Dave Gershman from Beyond the Boxscore talks about whether Major League Baseball should start enforcing rules about batters who take to long at the plate:
Should MLB embark on a rule change? As most pitchers are ready six to eight seconds after the ball is delivered, the hitters as Bud Selig has referenced are “setting up even if they don’t swing at the prior pitch.” Why hasn’t Bud done anything about his own personal complaint? Who knows, but speeding up the game seems to be a prime goal of his.
I have long said there should be rules that keep the batter from wasting time so that baseball games move a bit quicker. The rule should prevent a batter from stepping out of the box unless the ball is fouled off. Taking a pitch or swinging and missing should not warrant stepping out of the box. A batter should be allowed one timeout per AB in case they get something in their eye or something.
According to this blog post on Baseball Reference from last July, the average number of pitches per team, per game is 146. So figure about 300 total pitches per game. Subtract out the 75 or so pitches where something happens and we are done to 225. If the average is 3 seconds that a batter wastes in between pitches, we are talking 10-15 minutes per game.
That doesn’t seem like a lot, but the game would flow so much better that it would seem a lot faster.