Since our collective attention spans have shriveled to about the time it takes to read a 140 character tweet, the MLB is imposing stricter limits for mound visits in 2018. This latest initiative spearheaded by the MLB was proposed in order to speed up baseball games and will now be recognized in the upcoming 2018 season.
There will now be a general limit of "six mound visits per nine-inning game without a pitching change, whether by a manager, coach or player," Associated Press confirms. This decision marks an update to the previous rule that restricted more than two mound visits to the same pitcher during an inning by a manager or coach.
A recent increase in mound visits over the last few years has contributed to the longer average game times we've seen recently, and sparked this call for regulation.
The MLB is also reportedly nixing the rule that guarantees pitchers eight warmup pitches before a half-inning, also in an effort to combat extended game times. (Of course, there's still exceptions for injuries and technicalities like if the pitcher finishes the previous half-inning on base, on bat, or on deck.)
In 2005, the average game time was hovering just under three hours at 2:46, compared to the average game time of this past season being a lengthy three hours and five minutes.
Speeding up gameplay is all well and good, but what does this mean for those mid-inning bathroom breaks? When will we have time to re-up our $8 Bud Lights? And where will we find those ten minutes necessary to wait in line for cheese fries now?