SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rockies manager Bud Black considers himself a baseball traditionalist, but he also says he's flexible enough to understand the call for the new adjustments to cut down the length of games.On Thursday, several modifications were made to the 2017 rule book that will directly impact skippers like
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rockies manager Bud Black considers himself a baseball traditionalist, but he also says he's flexible enough to understand the call for the new adjustments to cut down the length of games.
On Thursday, several modifications were made to the 2017 rule book that will directly impact skippers like Black. The changes include the adoption of the no-pitch intentional walk and a 30-second limit for managers to decide whether to challenge a play and invoke a replay review.
"On balance, I'm OK with this, but it will be a little bit different, obviously, because the intentional walk has at times proven to be a baseball play, whether a pitch is thrown away, whether a pitch is thrown in the strike zone and it's whacked by the hitter or for deception," Black said. "We saw it in a World Series. We are taking a play away from the game."
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Other changes include a new rule that will allow the crew chief to invoke a replay review for a non-home call starting in the eighth inning, instead of the seventh, when a manager has exhausted his challenges for the game. There's a rule that will keep teams from using any markers on the field as points of reference for fielders' defensive positioning, a rule that governs coaches in the coach's boxes, and a rule that prevents pitchers from taking a second step toward home plate with either foot or otherwise reset his pivot foot in his delivery of the pitch.
Black said he's heard of many proposed changes to the game during his many years in the game yet he still doesn't understand the call for the implementation of a rule that would limit the use of relief pitchers in a game.
"I don't get that. That's the one that I'd really have to debate about and ask why," he said. "That'd be the one. If you have 25 guys on the team, you should be able to use them how you want."
Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.