Astros’ Lance McCullers Slams MLB’s New Rule: 6 Mound Visits Per Game
Major League Baseball has instituted a new rule designed to limit mound visits, and Lance McCullers Jr. isn’t having it.
MLB new mound visits rule news
The 24-year-old Houston Astros pitcher slammed MLB and ESPN — which was showing World Series Game 7 highlights and noting the number of visits to the mound — on Twitter for the new rule, which dictates only six mound visits are permitted per contest.
McCullers’ tweets, shared early Tuesday morning, have since been deleted.
One read: “@espn displaying mound visits today of Game 7 in the WORLD SERIES like that’s a standard game. That game decides everything and WE, as pitcher/catcher, have to combat sign stealing (cheating). Y’all never talk baseball, show baseball or care. Save your BS for s— first take.”
In another since-deleted tweet, McCullers noted how the new rules would affect the game: “You think I want to break rhythm and tempo during a game to talk about signs behind my glove? No, it’s a necessary reaction to an issue we, as pitchers and catcher, are facing. I guess enforcing the integrity by hitting batters is better than an extra 4 minutes to discuss signs.”
The new rule, co-instituted with the MLB Players Association, is meant to speed up the pace of play.
Everyone wants to blame pace of play on mound visits or time in between pitches… well MAYBE address the real issue at hand instead of trying to cover it up and forceably insert rules that may affect the integrity of the game and alter the fairness of the game.
— Lance McCullers Jr. (@LMcCullers43) February 20, 2018
Despite the addition of this rule, MLB decided against 20-second pitch clocks for 2018. To address players’ concerns about sign-stealing, MLB announced it will install new telephone lines from dugouts to video replay rooms. The league said the lines will be monitored.
“I am pleased that we were able to reach an understanding with the players association,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “My strong preference is to continue to have ongoing dialogue with players on this topic to find mutually acceptable solutions.”
Union head Tony Clark noted the two sides technically did not reach a deal. Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora voiced concern that changing signs between a pitcher and catcher without a mound visit can result in a safety issue.
“I understand we want to speed up the game. I get it. We don’t want as much dead time during the game,” Cora said. “But that’s one that’s an interesting one because we know what’s going on around the league. Everyone is working hard from second base to take an advantage. … Teams are very aware of switching signs and everything that is going on, and there’s a lot of cross-up.
“We’ll see how it goes. You call a breaking ball, you throw a fastball at 98 [mph] and the catcher is looking for a breaking ball and he gets hit. We’re talking about safety and keeping guys on the field.”
Until now, the only restriction on mound visits was that a second visit to the same pitcher during an inning by a coach or manager resulted in an automatic pitching change. Under the new rule, each team would get an additional mound visit without a pitching change for each extra inning.