moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Major League Baseball has approved a change to its intentional walk rule on Tuesday in an effort to speed up the pace of game play.
According to ESPN, instead of throwing four balls to a batter, the umpire will receive a signal from the dugout allowing the hitter a free pass to first base.
According to studies performed by MLB, an intentional walk takes about one minute. The rule change would eliminate that and keep the game moving along.
This comes after Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to the press earlier on Tuesday about how he did not anticipate any rule changes for the 2017 season and blamed the players’ association for the delay.
“There really won’t be any meaningful change for the 2017 season,” Manfred said. “Due to a lack of cooperation from the MLBPA.”
Any rule changes that were to go into effect for the upcoming season had to be agreed upon between the league and the union prior to the start of spring training games. The Grapefruit League and Cactus League begin play on Friday.
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