David Ortiz, one of the most deliberate players in Major League Baseball, has vowed to not change his routine during at bats despite new rules designed to speed up games.
“I’m not going to change my game,” Ortiz told the media. “I don’t care what they say.”
One of the new rules instituted by MLB this season requires batters to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box in between pitches. After an adjustment period during the first month of the season, MLB will fine players $US500 per offence starting on May 1.
Ortiz still vows to ignore the rule, saying “I might run out of money.”
It will be interesting to see if Ortiz changes his mind when does the maths.
In 2014, Ortiz faced 2,409 pitches. Of those, 602 ended a plate appearance and approximately 750 pitches satisfied one of MLB’s “group of exceptions” such as a swing that does not put the ball in play, brushback pitches, time outs, and wild pitches.
That leaves slightly more than 1,000 pitches that would require Ortiz to keep one foot in the batter’s box.
With approximately 86% of the season coming after April, Ortiz can potentially be fined about 900 times, or about $US450,000.
Ortiz, who ranked 16th in MLB during the 2014 season with an average of 25.2 seconds in between pitches, says it is important for batters to have time in between pitches to prepare for the next pitch.
“When you come out of the box, you’re thinking about what a guy’s trying to do,” Ortiz said. “When you see guys pitch coming out of the box, we’re not doing it just for doing it. Our mind is speeding up. I saw one pitch, when I come out, I’m thinking, ‘What is this guy going to try to do to me next?’ I’m not walking around just because there’s cameras all over the place and I want my buddies back home to see me and this and that.”
Ortiz will make $US16 million this season.
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