The players would have the power to design rules acceptable for them, rather than have unwanted regulations foisted on them.
But that won't happen because the relationship between the union and Major League Baseball is probably at its worst since the 2002 season.
Rather, they are spoiling for a larger fight that probably can’t take place until the months before the current collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021.• Teams have started planning for adjustments with the new six-visit limits.
One manager wondered aloud if he would push his starting pitcher and catcher to avoid mound visits so that his team can save the mound visits for the later innings.
This is what could and should happen in the effort to reduce the average time of baseball games to 2 hours, 55 minutes.Whatever its makeup, that committee generate ideas, plug them into some simulation models provided by an MLB-funded analytics group and see how they work.There is a great scene in the movie “Apollo 13” in which a group of engineers is tasked with creating a device that scrubs the capsule air of carbon dioxide.Think of the players as the teenagers rebelling over various issues -- and they are simply saying no to the vegetables, no to everything. It would probably make sense for the players to talk through some of the issues, to have the conversations, and to glean some benefits, but they are in no mood to sort through any of that. Manfred had the power to implement any change he wanted in the pace-of-play rules, but he didn’t, because he knows the players are mad, and he didn’t want to pick a summer-long fight.Instead, he went with a much more modest proposal: no pitch clock, and a relatively liberal limit of six mound visits per game.The players were so vocal in their discord that you have to wonder if Manfred regrets not going all-in on the changes, including a pitch clock, under the premise that if MLB is going to weather a year of public complaints from the pace-of-play stuff, they might as well go all-in.The disconnect seems so enormous that a negotiated, collaborative solution seems completely out of the question.In preparing for the 2016 season after a run through the World Series in the fall of 2015, former New York Mets manager Terry Collins asked friends about how to combat the hangover, and Jim Leyland and others told him: It’s inevitable.The Astros will present an interesting test for this conventional wisdom, because Houston is a team loaded with young players still early in their careers.Maybe three pitchers and three hitters, or maybe five and five, or 15 and 15, if the players' association chose to have at least one representative from every team.Manfred could leave it up to the players to decide.