If Major League Baseball proposes changes to hasten the glacial pace at which its games are typically played, the Red Sox will have considerable say in the matter.

Sox chairman Tom Werner and partner Michael Gordon have been named to a seven-member committee formed to study the pace-of-play issue with a specific focus on decreasing the time of game. Through Aug. 20, the average major-league game this season lasted for 3 hours and 2 minutes, according to USA Today, up from 2 hours and 33 minutes in 1981.

Werner and Gordon will be joined by MLB chief operating officer and commissioner-elect Rob Manfred, MLB executive vice president Joe Torre, players’ union chief Tony Clark, New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson and Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz, the committee chairman.

Pace of play has been a front-burner issue for Werner, so much so that he recently challenged Manfred to become commissioner Bud Selig’s successor in part to gain a higher-profile platform to make his case that baseball must get with the times in order to attract a younger audience. And in an age of shrinking attention spans, that includes shortening the length of games.

“Too many people are leaving games in the sixth and seventh innings because they can’t watch 3-1/2-hour games,” Werner told reporters last month, “so they’re leaving the game at the point where the game should be getting exciting. You wouldn’t make a 3-1/2-hour movie.”

Werner has several suggestions for speeding up games, including limiting the number of times a batter can step out of the box and instituting a clock that would enforce the amount of time alloted a pitcher between pitches. He has expressed other, perhaps more radical ideas, including eliminating warm-up tosses for relievers once they enter the game, a notion that was recently rejected by Red Sox lefty …read more