MLB Speeds Up Games By Sending Strongly Worded Letters To Slow PitchersS

Over at Baseball Prospectus, Adam Sobsey got hold of a letter from MLB disciplinarian Joe Garagiola Jr. to Colorado Rockies pitcher Mike Ekstrom. (Click to enlarge.) In two consecutive appearances against the Phillies, Ekstrom took more than his allotted 2:25 to warm up—going over by nearly a full minute each time. Four days later, this appeared in his mailbox.

You know, I see the part about Ekstrom violating Section 1(d) of the pace-of-game regulations, introduced in 2009. But all I hear is "let's not make anyone watch a Phillies-Rockies game any longer than strictly necessary."

Baseball can be long and boring and oh god it's only August why can't we just skip ahead a month? So it's nice that MLB isn't just paying lip service to speeding up the game, except they kind of are. Ekstrom is a multiple offender, and his discipline is a polite letter ("Dear Mike") warning of the possibility of maybe more warnings in the future. Yeah, fines happen eventually—Jonathan Papelbon was one of the first violators and after multiple warnings was fined $1,000, nothing to him and definitely not crippling to Ekstrom—but if they're serious about it, MLB could institute more dire deterrents. Like, say, if a pitcher isn't ready when the ump calls time in, it's a balk. Or force offending pitchers to watch the entire 2012 Rockies highlights DVD.

[Baseball Prospectus]