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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 20, 2015

Rule Will Require Players to Keep a Foot in the Batter’s Box; Timers Will Track Breaks During Non-Game Action Only; Managers May Invoke Replay from Dugout

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark and Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, the Chairman of Major League Baseball’s Pace of Game and Instant Replay Committees, today jointly announced additions to the sport’s pace of game program, which will be effective in Spring Training, the regular season and the Postseason, and a series of modifications to the instant replay system. The World Umpires Association also has given its assent to the new efforts, which will be reviewed by the parties following the conclusion of the 2015 World Series.

• The pace of game program will enforce the batter’s box rule, requiring that all batters must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box unless one of a group of exceptions occurs. The new rule at the Major League level mirrors 6.02(d), which was in place in Minor League Baseball in 2014. (See the end of this press release for how 6.02(d) appeared in the 2014 Official Baseball Rules.)

• A second new component to the pace of game program is the addition of timers that will measure non-game action and break time between innings and pitching changes during each Major League game. One timer will be installed on or near the outfield scoreboard, and a smaller timer will be installed on the façade behind home plate near the press box. Immediately following the third out of each half-inning, the timer will count down from 2:25 for locally televised games and from 2:45 for nationally televised games. An MLB representative attending each game will operate the timers from the ballpark and will track the following events:


• Pitchers will be permitted to throw as many warm-up pitches as they wish prior to the point when 30 seconds remain on the clock; however, pitchers will be deemed to have forfeited any of their traditional eight warm-up pitches that they are unable to complete prior to the 30-second deadline. Exceptions to these rules will be made in a variety of circumstances, including if the pitcher or catcher ended the prior half-inning at bat or on base.

• Batters will be encouraged to get into the batter’s box with 20 seconds remaining on the timer. This is the same time that the broadcasters return from commercial. The pitcher is expected to begin his motion to deliver the pitch as soon as the batter gets into the batter’s box and becomes alert to the pitcher. Batters who do not enter the box prior to five seconds remaining on the timer and pitchers who do not begin the motion to deliver the pitch prior to zero seconds remaining on the timer will be deemed to have violated the break timing rules.

• These rules will be enforced through a warning and fine system, with discipline resulting for flagrant violators. No fines will be issued in Spring Training or in April of the 2015 regular season. Donations will be made to the Major League Baseball Players Trust charitable foundation based on the level of adherence to the new rules.

Commissioner Manfred said: “These changes represent a step forward in our efforts to streamline the pace of play. The most fundamental starting point for improving the pace of the average game involves getting into and out of breaks seamlessly. In addition, the batter’s box rule will help speed up a basic action of the game.”
Clark said: “The Players believe that enforcing the rules that currently exist regarding between inning breaks and plate appearances is the best way to address the issue of pace of play. We’re confident that today’s announcements will have a positive impact on the pace of the game without jeopardizing the integrity of the competition.”
Schuerholz said: “The Pace of Game Committee wants to take measured steps as we address this industry goal to quicken the pace of our great game. It is not an objective of ours to achieve a dramatic time reduction right away; it is more important to develop a culture of better habits and a structure with more exact timings for non-game action.”
Brian Lam, who represents the Major League Umpires, stated: “These strides to hone the pace of game over time will improve the natural rhythm of baseball, and we applaud and support the Players Association and the Commissioner’s Office as we all move toward this goal.”

• Managers may now invoke instant replay from the dugout and will no longer be required to approach the calling umpire to challenge a call. Managers may hold play from the top step of the dugout by signaling to players and the home plate umpire that he is considering a challenge. A decision can be communicated verbally or with a hand signal. To challenge an inning-ending call, managers will be required to leave the dugout immediately in order to hold the defensive team on the field.

• Whether a runner left the base early or properly touched a base on a tag-up play will be reviewable.

• A manager will retain his challenge after every call that is overturned. Last year, a manager retained his challenge only after the first overturned call.

• A manager must use a challenge in order to review whether a play at home plate included a violation of the rule governing home plate collisions. However, in the event that a manager is out of challenges after the start of the seventh inning, the Crew Chief may still choose to review whether there was a violation of the rule.

• During Postseason games, regular season tiebreaker games and the All-Star Game, managers will now have two challenges per game.

• Instant replay will not be utilized during 2015 Spring Training, but it will be in place for exhibition games at Major League ballparks prior to the start of the 2015 regular season.

# # #

(then applicable in Minor League Baseball)
(1) The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout the batter’s time at bat, unless one of the following exceptions applies, in which case the batter may leave the batter’s box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate:
(i) The batter swings at a pitch;
(ii) The batter is forced out of the batter’s box by a pitch;
(iii) A member of either team requests and is granted “Time”;
(iv) A defensive player attempts a play on a runner at any base;
(v) The batter feints a bunt;
(vi) A wild pitch or passed ball occurs;
(vii) The pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound after receiving the ball; or
(viii) The catcher leaves the catcher’s box to give defensive signals.

If the batter intentionally leaves the batter’s box and delays play, and none of the exceptions listed in Rule 6.02(d)(1)(i) through (viii) applies, the umpire shall award a strike without the pitcher having to deliver the pitch. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance. The umpire shall award additional strikes, without the pitcher having to deliver the pitch, if the batter remains outside the batter’s box and further delays play.

Rule 6.02(d)(1) Comment: The umpire has the discretion to issue a warning to a batter in lieu of calling an automatic strike for the batter’s first violation of Rule 6.02(d)(1) in a game, so long as the batter’s violation is judged to be brief and inadvertent. The umpire shall give the batter a reasonable opportunity to take his proper position in the batter’s box after the umpire has called a strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(d)(1) and before the umpire calls a successive strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(d)(1).

(2) The batter may leave the batter’s box and the dirt area surrounding home plate when “Time” is called for the purpose of
(i) making a substitution; or
(ii) a conference by either team.

Rule 6.02(d) Comment: Umpires shall encourage the on-deck batter to take a position in the batter’s box quickly after the previous batter reaches base or is put out.


Congratulations to the newest members of the esteemed Reds Cap Club



Wrestling in 2015

Wrestling in 1986


Wanna join the Reds Cap Club? It’s easy! Simply email/tweet/instagram me a photo of you wearing your favorite Reds headgear and I’ll post the pic next Friday, right here on Better Off Red.



LHP Aroldis Chapman has agreed to terms on a 1-year contract through the 2015 season, avoiding arbitration. His hearing was scheduled for today.



Jackie Robinson’s daughter, Sharon Robinson, last night visited with about 50 youngsters at Cincinnati’s MLB Urban Youth Academy.

Students in grades 4-9 have until March 13 to enter the Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life essay contest at’s Mark Sheldon has more info HERE.

Photos courtesy of my colleague, Michael “Mando” Anderson


A Night of Their Own_logo

Baseball 101 event May 28 at Great American Ball Park

CINCINNATI (Feb. 12, 2015) — Do you wish you knew more about the game of baseball or are you looking for a fun night out with the girls?

The second annual St. Elizabeth Healthcare A Night of Their Own – Baseball 101 will be held Thursday, May 28 at Great American Ball Park from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.

This exclusive event gives women of all ages the opportunity to EAT, PLAY and LEARN with Reds coaches, broadcasters, staff and special guests to get an inside look at the game of baseball.

• Enjoy a dinner buffet in the FOX Sports Ohio Champions Club
• Open bar with beer, wine, and the signature drink, the Rosietini

• Practice your skills on the field by throwing a pitch from the mound or snagging a flyball in the outfield
• Take cuts in the same batting cages used by the players

• Meet Reds manager Bryan Price and special guests
• Receive tips from Reds coaches

Event tickets are $150 and include:
– Dinner buffet with open bar
– Goodie bag and event t-shirt
– Reds ticket for future game
– Guided tour of Great American Ball Park with stops in the Reds clubhouse, press box and broadcast booths.

Space is limited. Sign up today at or (513) 765-7065.

All proceeds from St. Elizabeth Healthcare A Night of Their Own – Baseball 101 benefit the baseball-themed youth outreach programs of the Reds Community Fund.


A big “thanks” to all of the teams that participated in Tuesday night’s BOR Baseball Trivia at Holy Grail Banks!  We have just two more, so if you haven’t had a chance to see what all the fuss is about, please join us this coming Tuesday following the Reds Hot Stove show!

To see Tuesday’s trivia script, including the questions/answers, click here > February 10

And below is Tuesday’s leaderboard…




CINCINNATI (Feb. 10, 2015) — The Cincinnati Reds and Findlay Market Association announce that 1990 relief pitchers Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers will serve as the Grand Marshals of the 96th Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, which kicks off at Noon on Monday, April 6, 2015.

Known as the Nasty Boys, the trio of Charlton, Dibble and Myers were key figures in the Reds 1990 wire-to-wire season that ended with a four-game sweep of the Oakland A’s to win the World Series.

The first pitch for the Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day game is 4:10 p.m.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the 1990 World Championship, the Reds are planning a celebration the weekend of April 24-26, exhibits and events at the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum throughout the season and are offering fans an exclusive opportunity to guarantee the new “Nasty Boys” triple bobblehead on April 25.

“Nasty Boys” Pick-6 Plan
Guarantee the new “Nasty Boys” triple bobblehead featuring 1990 relief pitchers Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers when you buy the Nasty Boys Pick-6 plan, presented by McDonald’s.

This six-game ticket plan includes the Sat., April 25 Reds vs. Cubs game (Nasty Boys bobblehead night), six free McDonald’s Extra Value Meals® and pick five additional regular season home games of your choice, exclusions apply.

Visit or (513) 765-7500 to secure the first Reds triple bobblehead and save up to 28%.

Additional details to honor the 1990 team will be announced at a later date.



I hope you’ll join us tonight at 6 o’clock at the Holy Grail Banks for a live episode of the Reds Hot Stove League radio show!  Afterwards, stick around for another action-packed edition of Better Off Red Baseball Trivia, hosted by yours truly!

And just for you loyal BOR readers who like to get a head-start on trivia, here’s one of tonight’s questions…

Save it: The single-season save record of 62 was set in 2008 by what pitcher?


You know it’s getting close to Spring Training when the Reds begin loading up their equipment truck.  Here are photos from the incomparable Michael “Mando” Anderson


From the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum…

Presidents’ Day Weekend at the Reds HOF

CINCINNATI (Feb. 10, 2015) — The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum are planning special events for the upcoming Presidents’ Day Weekend:

Baseball and the Presidents – Saturday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m.
• Historian Mel Marmer returns to the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. to present “Baseball and the Presidents.” Mr. Marmer offers an insightful look into the association between baseball and the Presidency of the United States. In addition to appearing at the Reds Hall of Fame during previous Presidents’ Day weekends, Mr. Marmer has also spoken at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. The presentation is free with museum admission.

Half-Price Admission on Presidents’ Day – Monday, Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• In honor of Presidents’ Day, the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum will be offering half-price admission on Monday, Feb. 16. Discounted admission is $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, and $3 for active military and veterans. Children ages four and younger are free.

The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is located next to Great American Ball Park at 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202.

Plan your visit at or by calling (513) 765-7923.

About the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum:
Driven by a mission to celebrate greatness, preserve history and provide inspiration, the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum at Great American Ball Park is the place where the story of Reds baseball comes alive each day. The Museum features 15,000 square feet of historical, interactive and educational exhibits, highlighting the rich and storied tradition of the Reds for fans of all ages. Since its inception, 84 players, managers and executives have been honored with induction.


See ya tonight!

Expect good news,




The Reds made some moves over the weekend.  Here is a rundown…

  • 3B Todd Frazier agreed to a two-year deal, avoiding arbitration.
  • RHP Burke Badenhop signed a one-year contract through 2015 with a mutual option for 2016.
  • RHP Kevin Gregg signed a minor league contract with an invitation to 2015 Major League ST camp.
  • Dustin Hughes has been named Reds bullpen catcher.
  • LHP Ismael Guillon has been designated for assignment.

For the Reds updated roster, click here > Expanded Roster


And speaking of Frazier, he squares off today against Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in the second round of the #FaceOfMLB twitter contest.  Please include #ToddFrazier and #FaceOfMLB in your tweets today (through 8am tomorrow)!  You can “vote” 25 times per twitter account, so let’s get moving Reds fans!




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