Beat The Clock

Green Monster

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I do think the the pitch clock will have a positive influence however my first impression is that some tweaks are needed. For me the biggest issue is leaving it up to the umpire to determine if the hitter is "engaged". The rest of the rule is cut/dry factual (either the pitch is thrown in time or its not). By leaving it up to the umpire to determine engagement it just opens everything up for criticism and variation from ump to ump. I think the rule should be amended to the hitter needs to be in the box rather than trying to asses engagement. If he isn't ready that is only going to hurt him because at that point the pitch will be coming in 8 seconds.

We can call it the Brasier Amendment ....... Get in the F'n Box
 

Green Monster

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I still think there's no need for it to be a judgement call. Is the batter in the box? Simple yes/no question without any analysis of where he's looking. The impetus will be on the batter to know that if he's in the box he can be pitched to. It seems like such an obvious simple step to improve it, having umpires judging "alertness" just convolutes it without any real gain that I can see.
I agree 100% (was typing a similar reply as you posted this)
 

CoffeeNerdness

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I still think there's no need for it to be a judgement call. Is the batter in the box? Simple yes/no question without any analysis of where he's looking. The impetus will be on the batter to know that if he's in the box he can be pitched to. It seems like such an obvious simple step to improve it, having umpires judging "alertness" just convolutes it without any real gain that I can see.
I don't know if the attentiveness judgment call is the right solution, but, IMO, you 100% cannot have pitches delivered to an inattentive batter. The pitchers are throwing 100 mph missiles they don't have total control of. How would you feel if Triston Casas was in the box but not paying 100% attention and took a ball off his ribs and ended up missing six weeks? I'm sure some look-at-me ump will make a dumb call at some point in the future, but really, a batter in the box with his head turned to the mound isn't really a tough judgment call for any ump to make.

(Maybe I'm just scarred by the memory of a kid in 8th grade not paying attention to the gym teacher pitching softball and taking a perfectly arced pitch right off his melon)
 

Green Monster

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I don't know if the attentiveness judgment call is the right solution, but, IMO, you 100% cannot have pitches delivered to an inattentive batter. The pitchers are throwing 100 mph missiles they don't have total control of. How would you feel if Triston Casas was in the box but not paying 100% attention and took a ball off his ribs and ended up missing six weeks? I'm sure some look-at-me ump will make a dumb call at some point in the future, but really, a batter in the box with his head turned to the mound isn't really a tough judgment call for any ump to make.

(Maybe I'm just scarred by the memory of a kid in 8th grade not paying attention to the gym teacher pitching softball and taking a perfectly arced pitch right off his melon)
Understand your point and I don't think anyone is looking for anyone to get hurt. If you watched any of the action this weekend, the "engagement" rule does nothing to protect the hitter. For example, in yesterday's game Yoshida was batting, had stepped into the box, but at 8 seconds he was deemed "not engaged" and a strike was called. This happened as the pitcher was in his windup delivering the pitch (strike2). If he was going to get hit, the fact that a strike was called 2-seconds earlier changed nothing.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Understand your point and I don't think anyone is looking for anyone to get hurt. If you watched any of the action this weekend, the "engagement" rule does nothing to protect the hitter. For example, in yesterday's game Yoshida was batting, had stepped into the box, but at 8 seconds he was deemed "not engaged" and a strike was called. This happened as the pitcher was in his windup delivering the pitch (strike2). If he was going to get hit, the fact that a strike was called 2-seconds earlier changed nothing.
The kid on the Braves during the auto-strike heard 'round the world was looking at the dirt at his feet.
 

Toe Nash

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I fully support the pitch clock and I think it should be in effect for the playoffs too. But one thing about the game-ending call is that the catcher wasn't really ready at 8 seconds either. He was standing up and tugging at his wristband (shot at 8 seconds):
61687

I think a simplification would be very helpful. Instead of having to determine whether the batter is engaged with 8 seconds left and calling an automatic strike if not, just say that "with 8 or fewer seconds left, the pitcher may throw the ball (begin his windup) regardless of whether or not the batter is ready."

That way, you have basically the same penalty if the batter is dallying (assuming the pitcher can throw a strike) but way less ambiguity and potential argument. The pitcher and catcher could actually just move at their own pace regardless of whatever the batter is doing and the ump doesn't have to pay attention to three people at once. If no one is ready to pitch until 5 seconds or 2 seconds, no problem.

I get that we're supposed to make sure the batter is ready but if you're not ready in time, you forego that. Maybe a small safety issue but there would be no incentive for a pitcher to pitch inside. And if you're going to be a stickler for that we should have far more ejections and suspensions for purposeful headhunting that still goes on today if someone jogs around the bases too slowly.

I also think the 5-second difference with runners on base or not is needless complexity. Just have it 20 seconds at all times and most pitchers won't abuse it -- even if they go to 20 seconds each time it's not really a big deal.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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I don't know if the attentiveness judgment call is the right solution, but, IMO, you 100% cannot have pitches delivered to an inattentive batter. The pitchers are throwing 100 mph missiles they don't have total control of. How would you feel if Triston Casas was in the box but not paying 100% attention and took a ball off his ribs and ended up missing six weeks? I'm sure some look-at-me ump will make a dumb call at some point in the future, but really, a batter in the box with his head turned to the mound isn't really a tough judgment call for any ump to make.

(Maybe I'm just scarred by the memory of a kid in 8th grade not paying attention to the gym teacher pitching softball and taking a perfectly arced pitch right off his melon)
That hasn't been a problem over the past 100 years though, I'm not sure why it suddenly would be. They base their "alertness" on both the pitcher and the catcher's actions. What that Braves player did was completely understandable and didn't hold the game up at all - you go into "ready" mode just before the pitch is delivered, based on the actions of the pitcher and catcher. He can clearly see the catcher is not in position yet. The batter IS in a position where he's ready to go whenever they are and he is not the one holding up the pitch.
 

BigJimEd

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I fully support the pitch clock and I think it should be in effect for the playoffs too. But one thing about the game-ending call is that the catcher wasn't really ready at 8 seconds either. He was standing up and tugging at his wristband (shot at 8 seconds):
Catcher is allowed to be standing but needs to be in box at 9 seconds. I'd say that was debatable in this instance.

And for those saying it was an "obvious" call then why did not only the batter but Cora and other members of the Red Sox think the call was going against the Sox. The call was far from obvious to those involved.


That hasn't been a problem over the past 100 years though, I'm not sure why it suddenly would be. They base their "alertness" on both the pitcher and the catcher's actions. What that Braves player did was completely understandable and didn't hold the game up at all - you go into "ready" mode just before the pitch is delivered, based on the actions of the pitcher and catcher. He can clearly see the catcher is not in position yet. The batter IS in a position where he's ready to go whenever they are and he is not the one holding up the pitch.
Exactly this. Batter is not holding up the game in the slightest bit and should not be penalized. The more I think about the more absurd I think the call is.
 

joe dokes

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That hasn't been a problem over the past 100 years though, I'm not sure why it suddenly would be. They base their "alertness" on both the pitcher and the catcher's actions. What that Braves player did was completely understandable and didn't hold the game up at all - you go into "ready" mode just before the pitch is delivered, based on the actions of the pitcher and catcher. He can clearly see the catcher is not in position yet. The batter IS in a position where he's ready to go whenever they are and he is not the one holding up the pitch.
The catcher still standing *has* to be taken into consideration. At the same time, I dont think there's a rule that mandates that the catcher has to squat. So "8 seconds or when the catcher is ready, whichever is later," might not help.
 

Rasputin

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We can and will actually. Regardless of how you feel about it. Do you not assign any personal responsibility to the batter here? The onus is on the player to abide by the rule. The only person who deserves blame is him. The rule is no secret.
Eh, it's hard for me to assign blame in a bullshit situation like this, but he certainly was a dingus.
 

Green Monster

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What is the objective of this rule? Speed the pace of play, correct?? The rule really doesn't have to micro-manage every aspect (batter in box at 8, catcher ready @9, hands raised @11, windup starting @13 thats just too complicated) …pitch needs to be delivered by 15/20 second mark, period. The other stuff doesn't change the pace of play if it still results in a pitch every 15sec. The other things will fall in place on their own.

I would also agree with the 20 secs across the board idea mentioned upthread, rather than trying to change it back and forth based on runners on base.
 

pedro1999mvp

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One of the beauties of baseball is that it's a game without a clock. I understand wanting games to be shorter, but at the same time, most people that are complaining aren't hardcore baseball fans. Best way to shorten the game without hurting the integrity of the game would be less commercials, but let's be honest; that isn't happening. I hate the new rules. I hate the "ghost runner", hate the clock, hate that pitchers have to face 3 batters, especially on days when they just don't have their good stuff.

In this case, it's just totally moronic. It's like Manfred told the umpires: "Make sure to enforce this new rule even if it isn't affecting the pace of play." There needs to be some common sense if we are going to insist on these new stupid rules. The catcher wasn't ready, so how is the hitter holding up the pace of play? And to end the game that way...take a poll of every single fan, Braves and Red Sox, leaving the park that day and ask them if they wanted the game to end that way. I guarantee a near 100% didn't want that. So, if this is for the fans, but the fans overwhelmingly didn't want it, then is it really for the fans? Manfred and this "new baseball" is not good for the game.
 

Youkilis vs Wild

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One of the beauties of baseball is that it's a game without a clock. I understand wanting games to be shorter, but at the same time, most people that are complaining aren't hardcore baseball fans. Best way to shorten the game without hurting the integrity of the game would be less commercials, but let's be honest; that isn't happening. I hate the new rules. I hate the "ghost runner", hate the clock, hate that pitchers have to face 3 batters, especially on days when they just don't have their good stuff.
Isn't this sort of the point, though? Baseball needs desperately to expand its shrinking and aging fanbase. That's what these rules are designed to do. Not to say they'll succeed, but that has to be at least one lens when analyzing the rules.
 

8slim

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One of the beauties of baseball is that it's a game without a clock. I understand wanting games to be shorter, but at the same time, most people that are complaining aren't hardcore baseball fans. Best way to shorten the game without hurting the integrity of the game would be less commercials, but let's be honest; that isn't happening. I hate the new rules. I hate the "ghost runner", hate the clock, hate that pitchers have to face 3 batters, especially on days when they just don't have their good stuff.

In this case, it's just totally moronic. It's like Manfred told the umpires: "Make sure to enforce this new rule even if it isn't affecting the pace of play." There needs to be some common sense if we are going to insist on these new stupid rules. The catcher wasn't ready, so how is the hitter holding up the pace of play? And to end the game that way...take a poll of every single fan, Braves and Red Sox, leaving the park that day and ask them if they wanted the game to end that way. I guarantee a near 100% didn't want that. So, if this is for the fans, but the fans overwhelmingly didn't want it, then is it really for the fans? Manfred and this "new baseball" is not good for the game.
As to the bolded, that's simply not true. There was a great podcast with Theo a couple summers ago where he discussed, at length, the research MLB has done on issues like pace of play, game action, etc. They saw a lot of alignment between highly avid baseball fans and more casual fans.

All of these changes are to try and make the game more compelling for everyone, of all fandom stripes. I'm here for it. The recent vintage of the game can be excrutiating, IMHO, and I'm a "hardcore fan".
 

Sin Duda

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I'm a big fan of the pitch clock and extreme shift elimination. I'm more of a traditionalist, but this brings the game closer to what it was 30 years ago. I can barely stay awake for a 4 hour Yankees - Red Sox tilt, and I'm a die hard fan. I'm open to moving the mound back too, if it reduces the strikeouts.
 

LogansDad

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One of the beauties of baseball is that it's a game without a clock.
The thing is, though, it still doesn't have a clock, at least not in the sense that this statement is trying to convey. There still isn't a "final buzzer", like there are in other sports, and the game could, in theory, go on forever, even with the pitch clock installed. The reason we love "baseball without a clock", is because you never know what can happen. In a hockey game with 2 minutes left and one team up by 4, the game is effectively over. Same goes for football, basketball, soccer.

What's different about baseball is that the outs are the clock. We don't love baseball "not having a clock" because it takes a full minute between pitches and games regularly take 3 hours and 45 minutes plus.

I am a huge fan of baseball. I want to watch the Red Sox play every night. But I am also a busy, middle aged due with 3 kids, and being able to watch the games while getting 30-45 minutes of my regular life back is a pretty awesome deal.
 

Sleepy108

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I am interested in seeing what if any impact the clock has on base stealing. Does this make it more difficult for a pitcher to hold a runner on and/or does it give more of an advantage to the runner breaking toward the next base with 2 or 3 seconds left on the clock?
 

effectivelywild

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I am interested in seeing what if any impact the clock has on base stealing. Does this make it more difficult for a pitcher to hold a runner on and/or does it give more of an advantage to the runner breaking toward the next base with 2 or 3 seconds left on the clock?
I read at least one pitcher (maybe Scherzer) opine that with runners on there will be an incentive for the pitcher to not take the full time because of the huge edge a runner could get if the clock was at 2 seconds and the pitcher hadn't started yet. He also said that he felt like the clock gave more power to the pitcher (because he can control the flow of the game more) but there has also been research that showed that pitchers who took more time in between pitches were able to maintain their velocity for longer in a game, so we may see fewer "max effort" pitches. In theory, there's the possibility for a faster game with more contact. We'll have to see how it actually goes, obviously.
 

The Gray Eagle

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I still think there's no need for it to be a judgement call. Is the batter in the box? Simple yes/no question without any analysis of where he's looking. The impetus will be on the batter to know that if he's in the box he can be pitched to. It seems like such an obvious simple step to improve it, having umpires judging "alertness" just convolutes it without any real gain that I can see.
I would prefer this, but on the other hand, hitters are going to be staying in the box between pitches now, even when they are looking for signals from the coaches, so they need to have a chance to get set so they don't get quick-pitched.
 

sodenj5

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I am interested in seeing what if any impact the clock has on base stealing. Does this make it more difficult for a pitcher to hold a runner on and/or does it give more of an advantage to the runner breaking toward the next base with 2 or 3 seconds left on the clock?
Would imagine we see good base stealers exploit this, which should in turn signal to pitchers that they need to be ready faster in order to hold runners more effectively.

We’ll probably see some back and forth, but Scherzer said he felt pitchers had some significant advantages in their favor with pacing the action.
 

luckiestman

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Great. Stolen bases having value should make the game more fun. Let’s see some baseball.
The “baseball is good because it doesn’t have a clock” falls very flat to me. Pitchers need to throw the ball and batters need to keep their ass in the box. If the clock makes that happen, that is also great.
 

AB in DC

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That is what the ump rang him up for?

This has gotta be the dumbest rule on the planet.

It does nothing to speed up the game. It does nothing to increase the entertainment value. And if this happens in a regular season game people are gonna go apeshit, and for good reason.

Leave it to Manfred to take the most important rule change in literally 50 years and screw it up this badly.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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That is what the ump rang him up for?

This has gotta be the dumbest rule on the planet.

It does nothing to speed up the game. It does nothing to increase the entertainment value. And if this happens in a regular season game people are gonna go apeshit, and for good reason.

Leave it to Manfred to take the most important rule change in literally 50 years and screw it up this badly.
I am not sure how you can say it does nothing to speed up the game, when it literally / quantitatively speeds up the game.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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The fact that it was the 9th inning in a ST game means that the players were under this rule all of last year, so they should be the least surprised (as opposed to Machado). The pitcher was ready, the batter wasn’t. It saves 2 minutes of “batter calls time for no reason. Pitcher walks around the mound. Everyone is ready, pitcher holds and holds and holds until the batter calls time…”
 

Yo La Tengo

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The thing is, though, it still doesn't have a clock, at least not in the sense that this statement is trying to convey. There still isn't a "final buzzer", like there are in other sports, and the game could, in theory, go on forever, even with the pitch clock installed. The reason we love "baseball without a clock", is because you never know what can happen. In a hockey game with 2 minutes left and one team up by 4, the game is effectively over. Same goes for football, basketball, soccer.

What's different about baseball is that the outs are the clock. We don't love baseball "not having a clock" because it takes a full minute between pitches and games regularly take 3 hours and 45 minutes plus.

I am a huge fan of baseball. I want to watch the Red Sox play every night. But I am also a busy, middle aged due with 3 kids, and being able to watch the games while getting 30-45 minutes of my regular life back is a pretty awesome deal.
I agree and I like the simplicity of outs playing the role of a clock in other sports.

This new rule implements a timer rather than a clock.
 

KingChre

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Eh, it's hard for me to assign blame in a bullshit situation like this, but he certainly was a dingus.
Thanks for taking the time to respond. After I re-read my post I wasn't thrilled with my tone. I disagree with your overall point but I didn't mean to be a douche about it either.

For me personally, I just think these changes are all necessary evils. I can come up with situations that would make the rule updates seem ridiculous but I think they are largely going to help save the game we are all so passionate about. The numbers displaying the decline of this sport are all out there. I don't think we need to rehash this here. I think it is abundantly clear that the game needs to be updated for a modern audience. These changes may lead to some frustration but I genuinely believe they will lead to a better game once all the bugs have been worked out.
 

Rasputin

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Thanks for taking the time to respond. After I re-read my post I wasn't thrilled with my tone. I disagree with your overall point but I didn't mean to be a douche about it either.

For me personally, I just think these changes are all necessary evils. I can come up with situations that would make the rule updates seem ridiculous but I think they are largely going to help save the game we are all so passionate about. The numbers displaying the decline of this sport are all out there. I don't think we need to rehash this here. I think it is abundantly clear that the game needs to be updated for a modern audience. These changes may lead to some frustration but I genuinely believe they will lead to a better game once all the bugs have been worked out.
I definitely love the pace of play, but I come from a place where they've been saying baseball needs to be saved for forty years and it's still here.
 

Harry Hooper

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Beyond the more enjoyable pace and the potential downside of game changing violations will there be a noticeable sea changer in hitter v. batter stats over the course of the season? My initial gut impression is that these rules will favor the pitchers. I think it's advantageous for a pitcher to have a consistent flow that can't get disrupted by timeout gamesmanship or a hitter stepping out every pitch adjusting their gloves, giving their jock the ol' readjust, and generally being able to control the rhythm of any given AB. Less throwing over to first may help maintain focus on the hitter too.

Also, Merloni was mentioning that in the MiLB that some teams used the strategy of purposely taking a balk by throwing over to first a third time. Did I mishear what he was saying because I'm not sure I get the point of that. He called it "balk strategy."
Intentional balks have happened in MLB before the rule changes for 2023.

LINK
 

YTF

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One of the beauties of baseball is that it's a game without a clock. I understand wanting games to be shorter, but at the same time, most people that are complaining aren't hardcore baseball fans. Best way to shorten the game without hurting the integrity of the game would be less commercials, but let's be honest; that isn't happening. I hate the new rules. I hate the "ghost runner", hate the clock, hate that pitchers have to face 3 batters, especially on days when they just don't have their good stuff.

In this case, it's just totally moronic. It's like Manfred told the umpires: "Make sure to enforce this new rule even if it isn't affecting the pace of play." There needs to be some common sense if we are going to insist on these new stupid rules. The catcher wasn't ready, so how is the hitter holding up the pace of play? And to end the game that way...take a poll of every single fan, Braves and Red Sox, leaving the park that day and ask them if they wanted the game to end that way. I guarantee a near 100% didn't want that. So, if this is for the fans, but the fans overwhelmingly didn't want it, then is it really for the fans? Manfred and this "new baseball" is not good for the game.
YMMV as to what constitutes a hardcore baseball fan, but speaking as a guy who has been watching and enjoying the game since the late 60's and I will tell you that I long for the days when games where regularly played in two and a half hours or less. In theory I hate the clock or rather the need for one, but I welcome it's arrival.
 

Max Power

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How much of that is a problem with the game and how much of it is just changing tastes?
40 years ago the pace of play was similar to what it is with the pitch clock. The game might not have been as popular back in the day if it was 4 minutes between balls in play like it was last year.
 

cornwalls@6

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YMMV as to what constitutes a hardcore baseball fan, but speaking as a guy who has been watching and enjoying the game since the late 60's and I will tell you that I long for the days when games where regularly played in two and a half hours or less. In theory I hate the clock or rather the need for one, but I welcome it's arrival.
Yup, same here. I’ve been watching for roughly the same number of years, and there is nothing pure, or old school about about 3 hour+ nine inning games. I wish they could self-police without a clock, but decades of players being enabled to dawdle around has made those habits too entrenched to be broken without the clock in place, and without a strict enforcement of it. I really think by opening day, most of the players will adjust, and by seasons end, it will completely feel like the new, and improved, normal.
 

JM3

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Thought this was kind of interesting from Fitz...





Wonder if they're cranking it up faster to make people adjust sooner? Or just a one-off?
 

geoflin

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I've been watching and going to games since the 50's and remember when games were regularly 2 1/2 hours or so, sometimes even less. A summer doubleheader would begin at 1:00 and finish without the need for lights. I've loved the pace of the first few games this year.
 

Green Monster

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40 years ago the pace of play was similar to what it is with the pitch clock. The game might not have been as popular back in the day if it was 4 minutes between balls in play like it was last year.
I don't disagree with your general point, but keep in mind that the amount of commercials are significantly more now than in the 1980's which means the actual baseball time is less
 
Last edited:

Green Monster

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I am not sure how you can say it does nothing to speed up the game, when it literally / quantitatively speeds up the game.
The pace of the game is improved by the pitch being delivered within 15 seconds. It is not improved by the batter looking at the pitcher in 9 seconds. The batter was charged with a strike because he had not engaged the pitcher despite the catcher not ready to catch a pitch.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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The pace of the game is improved by the pitch being delivered within 15 seconds. It is not improved by the batter looking at the pitcher in 9 seconds. The batter was charged with a strike because he had not engaged the pitcher despite the catcher not ready to catch a pitch.
There is nothing in the rule about the catcher though. It is pitcher/ batter. Pitcher was ready, batter wasn’t.
 

dhappy42

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The pace of the game is improved by the pitch being delivered within 15 seconds. It is not improved by the batter looking at the pitcher in 9 seconds. The batter was charged with a strike because he had not engaged the pitcher despite the catcher not ready to catch a pitch.
Yes, it’s be better if the clock only applied to the pitcher and if the batter isn’t in the box and ready when the pitch is thrown, tough.
 

LogansDad

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BaseballJones

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That is what the ump rang him up for?

This has gotta be the dumbest rule on the planet.

It does nothing to speed up the game. It does nothing to increase the entertainment value. And if this happens in a regular season game people are gonna go apeshit, and for good reason.

Leave it to Manfred to take the most important rule change in literally 50 years and screw it up this badly.
I am not really understanding what happened. He was in the box. If he was in the box on time, but wasn't paying attention to the pitcher, then the pitcher has the right to throw the pitch. It's on the batter to pay attention in there.

The rule should be he gets in the box within the time limit. If he THEN decides to do a ten second Willie Mays Hayes routine, the pitcher has no need to wait for him to finish. As soon as the pitcher is ready to throw, and the batter is in the box, the pitcher can let it go.
 

LogansDad

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The pace of the game is improved by the pitch being delivered within 15 seconds. It is not improved by the batter looking at the pitcher in 9 seconds. The batter was charged with a strike because he had not engaged the pitcher despite the catcher not ready to catch a pitch.
One of the things I think that people are misunderstanding is that the pitch clock isn't a new rule because of pitchers being too slow. It is a new rule because of pitchers AND batters being too slow. Seriously, go check out the Scherzer interview referenced above, it happened about a week ago and he is a really smart dude and it makes a lot of sense. If they don't hold the batter accountable in some way for being in the box and ready on time, it becomes impossible for the pitcher to pitch. Sure, you can say "just throw it and if the batter isn't ready then so be it", but it isn't easy to pitch to a dude when his head is turned (most of these pitchers don't want to kill the dude in the box, and you never really know when the ball is just going to slip). It's the responsibility of both, and both will be held accountable as such.

There will be hiccups this first week, and I don't doubt that there will be a small relaxation of it. The Fitzy interview from today was interesting to me, because in AA the umpire would signal to the clock keeper when to start the clock and when to reset it, etc., but it sounds like it is all on the clock keeper right now. I fully expect that to change if it is the case and the umpires will have a little more control, but we shall see.
 

dhappy42

Straw Man
Oct 27, 2013
15,797
Michigan
This is not a rule in place for any kind of competitive balance issues, it's solely to make the game more enjoyable to watch. That's marketing. But allow me to rephrase. We can't have important games decided by stupid shit like this. See also, the balk that comes from dropping a ball by accident. It's bullshit.
Speaking of balks, MLB should eliminate the balk rule altogether now that pitchers are allowed only two pickoff moves. It'd speed up the game even more. Bill James has been suggesting this for years.
The Balk Rule is the worst rule in baseball. It’s intended to protect the baserunner, to give the baserunner a fair chance to get a lead and steal a base. The essence of the rule is that, with a runner on base, the pitcher must come to a complete and visible stop in the middle of his delivery. No, that’s not right; it actually requires a SECOND complete and visible stop, after taking the "stretch" position.

But that plays hell with the pace of the game. The rule should be that if the pitcher has the ball and is on the mound, he can pitch—period. He can throw from any angle, he can throw at any time, and no nonsense about coming to a stop in the middle of his delivery. There is no reason to require or describe a "stretch" position. If the batter is not in the batter’s box, that’s his problem. If he’s not ready to hit, that’s his problem. Get ready. Stay ready. If the baserunner isn’t ready, that’s his problem.

And the same for the baserunner—he can break any time that the pitcher has the ball and is on the mound. If the pitcher’s not ready, that’s his problem. It adds a lot more tension to the game if that’s the rule.
https://www.billjamesonline.com/balk__balk/
 
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Max Power

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SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
8,148
Boston, MA
I don't disagree with your general point, but keep in mind that the amount of commercials are significantly more now than in the 1980's which means the actual baseball time is less
Between inning breaks are a minute and 45 seconds for regular season games. You can't go much shorter than that and still have time for players to take the field and the pitcher to get his warmup tosses in. There's an extra commercial in the playoffs, but the vast majority of games have similar breaks to 40 years ago.
 

allmanbro

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
363
Portland, Maine
I don't disagree with your general point, but keep in mind that the amount of commercials are significantly more now than in the 1980's which means the actual baseball time is less
I agree that long commercial breaks are terrible, and should go away. But people have studied this, and those are (probably) not a major factor in the increase in game time. The biggest causes are time between pitches, and number of pitches thrown - especially pitches per plate appearance because Ks and BBs need more pitches.

Here's one article, which cites a few others: https://sabr.org/journal/article/why-do-games-take-so-long/