It's an old story. For at least 90 years, baseball executives have complained that the games are dragging on and something must be done. Here is a short sample from New York Times:
March 19, 1928In the sixth inning of last night's game, J.D. Drew called time to go to the on-deck circle and get some pine tar for his bat. Plate umpire Tim Tschida said no, deciding to enforce Rule 6.02(b), which forbids such activity. Boston hitting coach Dave Magadan mouthed off from the dugout and was ejected.
Barnard Orders Snappier Games; American League Bars Dawdling; President Instructs Umpires To Keep Players On Move And Pitchers Will Have Twenty Seconds To Deliver Ball ... Umpire To Keep Resin Supply. Game Will Be Speeded Up. Players Barred From Stands.
By James R. Harrison
St. Petersburg, Fla. -- The day of the long and dawdling ball game in the American League has passed forever, if E.S. Barnard, new President of the junior circuit, has anything to say about it.
February 17, 1929
Speedier Baseball Games The Aim Of League Officials; Long-Drawn-Out Affairs, Due To The Players' Tactics, Are Annoying To The Fans ...
August 4, 1957
"As the baseball season rolls along, the days grow shorter and the ball games get longer. And, as with the weather, no end of talk seems able to do anything about it. The increasing length of time it takes to play a nine-inning contest has been bedeviling baseball's legislators for years."
November 28, 1967
Baseball Strengthens Ban On Spitball Pitch And Seeks To Speed Up Games ...
By Joseph Durso
Mexico City -- Professional baseball took steps today to eliminate the spitball and the 3-hour ballgame.
Kevin Youkilis was not impressed:
They're trying to speed up the game? For what reason? ... If they want to speed up the game, why don't they stop having commercials, that would do it. ...Cutting down on television commercials between innings would certainly shorten the times of games. Anyone think Bud Selig will make a serious effort to shorten the time between innings of playoff and World Series games?
So guys can't get pine tar but pitchers can still get rosin? There's nothing you can do to speed up the game. It seems like they're blaming the hitters again but it's not the hitter's fault. This whole speeding up the game is just stupid -- the game of baseball is a game of no time. Why do we need to speed it up?
If the umpires are going to now start enforcing the rule book -- what a concept! -- calling the actual strike zone would definitely move the game along, since batters would now have to swing at pitches in the top third of the true strike zone, almost all of which are currently called balls.