Baseball is about to get much less boring

New MLB commissioner Rob Manfred touted the changes as “an effort to streamline the pace of play.” Baseball has been looking to “streamline” for a while: In 2010, veteran umpire Joe West called the dawdling pace of nearly four-hour marathon between the Yankees and Red Sox a “disgrace to baseball”; a few weeks later, then-commissioner Bud Selig told the AP he wanted to address the issue.

Major-league games have been getting longer for years. In 1984, the average game wrapped up in about two-and-a-half hours. By 2014, that average was more than three hours. These longer games are partly of a result of record-high strikeout totals in recent years, and more strikeouts mean longer at-bats—and MLB can’t do much about that.

MLB has been demanding more patience from an audience that has less of it.