Bridgeport, CT - The Bridgeport Bluefish and Long Island Ducks will be employing a pair of rule changes during their Spring Training game on Saturday, April 18 at Long Island. The changes will serve as a trial to see their impact on the pace and excitement of a baseball game.
“While these rules are not under consideration by the Atlantic League, we continue to serve as an experimental laboratory for ways to improve the pace of games,” says Atlantic League President Rick White. “The changes should spice things up for fans as the 2015 season approaches.”
The two rule changes (one game only) that will be implemented during the April 18 game at Bethpage Ballpark include a player being ruled out if they foul off a pitch with two strikes and a player earning a walk after three balls, rather than four. All at-bats would therefore be limited to a maximum of five pitches, and neither the batter nor pitcher would have an advantage over the other.
“Pace of play is a big topic in baseball right now,” says Bluefish general manager Jamie Toole. “The Bluefish are excited to take part in this experimental game.”
Both rule changes were proposed by 68-year-old author Paul Auster, a lifelong baseball fan who has published works such as “The New York Trilogy,” “The Brooklyn Follies,” “Leviathan,” “Sunset Park,” and other modern classics. Auster originally suggested the idea in a letter to the New York Times and later described his reasoning in a phone conversation with the New York Daily News.
In June of 2014, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball formed the Pace of Play (POP) Committee, tasked with reviewing ways to reduce the average time and enliven the pace of baseball games in order to enhance overall fan experience. The Committee, which is comprised of former MLB executives and players, solicits and reviews ideas from fans, media, and baseball on-field and administrative personnel, in addition to proposals from Committee members. Five initiatives were adopted on a trial basis beginning on August 1 and will continue to be reviewed. To read more about these initiatives, please CLICK HERE.
The Bridgeport Bluefish are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. For further information, call 203-210-BLUE (2583) or visit BridgeportBluefish.com.