Farrell embraces potential rule changes

Manager on board with possible pitch clock, other ideas that could speed up game

Farrell embraces potential rule changes

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox manager John Farrell sounds ready to embrace any of the potential rule changes that could be in store to speed up the game, including a pitch clock, although according to Commissioner Rob Manfred, there are no meaningful changes in store for 2017.

Currently, there is a clock for the pitchers to warm up between innings.

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"I wouldn't be surprised if, in a short period of time, I'm not saying this year, but we're probably going to be looking at a pitch clock overall," Farrell said. "We'll become accustomed to it.

"Even when they've put the clock between innings, it was a novelty, it was a new thing, and I think we all got familiar with it really quick. We're seeing pitchers that have spent the last two years in Double-A and Triple-A, they've been pitching with that. We're probably migrating in that direction."

Farrell also endorses bypassing the four pitches for intentional walks, a change that might occur for the upcoming season.

"I think it's on the forefront of Commissioner Manfred's mind, and as we try to create new markets and increase our fan base," Farrell said, "I think you see all these discussions we're talking about as ways to keep the game active and more attractive to the video age and making it as interactive as possible, but yet keeping up the pace of the game inside the ballpark. Hopefully, it can be one that keeps the attention of everyone in the stands."

Manfred said in Phoenix on Tuesday that discussions with the MLBPA are ongoing, and that he hopes the two sides can address pace-of-play issues before the two-year window closes on Opening Day 2018.

Manfred says no new rules coming

"Right now, our intention is to keep everything we brought to the table with the MLBPA alive, that includes pitch counts, trips to the mound, everything we discussed this offseason," Manfred said. "I want an agreement on these issues. I'm also not ready to walk away on this topic just because [MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark] isn't ready to move forward now."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.