Good thing or not?
The player’s union would have to approve it for play, but I think they shot it down. If I’m not mistaken, it can still become a rule for next season without union approval. Am I correct? I believe the AZ fall league saw nearly a 20 minute reduction in time of play by using all the new enhancements.
I think the pitch clock is a great idea because the pace of play needs to be a point of emphasis for MLB. Can you imagine Jonathan Papelbon facing Jonny Gomes and you are in need of visiting the John? I hope you remembered your adult diaper.
Someone recently said that Velcro was the worst invention to hit the major league. The Velcro in batting gloves has single-handedly added time to ball games. To borrow from boxing, I think that the trainers should secure batting gloves to a hitter’s wrist with athletic tape so he can’t demonstrate his OCD between every pitch. It’s one thing if he’s receiving signs from the 3rd base coach with one foot in the box while he’s playing with his batting gloves, but too often the hitter is just staring off into space with the knob of his bat secured under his junk while he goes through his ritualistic Velcro “long program”—to borrow from figure skating. Enough is enough!
Another delay is all that protective gear the batters wear from head to toe on their front side. I’m not saying that players shouldn’t avail themselves of protective equipment, but my goodness! A player hits a double and time is called so he can take off fourteen pieces of protective equipment and walk them over to the first or third base coach. I think MLB should employ “runners” like you see in professional tennis when a serve goes crashing into the net. A ball boy/girl runs out in a full sprint to second and back to the dugout. Other than the fact that for some hitters he/she may need to go out there pushing a wheel barrow, it seems like a winning solution. What do you think?
There was a pitch clock at the National Baseball Congress summer league tourney in Wichita, KS, when I played in the Jayhawk League one summer a while back. I’m totally in favor… Stay on the mound, get the ball back from your catcher and go!
Up-tempo pitchers who work fast anyways probably won’t notice any change like these guys. (Not sure what year this data was compiled.)
A lot of relievers on this next list, though.
Pitchers who take their time walking around, rubbing the horsehide to death, then take that deep breath and let it out before every pitch are just dealing with nerves. Same thing with batters who adjust their batting glove, shake their head, study the grain in the bat… and so on, are just dealing with nerves. All in all, it helps settle a man down a bit.
Pro ball at the Majors level is pure pressure, grinding, gut wrenching pressure. The slightest tick off the park by someone somewhere who finds any reason to “pull the plug” on a guy - will do so. It’s a painful existence and not for the faint of heart.
I think baseball is a pastoral game to be watched and enjoyed for the leisure of it, then for the explosive spontaneity of it all. The jockeying for any advantage is a suspense all in itself.
I use to enjoy sitting back in my folding metal chair, rock on the back two legs and watch from my vantage point in the bullpen, all the “what if’s” going up in smoke as opportunity after opportunity ether came true or when down in smoke. Then I’d get a chuckle out of the young guys biting at the bit to get in, while the older guys would silently sit and whisper to themselves … oh crap, don’t call me, don’t call me…".
This is a hurry up and get it society. I’m glad I’m out of the business. Very few seem to enjoy the game for what it is and what it isn’t. I kind of miss the days (nights) when a jumping foot under my chair gave away my nervousness because I suggested something that was actually being tried, when a bottle of Kaopectate was always in my desk, and extra innings had a kid who jumped seats leaning against the rails waiting for what could happen next.
I guess I’m comfortable with the way things use to be - take your time, enjoy the moment. But then again, I didn’t have to worry about the fan’s moment of “I want it now.”
I generally agree with Coach B. I particularly enjoy the cat-and-mouse game between pitchers and base runners. But I will admit I find the velcro thing annoying.