The Pitch Clock Could Help Save Baseball
When I heard that the minor leagues were going to a pitch clock in 2022, I was a bit skeptical of it. After all, part of the charm of baseball is that there is no time limit. You don't end the game until the team leading gets 27 outs. As you know, the other three major team sports are rigidly timed to end at a certain time.
But, after giving it half a season at Lansing Lugnuts home games, I like it. And I, and a lot of other people, think it could help save baseball for the future. Here's a look at the rules regarding the pitch clock.
STARTING AN INNING
The clock to start a game and the in-between innings clock is set at 2 minutes, 15 seconds. It starts the moment the last half-inning ends or when the home team's starting pitcher starts warming up at the start of the game.
DURING AN AT-BAT
If no runners are on base, the pitcher is allowed 14 seconds from the time he receives the ball from the catcher or umpire to throw the next pitch. Otherwise, the umpire can call a ball on the pitcher. Pitchers and hitters are allowed to call time out, but it's much more limited than it used to be. The home plate umpire can call a strike on the batter if the ump feels the batter is taking too long to get back in the batter's box.
If there is a runner or runners on base, the pitcher is allowed 18 seconds in between pitches. I've seen pitchers step off the rubber to fake a throw to a base to reset the clock. That's allowed, but limited.
Batters are allowed 30 seconds to get from the on-deck circle to the batter's box to get ready to face the pitcher. Otherwise, a strike can be called. There is some discretion, but not much.
PITCHING CHANGES/MANAGER VISITS TO THE MOUND
Managers and coaches are allowed 90 seconds to confer with their pitchers and/or make pitching changes. Once it gets under 10 seconds, the umpire will come out to the mound to break up the conference. There is a little bit of discretion on the part of the umpires, but not much.
Also, there is no change to the rule about injured pitchers. Relievers replacing injured pitchers are still given all the time they need to get warmed up.
Folks, the pitch clock is coming to the majors. Maybe as soon as next season. It's just a question of the Players' Association and the team owners to agree on the length of it in different situations. In my experience at the yard this season, there is no doubt it has quickened the pace of play. And the fans that I have talked to at Jackson Field like it.
And as much as I hear Tim complain about the length of games, it would be worth it to me (and to you as well) to stop hearing him complain about a game taking more than three hours.
What do you guys think? Let us know!!!