You know the problem with relief pitchers is that they're so good. I've got nothing against relief pitchers but they do two things to the game: The pitching changes themselves slow the game down, and our relief pitchers have become so dominate at the back end that they actually rob action out of the end of the game, the last few innings of the game. So relief pitchers is a topic that is under active consideration. We're talking about that a lot internally.This is quite honestly the absolute dumbest idea I have heard in a long time. Is this actually being considered in MLB's offices? Is Manfred trying to drive long-time fans away from the game? (More shockingly, will Manfred actually make people wistful about Bud Selig?)
But if Manfred is serious, I've got a few other ways to not "slow the game down":
1. Limit the number of pitches that a team can throw in a game. Too many pitches = long games. Can't have that. ... Ding! Sorry, Astros, you just threw pitch 150. The game is over!
2. Batters can see no more than five pitches in any plate appearance. Depending on whether there are more balls or strikes after pitch #5, the batter will be awarded a walk or be called out on strikes.
3. Slower pitches obviously slow the game down, so pitchers will be allowed to throw no more than six off-speed pitches per inning. (Steven Wright will be banned from MLB.)
4. Keep commercial breaks the same length (local games 2:25; national games 2:45; postseason: 3:00+).