Major League Baseball adopted its first pitch clock, limits on defensive shifts and larger bases for next season in an effort to shorten games and increase offense in a tradition-bound sport.
The decision on the clock and shift restrictions by the sport’s 11-man competition committee was made Friday over the unanimous opposition of the panel’s players, who approved the larger bases. The changes had long been pushed by baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred in an effort to combat the increase in dead time over four decades and suffocation of offense in the age of analytics.
“Throughout the extensive testing of recent years, minor league personnel and a wide range of fans — from the most loyal to casual observers — have recognized the collective impact of these changes in making the game even better and more enjoyable,” Manfred said in a statement.
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