Get Rid Of The Pitch Clock Before It’s Too Late
We’re now a few weeks into Spring Training, and opinions about MLB’s pitch clock are clear-cut.
“I think it’s pretty ridiculous. It’s way too fast,” New York Mets pitcher David Robertson said to the New York Post’s Steve Serby.
“…especially when you’re just trying to have a conversation with your catcher and you don’t have any time,”
“That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”
Robertson is going to make a lot of friends with the old-school baseball fan. What he’s arguing here is that MLB’s pitch clock rule is too rigid, goes too fast, and allows little to no leeway. Aside from the actual clock itself, Robertson argues that the change is too vast and that MLB didn’t need to implement this.
“Baseball, I don’t think needed that much of a change. I don’t think it needed the big bases and a pitch clock coming in. It’s already got enough things that have been added to it.” Robertson said.
So many baseball fans agree with the long-time reliever. Maybe if the pitch clock wasn’t 15 seconds with no runners on base. I have felt for a while that the 15-second rule was not enough, and it seems as if pitchers like Robertson agree with me.
One can argue that having less time to evaluate your pitch and concisely deliver the ball accurately is extremely dangerous to all parties involved. We saw that earlier this spring when Justin Turner was hit in the face with a pitch. It’s obvious that MLB doesn’t care about that.
What does MLB care about? I’d argue the only thing that matters to them is garnering the Gen Z crowd, the crowd that can’t even watch a baseball game because their attention spans are too short.
I don’t think anyone argues that the pitch clock isn’t doing what it’s designed to do. Because it is. Times of games have been shaved off. Is that going to translate into more viewers? If you ask me, no it absolutely will not.
Guess what, Rob Manfred. Just because you make the game a little bit faster, doesn’t mean you’re going to make the game any more interesting for someone who doesn’t care about it. Speeding up the game doesn’t pique interest for anyone. In fact, it does the opposite for the diehard baseball fan. Do you genuinely think that a hardcore baseball fan wants to watch less baseball every night? I don’t.
Look at the World Baseball Classic. Ratings for that tournament are absolutely through the roof. Why? I can certainly say that it’s not because of the pitch clock, because the WBC didn’t implement the new MLB rules into its tournament.
The WBC is popular because there’s intrigue, culture, and pride. All three of those things are integral to sports, and all three have been questionable in MLB these last few seasons.
By implementing the pitch clock for more than a season, all MLB is going to do is drive away their diehard fans by making the game less watchable, with more dumb mistakes and non-baseball errors. If you think holding the ball for 16 seconds on the mound should cost you, I don’t think you’re a fan of baseball. I think you’re a fan of something else entirely unrelated.
What the pitch clock is trying to do is reflect other sports that have action clocks. For example, the NFL’s play clock and the NBA’s shot clock. MLB’s pitch is entirely failing in this assignment. Why? Because the damn clock is 15 seconds long! In the NFL, teams have 40 seconds to snap the ball. Even in NBA, the clock runs for 24 seconds before a team gets a violation. But hucking a rock-sized baseball 100 miles an hour with pristine accuracy and placement? Yea, that only requires 15 seconds.
MLB needs to understand that the game itself is not the problem with its sport. They think that the integrity of the game, the art on the field that these players produce, is the reason why ratings are down in the sport. It’s really a spit in the face to anyone who ever picked up a baseball, but it’s even more disrespectful to MLB players on the field.
I have an idea of how to improve viewership: market your players by allowing everyone to watch your games. MLB’s blackouts have been the biggest problem in the sport since the streaming era broke into play in sports. MLB doesn’t even allow its fans to watch on MLB.tv in local markets, because of their bullshit blackout restrictions. But that’s a conversation for another day.
I can’t believe we’re actually going to have to sit through a full season of this awful pitch clock. The clock wouldn’t be this bad if it was simply more than 15 seconds in length. If you’re going to subject us to a pitch clock for your own greedy purposes, it should be at least 21+ seconds in length with no runners on, and 25+ seconds with runners on.
MLB doesn’t care about its fans. It cares about bringing in more people who don’t really care about the sport. They think they found the solution to all their viewership problems when in reality, they’re selling the integrity of the game for a shorter, less interesting one. They might drive away their base in the process.
Subscribe to Vendetta’s Twitch
Click Here for more MLB content
I agree! The pitch clock, if they REALLY have to have it should be used to control the most flagrantly slow pitchers. 15 seconds is way to quick to allow any strategy or safety for that matter.