Texas Rangers open season with new rules to speed up games

ARLINGTON — Opening Day! One of the best days on the sports calendar.

“I really didn’t sleep a whole lot last night,” said Rangers manager Jeff Banister. “Not much on the anxiety but just ready to get going.”

Well it's the start of a very long season full of very long games.

Last year the average time of an MLB game shot up to 3 hours and 5 minutes, the longest in history. Nobody wants that much baseball and so this season already has one big rule change to try to speed things up. Teams will only be allowed six visits to the pitcher's mound per game. That includes catchers.

There's even a new spot on the scoreboard for it, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is hopeful that the rule changes will work.

“The rule changes are really ones that the players should adjust to very quickly,” Manfred told reporters at Globe Life Park. “I’m hopeful it will go without a hitch on that side and I’m also even more hopeful it will speed things up a little bit.”

So how does the new rule affect managing a team?

“Well, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of strategy behind it, just don’t get to six,” Banister said. “I hope that it decreases the game time, helps speed the game up. We can do away with some of the in-between visits.”

Yeah, you gotta play 162 games so might as well make ‘em shorter. Of course most fans wont care how long it takes as long as the Rangers win!