For the first time in more than a decade there are some rule changes that will be implemented in 2007. Among them (from the MLB.com story with my comments below):
It'll be interesting to see if this is actually enforced. I can't imagine it will in any but the most egregious cases since it'll be difficult to implement the timing. Still, a nice idea.
Now this one is more interesting and is easily enforceable since it will be visible to everyone. The wiggle room is obviously in the "certain game-play conditions".
Wow. This one certainly has some teeth to it and will undoubtedly lead to appeals if a player is so punished.
Same as above - could this be in response to "Gamblergate" in the 2006 World Series?
I'm curious as to just how many places in the rule book this might apply to?
Update: Interesting comments from Nate Silver on BP Unfiltered. I especially liked "I watched parts of the first inning of Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, trying to time the break between pitches under this definition (this is harder than you’d think, since FOX was usually more inclined to show a close-up of Roger Clemens' flaring nostrils than the batter getting ready for the pitch)." Amen. See this column. And as Nate points out the variability in time between pitches if often the result of the batter and not the pitcher and so the rule about keeping one foot in the box will likely make a bigger difference.