So when we last left off discussing the Major League Baseball pace-of-game regulations, we saw that the league has put an auditing process in place (albeit a questionable one) and there were rules put in place for elapsed time between pitches when bases are unoccupied.
(Also, thanks for linking to the post, ESPN.com!)
But now thanks to Adam Sobsey at Baseball Prospectus, we get this doozy.
This is a letter mailed from the MLB Commissioner’s office and signed by Joe Garagiola, Jr. informing Colorado Rockies pitcher Mike Ekstrom that he took too much time warming up between innings on two separate occasions in July.
I was unable to find this alleged “Section 1(d) of Baseball’s Pace of Game Regulations” – I thought it might be a section of the official rules of baseball but my searches have come up empty so far – so I can’t provide the full verbatim text of said rule.
That all being said, this letter (presumably sent by USPS) was mailed four days after the second violation. This brings up a lot of questions.
– Was Ekstrom warned by the umpire he was taking too long for warm-up pitches?
– Four days is a long time for official explanation of the violations. Was Ekstrom provided this information much earlier, maybe right after the game was over?
– How was this audited? Was there a fellow in the stands timing the gaps?
– If so, are there better ways to communicate rule violations to the violators in a more expedient timeframe?
However, this stands as another example of where extra time is injected into a baseball game these days when it doesn’t need to be.