Pitch Clock
Adding a pitch clock is a charade and nothing more. The evidence shows that adding a pitch clock will not speed up the game (Elsa/Getty Images)

The narrative in baseball needs to change. I am one of those people that loves baseball for what it is. I want my game to last 3-4 hours. I want my game to include defensive positioning that forces teams to do their homework. I want my game to feature as many bullpen changes as the manager wants because it involves strategy. I want my game to take as long as it takes because it’s the only sport that doesn’t include a clock. We should love baseball for what it is. Unfortunately, we have people that don’t have the mental fortitude to understand why baseball is a great sport to watch.

The fair whether baseball fans want things added that will ruin the game. limiting bullpen appearances, eliminating the shift, and adding a pitch clock are all things idiots want in place. The latter of the bunch, is nothing and I mean nothing more than a charade. Adding a pitch clock in baseball will do nothing. If it does do anything, it will only have negative consequences.

Red Sox pitcher David Price brought up an interesting point on Twitter when it comes to the pitch clock:

The timer for the pitch clock resets every time a pitcher steps off or he can do a fake move over to first. It’s stupid to add. What’s the point? What’s the upside? Quicken up the game? I don’t need my games to be faster. If I’m paying for a ticket, I want my moneys worth. What are you going to do? Eventually penalizing a pitcher for taking too long can only do one thing. Do you really want to force a pitcher to throw before he’s ready considering guys throw 100 now? Pitcher injuries are already a problem because humans are not built to move their arm like that. Now you want to rush someone? The entire premise is idiotic.

Price is right about another thing. Foul balls are what is slowing the game down. Here’s what the fivethirtyeight article states:

“Major League Baseball is eager to speed up our national pastime. In the past few offseasons, MLB has tried to combat the slowing pace of play by targeting pitching changes, intentional walks and mound visits. But another significant culprit behind the sport’s sluggish pace of play may be something that no pitch clock or simple rule change can fix: the foul ball.

The number of foul balls has increased by 11.98 percent from 1998, when baseball expanded to 30 teams, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis of Baseball-Reference.com data. There were almost 14,000 more foul balls last season than there were 20 seasons earlier. In 1998, 26.5 percent of all strikes were foul balls. That share increased to a record 27.9 percent of strikes in 2017 and 27.8 percent last season, the top rates since pitch-level data was first recorded in 1988.

Overall, there were 26,313 more pitches in baseball in 2018 (724,447) than in 1998 (698,134). That’s the equivalent of adding 88 games, or roughly a week, to the schedule.1 A record 3.9 pitches were thrown per plate appearance in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, according to Baseball-Reference.com, up from 3.73 pitches per plate appearance in 2002 and 3.58 in 1988. And about half of the growth in total pitches can be attributed to foul balls.

For the first time since pitch-level data has been recorded, there were more foul balls than balls put in play in 2017 — and that trend continued in 2018.”

Pitch Clock
(Five Thirty Eight)

The reason why there are more foul balls is because pitchers are throwing harder. That’s not a thing that’s going to change. Hitting a baseball is hard. Hitting one that’s 99 is a lot harder. Sometimes the best approach is just to foul off a tough pitch just to see the next one. There will continue to be more foul balls. That’s not changing.

Look, I’m not saying there aren’t things that can be fixed in baseball. You want more offensive in the game? Let’s start by adding the DH in the National League. The fact that the rules aren’t unified between the NL and AL makes zero sense. If the team wants to use the pitcher in the DH spot then fine. However, if you want to see more runs on the board, we shouldn’t be giving away free outs.

The pitch clock is not a fan issue. You know what the fan issue is? Baseball doesn’t know how to market their own sport. They come in like the USSR anytime you share a highlight clip. It’s a big reason why the NBA has flourished and baseball is stuck in the mud. Baseball has it’s issues but adding a pitch clock doesn’t solve any of them. In fact, it probably only makes things more complicated.