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Frontier League hitters will begin their at-bats with a 1-1 count this season

No, this is not an April Fools' joke.

If you're planning on playing in the independent Frontier League this season (the Traverse City Beach Bums would be my pick), get ready to step into the batter's box down a strike. Here's more regarding the new 1-1 count announcement from Our Sports Central:

Beginning with the 2014 season, each turn at-bat will begin with a 1-1 count already in place. The proposed rule change is intended to speed the pace of play and deliver more excitement for fans.

The rule still has to be approved by owners at an annual meeting on April 3, but most seem inclined to the change. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out for hitters, pitchers and the overall fan experience.