll bring in a lefty to face a lefty, then a righty to face a righty and then the next thing you know, there's a lefty in there to face a lefty. It's really not bad, but that's the reason these games are taking so long. We're playing two and a half hour games. Why? Because (manager) Brett (Jodie) doesn't do that. He'll do it every now and then if it's a very important game and we need the W, but there's other teams in the league that do it every night. If you look at the boxscores, there's teams with the six or seven relievers being thrown in one night. In all honesty, it's going to put more pressure on the umpires with the high strike now to call it even looser. They've been pretty tight all year, and they're doing the best that they can. They're new to the league and I take my hats off to them, but changing that to a high strike, it's going to delay the games because there's going to be www.texansonlineprostore.com/WOMENS-JJ-WATT-JERSEY.html more arguments, even with the batter stepping a foot out of the box to let the umpires know that wasn't a strike. The reasoning for that, that won't speed the game up. Now this guy is going to be calling balls in the dirt, balls away, balls high (for strikes). Is everything going to be a strike? I know personally, I don't pitch up in the zone. I pitch down, that's just how I pitch. I try to induce a lot of ground balls, and for me that's not going to be an advantage. I might miss high and get a strike, but is that fair to the hitter for one across his chest? That pitch, to get to that's chest high, it's almost impossible to get to."
The following is the transcript of my phone conversation with Atlantic League President Rick White regarding the upcoming rule changes that were recommended by the Of Play Committee. Ashmore, Courier News: What was the genesis of the idea for creating the Of Play Committee, and why did you feel like it was something that had to happen now?
Rick White: "The league has dipped its toe in the shallow end here for the past couple of years, exploring ways to make the game more crisp and make the game move along a little bit more speedily. We finally reached the conclusion this spring that we needed to seize the moment. The Atlantic League is one that prides itself in being progressive and innovative, and because it doesn't work under the affiliation with Major League Baseball, it has the opportunity to use much more latitude in terms of its playing behaviors, operating behaviors and so forth. So, when you start to roll that and the fact that there was a true feeling amongst our ownership that our games need to move along more quickly, they rolled that into something and said we'd like to see this used as an objective. If along the way, we're helping organized baseball look at ways to deal with an issue, we'd like to be of benefit to baseball at large. I don't think that F B folks would necessarily agree that the longer you stay at the game, the more money you're going to spend as an absolute statement. Usually, the reason you're seeing food and beverage concessionaires starting to close up at the end of a nine inning game is because people tend to purchase less late in the day. There's no denying they'll spend some money late in the game, but if you look at it, they usually don't spend as much at the conclusion of a game as they do early on in a game. There's some discussion around that. But the league is somewhat ideological around this point and is concerned that the lengthening of baseball games overall is not good for the sport. It really does not help us as we look for ways to enhance the experience for our fans."
Mike Ashmore: How big of a concern was there in rolling something out like this in the middle of a season?
Rick White: "We thought of it as an opportunity. I don't know that I would characterize anything as a concern nearly so much as an opportunity, and the feeling was the League gains credibility by showing that it's created a committee and that it places value in the experience and the judgment of the people in that committee. To create a committee merely for the sake of doing that, we wanted to have a committee that created recommendations that were actionable, that were considered and in fact were implemented. There was prudence in terms of some items that I know were discussed and reviewed and tabled, not for lack of enthusiasm, but for the opportunity to think about it and work a little harder on researching around those things. And on the other hand, those six items that were adopted were largely, if I can characterize the opinion of the executive committee, adopted on the idea of, 'Yeah, the time is now. Yes, we are doing this as a trial, but we feel as if we underscore the value we're placing in this initiative by acting on this sooner rather than later."
Mike Ashmore: Obviously, word has been out regarding the new rules for a little while now. What is your take or your assessment on the reaction to the new rules?
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