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Rob Manfred says baseball won't institute a pitch clock — but only if the players agree to other measures to speed up games

Rob Manfred says baseball won't institute a pitch clock — but only if the players agree to other measures to speed up games
Kyle Lobstein of the Tigers delivers his first pitch of the second inning to Orioles hitter Matt Tulasosopo as the clock, background, counts down during a spring training exhibition in Lakeland, Fla., on March 3, 2015. (Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

No pitch clock after all?

Major League Baseball is willing to forgo a pitch clock this season if the players’ union agrees on other measures to speed games, Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday.

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Manfred said the league instead would restrict mound visits and shorten commercial breaks, among other measures, with a pitch clock introduced for the 2019 season if the average game time this year does not fall to 2 hours 55 minutes. The average game time last year was 3:05.

In the absence of an agreement with the union, the owners can unilaterally implement a pitch clock this season.

Manfred had expressed concern last year about how teams had manipulated the new 10-day disabled list. The Dodgers, for instance, used it as a taxi squad for starting pitchers as well as a place for injured players.

“We’ve decided at this point we are not going to seek a change in the 10-day disabled list,” Manfred said.

The league announced Thursday that all 30 teams had agreed to extend protective netting to the far end of each dugout.

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