BALL! If you are watching baseball from home, or even decide to go to the stadium to see your favorite baseball team, you expect the game to flow. The hopes are that the audience won’t have to sit back and wait for some action – even in baseball. Pitchers normally take their own time to pitch the ball (within the time they are allowed to do so), and that happens due to several factors: attempt to lower the pressure on themselves or from the opponent, focus on their pitching strategy, try to distract their adversary – when a player may try to leave from first base to second base, and having more time to try to predict the batter’s move and connect with the catcher. Pitcher is the most difficult position in baseball – a lot of what they do may change the course of the game. So, the remaining question is: Is the pitch clock a blessing or a curse?
Back on January 15, 2015, the Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that they would institute a 20-second pitch clock. Fast forward to September 9, 2022, MLB committed voted to change the pitch clock rule again, and a 15 second timer is expected to happen in the beginning of 2023. If you think you can’t do anything in 5 seconds, a pitcher may disagree. For a player who needs to make a decision that may compromise the game, 5 seconds can make the difference. However, the time that pitchers may take to pitch the ball also commits the game to a longer duration. Baseball games can last for over 3 hours. A baseball source on Twitter “The Double Switch Postseason Podcast” has posted a poll where 68.4% of the fans have voted that pitch clock will have a positive effect on the game.
During an interview to the ESPN SportsCenter, the MLB commissioner Rob Manfred expressed, “I don’t want to prejudge the process as far as handicapping it. I will say this: We’ve experimented extensively with the pitch clock in the minor leagues. It does help in terms of the pace of the game. It does help also in terms of the way the game is played, meaning more action, so it is something that remains high on the priority list of ownership.” On the other hand, the Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt has claimed that the pitch clock had nothing to do with pitchers, but hitters. “Pitching is better than it’s ever been, the hitters need time. For them not to have time and then you say you want offense, I don’t know. You want offense, but now you are trying to speed them up? Good luck.” Should we call out for a hitter clock?
The pitch clock has its pros and cons, while the cons lean toward the pitcher who may have to deal with an extra pressure, the pros seem to go towards the fans who expect a high-speed game and the media. With pitchers being forced to make a move sooner rather later, cameras will be standing out to catch unprecedented moments, and broadcasters will likely have a lot more to comment on. “Can the pitch clock start sooner than Opening Day 2023? Like, tonight?” MLB Network Correspondent Kevin McAlpin said on his twitter account.