Members of the York Revolution are resoundingly opposed to the six pace-of-play rules recently adopted by the Atlantic League in efforts to speed up the completion of games.
Such as the rule making umpires call the "high strike" — a pitch that passes over the plate at the batter's chest.
"My at-bats or stats, I'm worried about them if they are gonna open up the zone to make the games quicker," Revs outfielder Eric Patterson said. "That's unfair."
And the other rule where teams must substitute a courtesy runner if a catcher reaches base in his at-bat.
"What about my numbers?" Revs catcher Salvador Paniagua said. "Somebody looks at your numbers from year to year and they say 'well, you don't score. You had 20 homers and you only scored on those 20 homers.'"
And the rule where pitchers will only get six warm-up pitches between innings instead of eight.
"Well, if we have to make the adjustment you make the adjustment," Revs starting pitcher Alain Quijano said. "But is it fair to everybody? I don't think so."
And the rule where teams are only allowed three mound visits, excluding pitching changes, in a game.
"Now we're in the eighth inning and I got my reliever out there and they're putting a pinch-hitter in and I can't go to the mound?" Revs manager Mark Mason said. "I can't give my pitcher a scouting report on this guy?"
The remaining two rules voted into the rulebook by the league's board of directors at last week's All-Star game will: allow the pitcher to intentionally walk a batter without actually throwing a pitch and force a batter to ask for permission from the home-plate umpire to step out of the batter's box.
Rules to be repealed?: League officials and team presidents and general managers discussed the pace-of-play rules in a meeting at Sugar Land last Wednesday before the All-Star game. The board of directors then voted the rules into action. The league is aiming to implement the rules beginning Aug. 1.
"I was actually one of those who voted," Revs president and general manager Eric Menzer said.
Menzer declined to say if he was in favor or opposed to the rules, but he is glad action is finally being taken on the matter.
"We've heard for years about the league wanting to speed up the games," Menzer said. "I'm happy we're now actually doing something about it instead of talking about it."
No input has yet to be taken from team managers on the rules. That will instead happen on a conference call this Friday at 2 p.m. And there's a good chance most of the rules will either be modified or eliminated, according to Mason.
"I would think the courtesy runner rule will go out the window," Mason said. "I would think not throwing pitches for an intentional walk will go out the window. I think the three timeouts (or mound visits) that they're talking about will be eventually limited to coaches."
Damaging its credibility: If the new rules do stick, though, Revs players feel the Atlantic League's reputation of being the top independent baseball league will go out the window.
"For the credibility of this league and what I've heard about this league and the standards it has, why would you do that when this league is supposed to be the best league in all of independent baseball?" Quijano said.
"Running for the catcher? That's high school baseball," Patterson said. "When you do stuff like that you take away from the professionalism of what we're doing. You're cheapening the league. I think it looks bad for the league. Word is gonna get out and players aren't gonna wanna come play in a league like that."
— Reach John Walk at email@example.com.