MLB institutes some rule changes

Major League Baseball in instituting some rule changes this season, the first changes since the interpretation of the strike zone was re-defined back in 1996.

The changes:

  1.  Games that end in a tie, due to inclement weather or other issues, will now be considered "suspended" and will be resumed at a later date from the stoppage.  Previously, tie games were considered an official game, and the game would be completely replayed from the beginning.
  2.  Pitchers have 12 seconds, rather than 20 second, to deliver a pitch when no one is on base.  If they don't throw within 12 seconds, it is an automatic ball.
  3.  Batters have to keep one foot in the batter's box during an at bat.  If a batter leaves the box, it is an automatic strike.
  4.  There is an automatic 10 game suspension for scuffing the ball or putting a foreign substance on the ball.
  5.  The rules now specify that masculine pronouns in the rule book shall be interpreted as gender-neutral.
There's also some changes in the guidelines given to official scorers, in dealing with certain issues like sac bunts and fielder's indifference on steal attempts.
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