Pitch Clock Already in the MLB Rule Book
https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Pitch_clock This rule, 8.04 in Major League Baseball’s rule book, never seems to be enforced. Umpires never use stop watches. Pitchers take their time going through signals with catchers. Pitchcom eliminates the time it takes to go through the signs. That still begs the question why the baseball pitch clock rule has not been enforced? 2023 finally changes this for the majors.
Minor League Baseball Has Had One For Years
The Arizona Fall League first put in a pitch clock in 2014. AA and AAA followed suit the next season. With so much talk about the difficulty in hitters adjusting to a pitch clock there’s a whole generation of minor league hitters who have experience hitting with one. No talks about there readjustment to there not being one once they reach The Show.
In addition a pitch clock benefits not just pitchers, but the defenders behind them. Announcers often sited, a Hall of Fame pitcher with four Cy Young’s, for his quick time to the plate. Maddux, a 16 time Gold Glove defender, also kept the defense on its toes behind him, making better plays for him.
A minor league pitcher rarely turns into Maddux, but clearly the benefit the most initially from a faster pace of play. The better hitters, Mike Trout, Ronald Acuna Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr, just for a few examples, all should be able to adjust eventually. Talent wins out, after all.
Baseball Needs to Attract More Casual Fans
People who don’t like baseball often site the slow pace as a reason why. There’s little action and too few balls in play. Major League Baseball cannot do anything about balls in play, that’s up to the hitters. Enforcing a pitch clock appeases the casual fan. Purists may hate it but the more fans baseball attracts beyond the hard core audience the healthier the game becomes.
Baseball still needs to take other steps to attract more fans. This is a first step in them doing so. Competitive balance and marketing the games stars needs to happen as well for the games appeal to grow. Baseball needs to question everything its done over the past few decades as well. The game does not need to allow an intriguing crop of young talent to be forgotten. The sooner it realizes this the better, for the casual fan and purist alike.
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