MLB's Pitch Clock

MLB's Pitch Clock


MLB's Pitch Clock


Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Baseball has always been defined as “America’s pastime.”

Not America’s full-time, or part-time, but pastime. Baseball games are perfect to put on when you need something to put on in the background, whether that’s yard work or homework.

Your brain tunes out the monotone sound of the announcer in-between plays, the lulling buzz of the ballpark sounds, and the whoosh of the ball making its way to the catcher’s mitt. Only does your ear catch an exciting play because the announcer raises their voice to highlight the fact that something other than the pitcher throwing the ball to his catcher happened.

But going to a baseball game itself and actively tuning in to watch one on TV hasn’t been as exciting for the average fan in recent times.

For the last decade, complaints over Major League Baseball’s game length have been a hotly-discussed topic by, fans, executives, and even the commissioner himself. The average time of a game ticked upwards from the low-2-hour to the mid-2-hour and the high-2-hour, until the straw finally broke the MLB camel’s back with games clocking in at an average of almost three hours and 15 minutes. Finally, MLB was prompted to add a pitch clock this season.

Now, the pitcher has 15 seconds to throw to a batter with nobody on base and 20 if there’s a man on. The batter has eight seconds to step into the batter’s box. Gone are the days of hitters stepping out, readjusting their gloves, taking a few swings, and stepping back in. It’s now seeing the pitch, stepping out for a bit, then going right back in and anticipating what the pitcher has to offer next.

Many fans have stated that it’s “ruining baseball.” But here’s the thing.

It’s what baseball used to be.

Take, for example, game six of the 1993 World Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. In Darren Daulton’s at-bat at the 52:45 mark, it took 16-17 seconds between Dave Stewart throwing to home plate and the next pitch where Daulton hit a double into left field. 

That was 30 years ago. 

The times have changed. Baseball has strayed away from what it used to be over the last few decades, and now the pitch clock is slowly bringing the sport back to what it used to be.

Isn’t that what purists are all about? Ensuring baseball stays to what it was oh so long ago?

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