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MLB announces new slide rule and pace-of-game changes

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(The Sports Xchange) - Rolling slides to break up double plays will not be permitted starting with the 2016 season according to new regulations adopted on Thursday by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players' Association.

The World Umpires Association also approved the banishment of so-called block slides after New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada suffered a broken leg on a takeout at second base in last year's playoffs by Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley.

MLB and the players' union also signed off on two new pace of play initiatives designed to help speed up the game.

According to the new sliding rules, a runner is required to make a "bona fide" attempt or an umpire can call the runner and the batter out.

"A runner will be specifically prohibited from changing his pathway to the base or utilizing a "roll block" for the purpose of initiating contact with the fielder," the new rule states.

Potential violations will be subject to instant replay review, as will "neighborhood play" calls, which previously were exempted from replay review.

A bona-fide slide occurs when a makes contact with the ground ahead of the base, is in position to reach the base with his hand or foot and attempts to remain on the base without changing his path to initiate contact with a fielder.

The pace of play program is being expanded from last year to include timed 30-second visits to the mound by managers and coaches and a reduction by 20 seconds of broadcast breaks between innings.

MLB said last year's pace of game directives, which included the batter's box rule and decreased break time between innings and pitching changes, resulted in the average length of games falling to 2:56:14 from 3:02:21.

RANKING THE BEST MLB STADIUMS:

7 PHOTOS
Ranking MLB stadiums
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MLB announces new slide rule and pace-of-game changes

29. Rogers Centre, Toronto Blue Jays

The only things worse than this warehouse-looking place are the metric measurements on the outfield walls.

(Shutterstock)

23. Angel Stadium, Los Angeles Angels

Nothin’ like some fake rocks in center field to really set the mood for a baseball game.

Flickr

22. Progressive Field, Cleveland Indians

The fact that it’s no longer Jacobs Field bumps this down at least five spots.

Flickr

21. Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals

Can this place just stay out of the playoffs just once?

Flickr

19. Chase Field, Arizona Diamondbacks

Center field is the deepest part of the stadium, guys. The wall doesn’t need to be that high.

Clintus McGintus/Flickr

5. Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox

Relax, Fenway is definitely an amazing place to watch a game. But sitting directly behind a pole and/or facing the left-center field wall just isn’t always appealing.

(Shutterstock)

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