Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick is followed by Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Diamondbacks, as they leave a gathering during Major League Baseball owners meetings Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

MLB owners hopeful of fixing pace of play without showdown

January 31, 2018 - 10:03 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick is hoping Major League Baseball and the players' association can work out a deal to improve pace of play without imposing changes on the union unilaterally.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has long vowed to put the rules in place for the upcoming season with or without an agreement, but says his preference is for a deal and he is willing to negotiate the rules involving a pitch clock or limits on mound visits.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the 2017 regular season and 3:29 during the postseason. Players have resisted a pitch clock while appearing slightly more amenable to limits on mound visits.

Manfred is expected to address the issue when he speaks at the conclusion of the meetings Thursday.

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