MLB commissioner Rob Manfred talks new changes ahead of Opening Day

When the first pitch is thrown, baseball fans will see several new rules designed to make the game faster and more exciting.
4:23 | 03/28/23

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Transcript for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred talks new changes ahead of Opening Day
- Baseball's opening day now just two days away. And fans will see some new rules designed to help pick up the pace. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is standing by. But first, here's Trevor Ault with those rules. TREVOR AULT: With Major League Baseball hoping to make its games more fast paced-- ANNOUNCER: He struck him out! TREVOR AULT: --this season, pitchers will be on the clock-- 15 seconds to start their throwing motion with the bases empty, 20 seconds if there's runners on base. Shaving off those seconds should result in much quicker games, 25 minutes faster on average. Another new rule could lead to more hits. The league restricting defensive shifts. Now, two infielders must stay on either side of second base and all four need to have both feet in the infield dirt before the pitch. And finally, the bases are getting bigger, from 15 square inches to 18. And it does slightly shorten the base paths, which could mean more stolen bases, too. For Good Morning America, Trevor Ault, ABC News, New York. - Our thanks to Trevor for that. And joining us now first on GMA is the Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred. Great to have you with us, Rob. - Thank you. I've been smiling all morning thinking about all the times I went to Twins games with my grandpa Jerry. I wish he was here to see this conversation. He would have had big opinions, by the way-- - [CHUCKLES] I'm sure. NEWS ANCHOR: --about these changes. Why are you making them? - The short answer is the fans. Our research showed that the game had evolved and changed in a way that fans didn't like. And we decided it was time to intervene to make sure we put the best form of baseball on the field. NEWS ANCHOR: And that best form of baseball, it now has a clock associated with it, at least part of it. And that's kind of an interesting factor because baseball has always been the game you go to without a clock. - Well, it's still a game with no clock in the sense that the end of the game isn't determined by any timing. The game ends naturally, just like it always has. And I see the pitch timer is sort of a small change to move things along. NEWS ANCHOR: What do you say to fans who they want to keep it old school. Let's keep it the way it's always been for a century-plus. - Well, I think that nothing stays in exactly the same form. And the fact of the matter is the game had evolved naturally. It has changed dramatically. And it got to the point where it was important to intervene and make sure that we're putting the best product on the field. NEWS ANCHOR: Thinking back to those Twins games I used to go to with my grandpa Jerry. He would show me by hand, he kept score. Every game, by the way, kept every single scorecard. How do you encourage families to get back out there and enjoy this together? - Well, I think number one is the atmosphere in our ballparks. Our live product is a family-friendly product. Our clubs price in a way that encourages families to come to the ballpark. And then the last part is what underlies the rule changes. You want a game that moves along, has a lot of action, and is entertaining for people. - What do you think we'll have, of all these rules, the biggest impact? - I think probably the pitch timer. I think that fans will notice that the game has a brisk pace to it and that the games will be shorter. NEWS ANCHOR: Yeah, this season training, I guess, 26 minutes shorter on average? - That's correct. - How much of this is social media and just the rapid pace of our world that we now inhabit? - Well, I think that there's some of that. I mean, the attention span of fans, we know, is limited. But, you know, the game, historically, was played in a window, 2 and 1/2 to 2.45. And in a lot of ways, we think we're restoring baseball to when it was the most popular. - What are you looking most forward to? - Oh, this season we've got a lot of exciting things coming. We're going back to London, which we think is really important. And always, it's the players, the great players. Ohtani and Mike Trout, and our young guys Julio Rodriguez, guys that are gonna emerge this year. Really looking forward to that. - The next Kirby Puckett? [LAUGHS] - There will be another one. - Well, I certainly have so many fond memories of the game growing up, and really thinking about it, and being with my family. So thank you for doing everything in your power to preserve that and bring that to new families. - Well, thank you for having me. And you know, it is great to hear that it was your family that passed the game on. It's really important to our sport - Thank you so much. Rob Manfred, appreciate you being with us today. - Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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