The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) today announced the addition of Baseball Hall of Famer Pat Gillick to its Pace of Play (POP) Committee. The recently announced blue ribbon panel is tasked with reviewing ways to reduce the average time and enliven the pace of baseball games in order to enhance overall fan experience.
"Pat brings a wealth of experience, ingenuity and perspective to the Pace of Play task,” said POP Committee Chair, Tal Smith. “Baseball will benefit from his participation on the committee, as it has from his many contributions and accomplishments over the years.”
Known for his brilliance in spotting talent and building ball clubs, Gillick brings five decades of professional baseball experience to the POP Committee, including two World Series championships as General Manager with the Toronto Blue Jays (1992, 1993) and one with the Philadelphia Phillies. Gillick currently serves as a senior advisor to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he is considered by many as the architect of the club's 2008 World Series Championship team.
“The Pace of Play Committee and the Atlantic League have a unique opportunity to truly test out new and innovative ways to reduce the average game time,” said Gillick. “I look forward to working with my fellow Major League colleagues and the Atlantic League on its mission to help advance the game of baseball, for all levels of the sport.”
Gillick joins an impressive group of veteran MLB players and front office executives with more than 250 years of collective experience in the Major Leagues, including Smith, Roland Hemond, Joe Klein, Cecil Cooper, Bud Harrelson and Sparky Lyle. The Committee will review ideas from fans, media, and baseball on-field and administrative personnel, in addition to proposals from Committee members, and will recommend actions to the Atlantic League's Executive Committee. Suggestions will be vetted for their impact on pace of play and length of game, safety of players and on-field personnel, commercial consequences and simplicity, while maintaining the fundamental rules of baseball. Pace of Play suggestions are being accepted via the Atlantic League website at www.AtlanticLeague.com.
The average professional game time in the 1970's was approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, whereas today almost half of all nine-inning games exceed 3 hours. When Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run in 1927, the box score reported game time as 1 hour and 38 minutes. Many feel that the growing amount of “down time” during games is a larger concern than the length of the games; hence the Atlantic League has created the Pace of Play Committee. All suggestions, recommendations and findings will be published on the Atlantic League website and made available for review by any interested parties.