pitch clock

The New Pitch Clock Hurts Baseball

With Spring Training up and going for the MLB, players and fans alike have finally been able to see the new rule changes enacted by the League in action at the major league level. There are definitely mixed reviews of the Pitch Clock rule, which is not a surprise. It was always going to be the most controversial one. 

Mets Ace Max Scherzer is a fan of it, but that doesn’t move the needle for me.

via ESPN

Players will have 30 seconds to resume play between batters. Between pitches, pitchers have 15 seconds with nobody on and 20 seconds if there is a baserunner. The pitcher must start his delivery before the clock expires. After a pitch, the clock starts again when the pitcher has the ball back, the catcher and batter are in the circle around home plate and play is otherwise ready to resume. Hitters also need to be in the batter’s box with eight seconds left on the pitch clock, and they get only one timeout per plate appearance.

We have already seen multiple players get rung up for a strike because they were too slow to engage in the Batters Box. Including a game that ended in a tie between the Braves and the Red Sox because, with two strikes, the Braves batter failed to engage in the box with eight seconds left. 

It’s Spring Training, and ideally MLB sees some of the problems with this rule and makes adjustments. Could you imagine if a game that actually counted ended in a walk-off because of a pitch clock violation by either team? There would be outrage.

My biggest problem has been and continues to be (until proven otherwise) that this rule is going to be a disaster if it stays the same come playoff time. The MLB will probably tweak it so you can’t win if the winning run is on third, or something akin to that. That isn’t my main concern, though. 

The playoffs are intense, everything can change with one pitch and every fan hangs on each one, waiting for their team to capitalize. Whether it is a walk, strikeout, single, home run, and everything in between, each pitch matters. When pitchers and batters are forced to adhere to this timer, it can cause sloppy play. The pitcher may get rattled and not settle in, the batter may be too anxious because it’s a tense moment and he doesn’t have time to think and focus. Every moment matters in baseball, you only have a fraction of a second to decide if you’re swinging or not, and to throw in a pitch clock in a high leverage situation and game is just flat out stupid. 

Shaving 15 or 20 minutes off a pro baseball game doesn’t move the needle for attracting younger fans. That has always been, and continues to be, a marketing problem for Major League Baseball. 

Pitch Clock: to be continued…

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *