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Pitch clock implemented for spring games

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, file)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) Major League Baseball is unilaterally starting the use of pitch clocks for spring training games, while brushing off complaints from players about the slow free agent market.

With the sport looking for ways to speed the pace of play, pitchers generally will have 20 seconds to deliver to the plate when teams play exhibition games in Arizona and Florida beginning this week. The intention is to get players and umpires accustomed to the clock in the event MLB makes the rule change for the upcoming regular season.

"We will start getting ready for the possibility that we're going to use the pitch clock on opening day," Commissioner Rob Manfred said Sunday at spring training media day in Florida. "We have to get going."

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