Spring Training has officially sprung, and among the hottest of all burning questions revolves around the new MLB pitch clock rule. Will it completely ruin the game as some fans have feared? Or will it be the magical action accelerator that others had hoped for?
The MLB Pitch Clock
First, the MLB Pitch Clock must be understood. The pitchers get 15 seconds to release the ball with no runners on, and 20 seconds with runners on base. The pitcher must release the ball by "0". Batters, on the other hand, must be in the box by the 8 second mark. If not, a strike is rewarded.
I can only speak for my personal experience, but when watching the Yankees and Blue Jays broadcasted from SN (through MLB Network), I do not notice a difference. Just watching the game, I do not find myself noticing any quicker pitch delivery rate. I feel like this is a good thing, because it settles the fear that baseball will become unrecognizable and uncharacteristic. At the end of the day, the pitch clock is not for the average pitcher or hitter.
The pitch clock is for the very few individuals who take a distinguished long time. The point being, the game won’t be sped up in the short term play-by-play experience. The true effects will be experienced over the length of the game in its entirety when many scattered saved seconds at up after the course of 2 hours. With that being understood, we will not know it’s effectiveness until at least the mid way point in the season.
A Fan"s View of the MLB Pitch Clock
I also have no sense of the clock, since the on-field clock is out of the TV frame and SN does not have their own clock available on the screen. I feel like this is a flaw because as a viewer, I am not blind to a big part of the game. I was unable to view the Yankees vs Braves game on the YES App during the same afternoon, but I was able to see clips posted on social media.
It appeals YES Network will be showing the clock in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen as the time approaches it’s end. The clock they chose to use is massive and frankly distracting to me. My humble opinion after this first weekend, is that networks should display the clock as apart of the scoreboard graphic, at a size no bigger than what they display balls and strikes.
This way, any viewers who want to be conscious of it know where to find it, while keeping it from becoming distracting to the game.
The First MLB Pitch Clock Blunder
The one thing that absolutely cannot happen under any circumstance, is what happened in the Red Sox vs Braves game: the clock penalty caused the strike 3 call that ended the game. Games should absolutely not be allowed to end on these clock penalties under any circumstance.
MLB has to pass a rule to enforce that. The rule should either blankly say the pitch clock neatly cannot end the game, or maybe the pitch clock gets turned off after the 7th inning. Something along those lines must be done.
What are your thoughts on the MLB pitch clock rule so far?
Main image credit Embed from Getty Images