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Kevin Millar on MLB pace-of-play rule changes: ‘It has nothing to do with hitters’

Former MLB first baseman and current MLB Network analyst, Kevin Millar, experienced a new emotion he was feeling this spring when baseball started again: nostalgia. When asked if he wished he could still play, Millar admitted for the first time that he misses the game.

“First spring training, this year, that I’ve almost gotten pissed off that I’m not playing anymore,” Millar told the Jim Rome Show. “I’m a 43-year old, and I got gray hair, and I got my belly starting to fold over my belt buckle, but I don’t know why it was this year cause the last few have been okay…but this is the first spring training I’ve missed baseball big time.”

Millar discussed a recent interview given by former Boston Red Sox teammate David Ortiz about MLB’s new pace-of-play rules. Kevin not only defended Big Papi’s take on the new rules, but challenged baseball to accurately identify those slowing down the speed of the game.

“The one thing about the pace-of-play: it has nothing to do with hitters,” said the 12-year veteran who retired in 2010. “If you’re a pitcher, you’re controlling the pace-of-play, your tempo controls the pace-of-play. How about the pitching coaches maybe hustling out to the pitcher’s mound?”

Millar continued his defense of David Ortiz and expressed his lack of concern over a potential fine for Big Papi.

“I don’t think it’s pace-of-play that we’re worried about with the hitter keeping one foot in the batter’s box. You know Papi is going to do his routine. If they’re going to fine him $500, they’ll fine him $500. The boys make a lot of money these days, so it’s not a big fine.”

Being a former fan favorite in Boston, Millar discussed the Red Sox offseason acquisitions and the necessary adjustment those players will have to make to the city, Red Sox Nation, and the New England sports media.

“Boston, let me tell you, is another beast. I loved it – they’re passionate fans, they care, the media outlets & the radio shows are going non-stop, but they’re going to hurt your feelings. You got to understand going in that you’re going to get your feelings hurt. You’re going to get booed at home, that was a bad feeling; they’ll make you cry like a man, I mean like a little baby, a grown man with tears in your eyes, but it makes you tougher. It’s not for everybody.”

Another former teammate of Millar’s, Curt Schilling, has been under-the-spotlight for recent activity on social media defending his teenage daughter. Kevin expressed his support of Schilling, while admitting the evils that lurk online.

“This society that we live in, there’s some bad people, evil people, jealous people, haters, whatever you want to call them….You know, it’s easy to sit and tweet bad things, and people are real brave with their fingers behind the scenes…But, you have this evil out there and when they start attacking your daughter and start attacking the family…when they go after your family, that’s where you kind of draw a line. You got to understand there’s just bad people out there and social media gives them a stage.”

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