Beat The Clock

NDame616

will bailey
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Jul 31, 2006
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So the NHL is known for changing rules on the fly correct? Is there any mechanism for MLB to see how things go in ST and adjust mid season? Or will that be a fight with the Union?

After the Sox put an extra OF in right, I was wondering if MLB was going to tweak the shift rules.
 

RobertS975

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Jul 28, 2005
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I have now been to 2 games at JetBlue this Spring. I certainly enjoy the faster pace of the game. A few observations... the process if starting the pitch clock is being done in a sensible manner. If a ball is fouled off, the clock doesn't start immediately. It only starts after the fielders return to their positions, the foul ball is retrieved, and the pitcher has a new ball. Devers got knocked down by an inside pitch yesterday and he was given quite a bit of time to dust off and regain his composure.

Now I would like to eventually get to the point where I stop fixating on the damned pitch clock and actually watch the game! I suspect that the novelty will wear off soon, and that will happen.
 

splendid splinter

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So the NHL is known for changing rules on the fly correct? Is there any mechanism for MLB to see how things go in ST and adjust mid season? Or will that be a fight with the Union?

After the Sox put an extra OF in right, I was wondering if MLB was going to tweak the shift rules.
I highly doubt they’d do it based on that one shift. They knew moving OF around was a possibility when they instituted the new rule. It’s also much more risky than shifting IF. If you hit a ball to the left side on an infield shift you’re probably getting a single, the LF will scoop it up unless you hit a rocket down the line, which would probably have been a double anyway. Shift the OF and any hit to LF is a double at minimum. I don’t think we’ll see it used often enough that MLB feels any need to intervene.
 

8slim

has trust issues
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Nov 6, 2001
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Sox/Astros today....hitter apparently called for Not engaging the pitcher. Nobody knows what is going on. Youk is trying to provide comentary and he is clearly confused...."we have no way of knowing what is going on".

It just seems like a $hit show
So there’s confusion on one pitch out of thousands this week and it’s a “shit show”?

Counterpoint: it’s the best thing to happen to baseball in years. Perhaps decades.
 

dhappy42

Straw Man
Oct 27, 2013
15,828
Michigan
So the NHL is known for changing rules on the fly correct? Is there any mechanism for MLB to see how things go in ST and adjust mid season? Or will that be a fight with the Union?

After the Sox put an extra OF in right, I was wondering if MLB was going to tweak the shift rules.
It'd be difficult if not impossible to tweak the no-shift rule to prevent an outfielder from playing shallow right.
 

RobertS975

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Jul 28, 2005
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If teams pull that outfield shift with any degree of frequency, we may be treated to a few more inside the park HRs! On a ball sliced down to LF line to the wall, who gets to it first? The SS or the CF who was shifted towards right?
 

LogansDad

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If teams pull that outfield shift with any degree of frequency, we may be treated to a few more inside the park HRs! On a ball sliced down to LF line to the wall, who gets to it first? The SS or the CF who was shifted towards right?
That's the thing, Gallo might be the only person in the league it gets done to. There are just so few players with his profile, I can't see it being done with any real frequency... and, to be honest, I doubt it gets done against him anywhere outside of Fenway (or JetBlue, as the case may be).
 

NDame616

will bailey
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Jul 31, 2006
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And my OF shift example was just one tweak. I wonder if after ST games they will see what works/doesn't and possibly tinker a little leading up to the season
 

Sin Duda

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I don't like the zone idea. So long as one OFer is within each half of the outfield, that should work. The rule written this way allows an OFer to play as a fifth infielder in dire situations, which I've always loved. Anyone remember some famous 5th infielder deployments by the Sox?
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Jan 10, 2004
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I don't like the zone idea. So long as one OFer is within each half of the outfield, that should work. The rule written this way allows an OFer to play as a fifth infielder in dire situations, which I've always loved. Anyone remember some famous 5th infielder deployments by the Sox?
…. or the tie game, home team batting, runner on third with less than two out, seven-infielders scenario
 

simplicio

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Apr 11, 2012
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Does this make sense? If I am reading that correctly, the 2023 average time between pitches (15.2s w/ nobody on) is longer than the allowable time. Wouldn't that imply that roughly half the pitches are over the limit?
That's time between actual pitches. They don't start the clock the second the catcher receives the ball.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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Does this make sense? If I am reading that correctly, the 2023 average time between pitches (15.2s w/ nobody on) is longer than the allowable time. Wouldn't that imply that roughly half the pitches are over the limit?
There is probably a few seconds for the clock to be reset after some pitches. Especially for a foul ball, or new batter, etc.
 

Blizzard of 1978

@drballs
Sep 12, 2022
503
New Hampshire
I am loving the speed of these games. I have a few friends who are into NFL and NBA and they are telling me they will try out some MLB Games. They said that speed of MLB game(slow) was a main reason why they left. So they told me this pitch clock might bring them back.
 

Max Power

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That's the thing, Gallo might be the only person in the league it gets done to. There are just so few players with his profile, I can't see it being done with any real frequency... and, to be honest, I doubt it gets done against him anywhere outside of Fenway (or JetBlue, as the case may be).
To add a visual aid to this, here are three spray charts for lefties Gallo, Rizzo, and Devers. Rizzo and Devers, like most lefties, pull the ball on the ground but spray fly balls fairly evenly in the outfield. Gallo pulls pretty much everything, with just a smattering of fly balls to the opposite field. He'd be one of the few you'd ever employ a shift like this against.

61905



61906



61907
 

simplicio

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What happens if a pitcher gets the ball, then asks for a different one?
I'm not clear about this either, does it count as one of their two disengagements with a runner on? Or do they just reset the timer when he gets the new one?
 

Green Monster

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Just tuned into the Twin vs Pirates on MLB Network. They have a very prominant clock behind home plate.....Batter just struckout with nobody on and the catcher threw the ball around the infield as normal. At that point the clock reset to 30 seconds. Pitcher threw the next pitch with 8 seconds left.....I am more confused now. Isn't it supposed to be 15 seconds with nobody on base? Where does the 30 seconds come into play??

Edit: Next inning seems more in-line with what I would expect. Clock resetting to 20 seconds (man on first) once the pitcher catches the throw back from the catcher.
 

LogansDad

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Just tuned into the Twin vs Pirates on MLB Network. They have a very prominant clock behind home plate.....Batter just struckout with nobody on and the catcher threw the ball around the infield as normal. At that point the clock reset to 30 seconds. Pitcher threw the next pitch with 8 seconds left.....I am more confused now. Isn't it supposed to be 15 seconds with nobody on base? Where does the 30 seconds come into play??
It is 30 seconds between batters. 15 seconds between pitches with nobody on, and 20 seconds between pitches with runners on.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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I'm not clear about this either, does it count as one of their two disengagements with a runner on? Or do they just reset the timer when he gets the new one?
The clock is paused until the pitcher gets the new ball (it's not reset).
 

splendid splinter

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So the catcher can slow things down by not throwing the pitcher the ball right away?

What happens if a pitcher gets the ball, then asks for a different one?
I suppose so. But the ump will put a stop to that if he sees that the catcher is trying to slow the game down.

I’m not sure why people are fantasizing about weird ways the system could be gamed. It’s not going to happen, everyone will adjust.

Edit: Not intended to be an attack on you, dhappy. I just don’t think there are going to be issues with this. Guys like Scherzer will test the limits of it but the umps control the game and they’re not going to let the players fuck it up. If you don’t play ball (pun intended) you’re going to get run.
 
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dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
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Michigan
I suppose so. But the ump will put a stop to that if he sees that the catcher is trying to slow the game down.

I’m not sure why people are fantasizing about weird ways the system could be gamed. It’s not going to happen, everyone will adjust.

Edit: Not intended to be an attack on you, dhappy. I just don’t think there are going to be issues with this. Guys like Scherzer will test the limits of it but the umps control the game and they’re not going to let the players fuck it up. If you don’t play ball (pun intended) you’re going to get run.
It’s not fantasizing. As you note, players like Scherzer are already trying to game the clock to obtain competitive advantage.

I’ve been to a couple of MiLB games with the clock and didn’t notice any gamesmanship. If MLB sorts out that way over time, great.
 

splendid splinter

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It’s not fantasizing. As you note, players like Scherzer are already trying to game the clock to obtain competitive advantage.

I’ve been to a couple of MiLB games with the clock and didn’t notice any gamesmanship. If MLB sorts out that way over time, great.
For sure, early on some guys are going to see what they can get away with. I assume MLB is serious about this and the answer will ultimately be - not very much.

As you noted, this wasn't an issue in MiLB. Honestly, while I understand the desire to fix the issue immediately at the MLB level, just instituting a pitch clock in the minors would probably have solved the problem in a few years. Pitchers and hitters are creatures of habit, I doubt guys who'd gone their entire professional careers getting in the box or throwing a pitch quickly would suddenly change that routine once they got to the majors. But MLB didn't want to chance it or wait that long, which makes sense.
 

OfTheCarmen

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Jul 18, 2007
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Attempts to "game the system" like calling for new balls too often and catcher delaying the toss back/etc are completely different than what Scherzer was doing. Scherzer did absolutely nothing outside the rules nor did he attempt to get/use more clock time than he is allotted.
 

8slim

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Attempts to "game the system" like calling for new balls too often and catcher delaying the toss back/etc are completely different than what Scherzer was doing. Scherzer did absolutely nothing outside the rules nor did he attempt to get/use more clock time than he is allotted.
Agree. Plus, did Scherzer even doing anything all that strategic? He waited until the batter got both feet in the box. I found the commentary on the video to be pretty overwrought.
 

AlNipper49

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It’s not fantasizing. As you note, players like Scherzer are already trying to game the clock to obtain competitive advantage.

I’ve been to a couple of MiLB games with the clock and didn’t notice any gamesmanship. If MLB sorts out that way over time, great.
They will. And like everything out, there will be a period of time where the competitive advantage sways to those who have most prepared for these changes. That's why I really dislike doing everything for tradition's sake. Some change is always good.
 

OfTheCarmen

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Agree. Plus, did Scherzer even doing anything all that strategic? He waited until the batter got both feet in the box. I found the commentary on the video to be pretty overwrought.
It was more the pitch before where he held until the batter used up his 1 "time out" for the at bat. The on the ensuing pitch he got set super quick so he was able to pitch as soon as the batter was "attentive" to him.
 

joe dokes

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IMO, time between pitches is the most important number. Time of game is nice, but that's a function of the other stuff.
 

NDame616

will bailey
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Jul 31, 2006
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That's such a cherry picked situation but doesn't make it any less funny.
Not sure if it was posted here but the same clip was side by side with an Jose Altuve inside the park home run.

Spoiler alert: he hit 7 inside the park HRs before one pitch was thrown
 

JM3

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Not sure if it was posted here but the same clip was side by side with an Jose Altuve inside the park home run.

Spoiler alert: he hit 7 inside the park HRs before one pitch was thrown
I posted it in a different thread...

The one I saw on TikTok this morning (here's the YT version) was Baez pitch v. Altuve inside the park homers...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkXXbcnAceU
This one was also there:

Oops, sorry, thought it was a different clip because it was posted by a different Twitter account.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I know, it's the playoffs and DRAMA, but fuck this is hilarious and a breath of fresh air.

View: https://twitter.com/PitchingNinja/status/1630329080477253632
I stumbled on a similar video, wish I'd bookmarked it when I saw it, of a spring half-inning set against Bryce Harper's first AB in Game 3 of the World Series last year. It kinda cheated by starting with him in the on-deck circle, but between the walk up and his lengthy set up in the box, I think the whole thing took over 90 seconds before he hit the first pitch out of the park. Dramatic moment for sure, but unnecessarily drawn out.
 

simplicio

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I'm pretty shocked nobody's lined up the Pedro Baez pitch against the Javy Baez rundown to first.
 

BigJimEd

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Jan 4, 2002
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MLB tweaking/clarifying the rules and said changes in season are possibility.

Major League Baseball’s new pitch clock is going to undergo some timing adjustments before it is turned on for games that count.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred called the changes “significant” but also described them as “clarifications” based on input from players. The alterations are likely to be announced Wednesday, eight days before opening day.
“They’re important in my mind because they’re responsive to things players said to us,” he said before Tuesday night’s World Baseball Classic championship game between the United States and Japan.
....

“We have another set of issues that we want to see some regular-season games before we make a decision on them,” Manfred said. “I’ve met with six teams’ players already. Our feet are not in stone on this, on the one hand, and we are prepared to make adjustments based on input. On the other hand, we want to give it a chance to see exactly how it plays out after a period of adjustment in some regular-season games before we make any really significant alteration.”

Further adjustments may be made during the season.
 

DJnVa

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MLB could tweak new rules before Opening Day: Sources - The Athletic

But there have been some rough moments, too, and players and the union have continued to express various concerns publicly and privately. Among them:

  • That the 15-second pitch timer is too constricting with no one on base.
  • That hitters should get slightly more time and shouldn’t need to be in the box and “alert to the pitcher” with eight seconds left on the timer.
  • That players who are involved in a defensive play to end one half-inning should get extra time if they are leading off the next half-inning.
  • That hitters should be allowed more than one timeout per plate appearance.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
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The middle two are reasonable. The first and last just seem like complaining from players who don't want the clock in the first place. They'll get used to it or be replaced by someone who will.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't know about the third one. It's not like the time between innings has changed. How is the first hitter having been involved in a defensive play different than the defensive player, say the catcher, that has to get out on the field after being on base when the third out was made?
 

cornwalls@6

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Going backwards on the changes in any significant way, just to placate blockers/red-asses would be a huge mistake. In the short sample size of even just exhibition games, the effect of strict enforcement of the pitch clock and having batters in the box and ready to go, has been overwhelmingly positive. Don't back off now.