CHICAGO -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle has gotten a laugh out of recent warnings from Major League Baseball, sent to all teams, to quicken the pace of games.
It used to be that Rockies games tended to be long, not because of delays by pitchers or hitters, but because they were so high-scoring. With a .230 batting average with runners in scoring position, the Rockies are going quietly and quickly.
"I chuckle at all these directives on pace of game," Hurdle said before Friday afternoon's game with the Cubs. "We're doing everything we can to keep the game times down. If we were scoring any runs, I don't know what they'd be saying or what they'd write."
Hurdle said one recent pace-of-game move could become a problem. Just before last weekend, teams were told that once the pitcher is on the mound and engages the hitter, the hitter can't call time and step out of the batter's box. The Rockies experienced the crackdown in Philadelphia earlier this week.
"Twice in Philadelphia, our guys tried to call time," Hurdle said. "We had talked about it. I warned them. Everybody's aware of it. The ump said no, and we had to hit. But last night [against the Cubs] their guy calls time out, no problem whatsoever. The pitcher was still engaged on the mound. You only can get it when they disengage.
"I'm going to give it more time to play out, then make the appropriate calls. There's got to be continuity in everything you do. We've got enough ambiguity in the strike zone -- that's just the human element, I understand that -- but something like this, there has to be absolute continuity."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.