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MLB looking to shorten inning breaks, per report

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Baseball might have found at least one way to shorten games without using a pitch clock.

Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

Major League Baseball is proposing a pair of rules that could shorten between-inning breaks by a minute or more, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.

Pitchers would be asked to complete their warmups and be ready to start the inning 30 seconds before the end of all commercial breaks between innings, per Stark. Hitters would also be affected by the proposal, which would require them to step into the batter's box 20 seconds prior to the completion of each break.

Commercial breaks, which often last in excess of three minutes, could be cut down closer to the desired time of 2:05, league officials told Stark. The end result could shave 15 minutes off of the average game.

The proposal isn't without its potential hiccups. Clubs are reportedly worried about having enough time to run between-innings contests and promotions, and some players don't believe they're completely to blame for the extended delays, instead pointing the finger at TV crews.

These kinds of efforts could allow MLB to improve its pace of play without the advent of pitch clocks, which will be implemented in Double-A and Triple-A parks this season. However, more work -- such as the league forcing umpires to actually enforce rules that already exist -- will need to be done to avoid introducing clocks into the highest level of the sport.