The 2023 Major League Baseball season has begun and this season brought several rule changes that have had an impact on the game.

Rule changes include limits on defensive shifts, bigger bases, and the change that has had what may be the biggest impact, a pitch timer.

Major League Baseball notes that the pitch timer was put in place in an effort to create a quicker pace of play. If you're unfamiliar with the pitch timer, here are the basic rules:

  • There is a 30-second timer between batters.
  • Between pitches, there is a 15-second timer with the bases empty and a 20-second timer with runners on base.
  • The pitcher must begin his motion to deliver the pitch before the expiration of the pitch timer.
  • Pitchers who violate the timer are charged with an automatic ball. Batters who violate the timer are charged with an automatic strike.
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At last check, Major League Baseball says the pitch timer had reduced the average time of the game by about 26 minutes. While that makes for a better experience watching a baseball game, it has led to a shorter period of time for fans to purchase beer at the ballpark.

In previous seasons, Target Field would cut off alcohol sales after the 7th inning. With games now going quicker, they have decided to extend that cut-off point. Fans are now allowed to purchase alcohol through the 8th inning at Target Field.

In an interview with the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Twins senior vice president Matt Hoy says that with the shortened game times, fans still have less overall time to make alcohol purchases than in previous seasons, even though it's now allowed into the 8th inning.

He added that about a dozen other Major League Baseball teams have changed their alcohol sales policies to manage the shorter game times, including the Milwaukee Brewers who made the same adjustment as the Minnesota Twins.

Fans can expect this new policy to remain in place, but there are no plans to extend alcohol sales into the 9th inning.

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