Major League Baseball has all but confirmed a pitch clock is coming this season.
I agree pace of play needs to be addressed, but there is one aspect of this rule change that makes zero sense to me.
The memo laying out the specifics, provided by Jeff Passan, has a glaring problem:
The clock will start when a pitcher has the ball on the mound and stop when the pitcher begins his windup or comes set. If the pitcher steps off the rubber, the clock resets.
So, let me get this straight. Every time a pitcher gets set to pitch, he’s free to step off the rubber and reset the clock, right? Am I missing anything?
Then why have the pitch clock at all? The league is delusional if it thinks it’s instituting any measure of control.
Its my understanding that the clock is being put in place to speed up the game and force (for lack of a better phrase) pitchers to just throw the damn ball.
At that, I couldn’t agree more.
To me, nothing kills the momentum of a game (especially one smack dab in the middle of a high-leverage situation) than a pitcher dawdling on the mound.
Man up, throw your pitch, and show the batter that you know you’re better than him. Or, you know, pussyfoot around until you’ve got your head straight. The fans are inspirit, hanging on your every movement with bated breath.
Now, before my head is forcibly removed from my body, I understand that an MLB plate appearance can very intense. And that it’s not all the pitcher’s fault.
Maybe the catcher isn’t giving him the call he wants. Or perhaps he needs to give his battery mate time to survey the field. I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt more often than not.
Batters do the same sort of thing by calling time or grooming themselves outside of the batters box (I’m looking at you, David Ortiz).
Blame can be spread all over the diamond. But rememeber, you’ll only have 20 seconds to do so.
The thing is, these guys have been playing baseball in big situations their whole lives. When you get to the big leagues, you’re there because of your performance and skills. But also in part because you have the mental capacity to handle stress that comes with playing (almost) every day in front of tens of thousands of fans.
I do like limiting mound visits; one per pitcher per inning. I’d love not seeing a pitching coach (or manager) trot out there every two minutes to set tactics or stall to get a replacement ready. To me, that’s manipulating the rules and removing any integral strategy; the manager has messed up by not being prepared.
OK, OK. Let’s get our foot on the rubber and back to my original point; this new pitch clock rule is nonsense.
By allowing the caveat of resetting the clock, you’re basically saying “You have to throw the pitch in this amount of time….BUT you can get out of it by stepping off the rubber”.
And round and round we go.
I believe there should be a pitch clock, just not one in this capacity. Yes, we are only saving maybe 10 minutes or so of a game but pace of play can be excruciating at times.
Baseball ‘purists’ needn’t give me the sanctity of the game argument. If making changes like this throws your baseball world into a tailspin, I have to question how much you love it to begin with.
I’m calling you out Commissioner Rob Manfred. Work on this rule a little more before shoving it down the player’s throats. You’re not solving anything here.