NEW YORK – Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has taken an aggressive new step to speed up the pace of play in his sport, announcing today that baseball will adopt all of the rules and structure of ice hockey going forward.
“We looked at a lot of different way to speed up the game,” said Manfred. “But when it came down to it, there really weren’t any small fixes that were going to change anything. Baseball is just an inherently slow game and there’s nothing that can realistically be done about it. So instead, we’re going to play ice hockey now. It doesn’t get faster than ice hockey and the NHL has shown in recent years that the game works just fine in baseball stadiums. Although I guess we should call them hockey stadiums now.”
Manfred announce earlier this week that baseball’s intentional walk would now be done by a signal, but that change was projected to shave only an average of 11 seconds off of games.
“Nothing we wanted to do was going to make a meaningful impact,” said the commissioner. “But now we’re going from nine innings to three periods and fans can know they’ll be in and out every night in about two and a half hours and will get to see almost non-stop action while they’re there. This is best for the future of baseball.”
Baseball teams will begin working on skating and stickhandling fundamentals today at spring training, clogging the few ice rinks in Florida and Arizona.
“I think I might have to retire,” said Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon.