Play ball ... faster! MLB, union to meet to speed games

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NEW YORK (AP) - Acknowledging that games have gotten even slower this season, Commissioner Rob Manfred says MLB with will meet with players in an attempt to find a solution.

The average time of a nine-inning game is a record 3 hours, 5 minutes this season, up from 3 hours last year and 2:56 in 2015, Manfred's first season as commissioner.

"We've probably gone backwards a little bit," Manfred said Thursday after an owners' meeting.

Management proposed making changes for this year, such as installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound by catchers, but players' association head Tony Clark said his side would not agree. Management can implement changes unilaterally with one year advance notice.

"We've had extensive conversations with Tony about a process for putting a series of meetings together to try to advance the ball on the pace-of-game issues," Manfred said. "We remain committed to the idea ... there are things that can be done to try to improve on the pace-of-game topic. And we will continue to purse that agenda with Tony over the course of the season."

Manfred wouldn't get into specifics.

"We need to let that process play out," he said. "Tony has told me that players have their own suggestions about things that might happen. And I think it's best for us to receive those, have some conversations before we get into speculating about what might happen.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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