Beat The Clock

NDame616

will bailey
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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?
Also what's "involved in the play"?

Ball hit up the middle both the SS and 2B run in to the ball. SS gets it and throws to first. 2B ran all the way over to back up in case it got through. 2B leads off next inning. Does he get a little extra time?

I'd be OK with letting the catcher get a little extra time because they actually have to remove all their gear. But a CF who has to move 4 feet to his left to shag a lazy fly ball? Pass.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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The first baseman is involved in recording the final out of the inning probably at least one-third of the time... and in half of those cases, he's also the closest player to his dugout. I hope they aren't arguing that he also needs extra time to prepare for the next at-bat.
 

soxhop411

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Espn with some of the changes. Including stack ranking batboys/batgirl performance
The clarification memos have addressed more obscure issues and potential for attempts to circumvent the rules. The most important piece of the memo distributed Wednesday was the league changing replay review rules on potential violations of the infield shift ban. With the possibility of teams regularly issuing challenges after outs in hopes that one of the four infielders was positioned with his feet on the outfield grass -- which would negate the out and return the batter to the plate -- the memo said on batted balls that only the positioning of the defender fielding them could be challenged.
• On malfunctions of the PitchCom units that allow the pitcher and catcher to communicate electronically, players must immediately inform umpires, who can grant time and stop the ticking clock. PitchCom has become a vital tool for players since its introduction last year. Perhaps as soon as this week, sources said, the league is expected to approve its use by pitchers, who with it could call their own games.

• New standards will be enforced for bat boys and bat girls, whose ability to quickly retrieve equipment will help efforts to speed up the game, according to the memo. The league will evaluate the performances of bat boys and bat girls and could ask teams to replace them if their performance is considered substandard.

• On brushback pitches and "big swings" -- which either knock equipment out of place or land a player splayed out on the ground -- umpires will delay the start of the clock and, if the clock operator starts it early, have the ability to wave off the timer.
• In situations where pitchers find themselves away from the mound -- whether to cover first base or back up throws to home or third base in foul territory -- the 30-second between-batters clock will be delayed. It restarts when the pitcher making a play at first is back on the infield grass and one backing plays up is in fair territory.

• Leniency for catchers who end an inning on base or at-bat. Umpires could turn off the 2-minute, 30-second between-innings clock at the 30-second mark if the catcher has made a "reasonable effort" to abide by the timer. If it reaches that point, a catcher will be allowed to receive one warmup pitch from the pitcher and make a throw down to second base to ensure he, too, has warmed up his arm.

• Placing the onus on hitters to restart the clock if they take a timeout. Hitters may call time once in an at-bat, and previously the clock was starting from 15 or 20 when players stepped into the batter's box and were alert, leading to pitchers potentially holding the ball for long periods of time. Under the new guidelines, a player, regardless of where he is standing, must indicate to an umpire that he is ready to resume play, at which point the umpire will tell the operator to wind the clock.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/35916318/mlb-making-small-changes-pitch-clock-rules-memo-says
 

Lose Remerswaal

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New standards will be enforced for bat boys and bat girls, whose ability to quickly retrieve equipment will help efforts to speed up the game, according to the memo. The league will evaluate the performances of bat boys and bat girls and could ask teams to replace them if their performance is considered substandard.
"Sorry, little Jimmy, but your bat retrieval skills aren't quite up to Miami Marlins standards. You're going to be heading to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp for at least 30 days, while we see what Jasmine here can bring to the team"
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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"Sorry, little Jimmy, but your bat retrieval skills aren't quite up to Miami Marlins standards. You're going to be heading to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp for at least 30 days, while we see what Jasmine here can bring to the team"
I'd be more worried that in an effort to be fast and efficient, some bat boy or girl is going pull a Darren Baker.

 

Sad Sam Jones

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Bat boys and girls will have to unionize and go on strike until they're given the same leniency for underperformance as umpires.
 

simplicio

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On brushback pitches and "big swings" -- which either knock equipment out of place or land a player splayed out on the ground -- umpires will delay the start of the clock and, if the clock operator starts it early, have the ability to wave off the timer.
Imagining a world where this leads to league-wide flopping at the plate.
 

CaptainLaddie

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My friend is the music supervisor for the Nats and he basically told me the walkup music for hitters is going to be something like 10 seconds this year. Super fast. Over and done with. They have to have the music stopped by the time the pitch clock starts.
 

geoflin

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I was at tonight's Sox game and it's a completely different experience. I'm used to looking around the park, looking at my phone, doing whatever, between pitches. When I did that tonight I missed a pitch. The pitch clock really keeps the fans' attention on the game (if in fact they came to watch the game). And the game was in the 8th inning with 10 runs having been scored at the 2 hour mark. I loved it.
 

koufax32

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My friend is the music supervisor for the Nats and he basically told me the walkup music for hitters is going to be something like 10 seconds this year. Super fast. Over and done with. They have to have the music stopped by the time the pitch clock starts.
Faster games like the 80’s, very little music, and more contact and stolen bases? If BOS can patch together a 93 win season, this could be the year I fall in love with the game again.
 

DJnVa

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Regarding the shift, the Sox went to 2 man OF on Schwarber. Here's Cora (when being asked about doing it to Gallo):

Cora: We did it with (Kyle) Schwarber, too (the day before). But I really did that one just to mess with Schwarber. He texted me afterward and said, “What was that s—?”
The Athletic: So do you envision your team doing a lot more of this?

Cora: Depends on comfort level.

The Athletic: Of the pitchers?

Cora: No. Of the manager.

The Athletic to Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom: Do you think there are teams practicing stuff in spring training that they haven’t shown yet?

Bloom: Almost certainly.

The Athletic: And would you be one of them?

Bloom (joking): If I told you, I’d have to kill you.

Why would the Red Sox be the first team to try this and look as if they might be the league leaders in using it this season? The first word out of Cora’s mouth when I asked what makes it attractive to his team said it all:

“Fenway.”

The shorter left field is, the easier it is to recover. And it doesn’t get any shorter than Fenway, where The Wall is a mere 310 feet from home plate. So even if there’s nobody in left field, the shortstop can scramble back to run down everything from a blooper to left to a rocket that caroms off The Monster.

“If the ball is in the air, you have time to get out there,” Cora said. “You’re not going to catch it, but you can get to the wall ball and get it on one hop. It’s a double anyways. So we’re not (losing) anything.”
 
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Minneapolis Millers

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That's the point. You're vacating left field and moving an outfielder to short right since you can't put in an infielder there anymore.
No, I was making the opposite point. To take away a single to right, they are vacating left field, meaning that a bloop to LF that otherwise would have been an out or a single (to a slow player like Schwarber) will now be a double. Cora‘s comment seems to assume that whatever Schwarber might hit to LF would be a double. I disagree. Although I do agree that the vast majority of balls hit by Schwarber to a vacated LF in Fenway will be no more than a double because LF is so small, so their downside is somewhat limited. But there certainly is downside, more than Cora is acknowledging here.
 

trs

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No, I was making the opposite point. To take away a single to right, they are vacating left field, meaning that a bloop to LF that otherwise would have been an out or a single (to a slow player like Schwarber) will now be a double. Cora‘s comment seems to assume that whatever Schwarber might hit to LF would be a double. I disagree. Although I do agree that the vast majority of balls hit by Schwarber to a vacated LF in Fenway will be no more than a double because LF is so small, so their downside is somewhat limited. But there certainly is downside, more than Cora is acknowledging here.
I suppose it's how you define a "bloop." A bloop that would normally be catchable by either an SS or an LF would now be covered by just the SS. So no change. The hard drive off the wall would be a double with a LFer and now is again a double with no LFer but just a shortstop racing out and fielding it. So again, no change.

Yes, you will turn singles into doubles, but a pre-2023 shift would also do that, like a bloop single that goes beyond the reach of an SS. Yes, you will probably create a few more opportunities for hits to leftfield, but that's the case regardless of where infielders need to be.

I think it's worth a shot depending on the hitter. The angle of the green monster will also frequently carom balls towards the middle of the field, which would also help out with this new "shift."
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I suppose it's how you define a "bloop." A bloop that would normally be catchable by either an SS or an LF would now be covered by just the SS. So no change. The hard drive off the wall would be a double with a LFer and now is again a double with no LFer but just a shortstop racing out and fielding it. So again, no change.

Yes, you will turn singles into doubles, but a pre-2023 shift would also do that, like a bloop single that goes beyond the reach of an SS. Yes, you will probably create a few more opportunities for hits to leftfield, but that's the case regardless of where infielders need to be.

I think it's worth a shot depending on the hitter. The angle of the green monster will also frequently carom balls towards the middle of the field, which would also help out with this new "shift."
At Fenway?? With Schwarber batting?? I’d bet half of those would be singles, too. And the pertinent question is about now, under today’s rules. I actually think this is why Cora mentioned his “comfort level” determining things. Someone like Schwarber can go oppo. Some guys, like Kepler, really can’t. I think it’s going to be very uncommon for them to play two OFs, even at Fenway, because the risk/reward calculation isn’t going to favor it except in rare instances.
 

trs

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At Fenway?? With Schwarber batting?? I’d bet half of those would be singles, too. And the pertinent question is about now, under today’s rules. I actually think this is why Cora mentioned his “comfort level” determining things. Someone like Schwarber can go oppo. Some guys, like Kepler, really can’t. I think it’s going to be very uncommon for them to play two OFs, even at Fenway, because the risk/reward calculation isn’t going to favor it except in rare instances.
Oh very true with Schwarber! I thought Cora said that was mostly a joke. I also agree that there won't be many occasions where a 2-man outfield will make sense, but I wouldn't be surprised if Fenway is one of the few places where you see managers experimenting with it.
 

worm0082

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I wonder how Nomar with his extreme OCD routine at the plate after every pitch would have adapted to/ been affected by the new rules. Would it completely throw him off offensively if he couldn’t step out and do his whole thing? I guess same for a Dice-K , could he have gotten pitches off in time? To me, it just seems like their routines and slow pace was so heavily ingrained in them I think it would have seriously affected their performance.
 

beautokyo

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I wonder how Nomar with his extreme OCD routine at the plate after every pitch would have adapted to/ been affected by the new rules. Would it completely throw him off offensively if he couldn’t step out and do his whole thing? I guess same for a Dice-K , could he have gotten pitches off in time? To me, it just seems like their routines and slow pace was so heavily ingrained in them I think it would have seriously affected their performance.
Maybe one of these days that question will be brought up to Nomar and he can re-enact it for the cameras with a timer. Dice K on the other hand is as big as a Sumo Wrestler now.
 
The game today was the first non-WBC action that I've watched this year, and I definitely like the pace of play with the clock. Raffi's auto-strikeout aside, it's remarkable that a game with 19 runs and 40+ baserunners (including 10+ walks) wrapped up in just 3:10. I'm really looking forward to seeing some deep dives into how the rules changes have impacted the game in a few months when we have a solid sample size.

EDIT: One impact that I feel a bit more agnostic about is the way the pace cuts down on pitch replays. Combined with the removal of the strike zone on the telecast made the game feel very old-school. I think I prefer seeing the white box.
 

dirtynine

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My subtle adjustment would be: show the “clock” as a pictograph, not as decimal numbers counting down. Show a depleting progress bar or a radial dial shrinking or an hourglass running out, or whatever. Give me the plausible illusion that it’s not literal seconds.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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There are two break points- 8 seconds for the batter and 0 seconds for the pitcher- so I'm not sure a graphical representation makes more sense than the clock.
 

8slim

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There were a whole lot of games that clocked in between 2:30 and 2:40 yesterday. I only noticed one that was over 3:30.

Seems like we're off to a great start for pace of play.
 

tims4wins

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There were a whole lot of games that clocked in between 2:30 and 2:40 yesterday. I only noticed one that was over 3:30.

Seems like we're off to a great start for pace of play.
I didn't watch any baseball yesterday, but did it have a positive impact on the product? As in, were the games more enjoyable to watch because they were played at a quicker pace? I've been banging the drum for YEARS that pace of play was a bigger issue than commercials, pitching changes, etc.

As noted in the game thread, the Sox game had a ton of offense, walks, etc. and still managed to clock in at 3:10. A year ago that probably would have taken 3:30-3:40.
 

NorthwestSoxGuy

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There were a whole lot of games that clocked in between 2:30 and 2:40 yesterday. I only noticed one that was over 3:30.

Seems like we're off to a great start for pace of play.
I saw that too! When I first looked at the times, I was actually surprised. I didn't expect them to be that quick!

The pitch clock is gonna be awesome :)
 

NorthwestSoxGuy

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I didn't watch any baseball yesterday, but did it have a positive impact on the product? As in, were the games more enjoyable to watch because they were played at a quicker pace? I've been banging the drum for YEARS that pace of play was a bigger issue than commercials, pitching changes, etc.

As noted in the game thread, the Sox game had a ton of offense, walks, etc. and still managed to clock in at 3:10. A year ago that probably would have taken 3:30-3:40.
I'd say yes indeed! And I think it's normal for games with more offense to last longer, but 3:10 definitely sounds better than 3:30-3:40.
 

8slim

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I didn't watch any baseball yesterday, but did it have a positive impact on the product? As in, were the games more enjoyable to watch because they were played at a quicker pace? I've been banging the drum for YEARS that pace of play was a bigger issue than commercials, pitching changes, etc.

As noted in the game thread, the Sox game had a ton of offense, walks, etc. and still managed to clock in at 3:10. A year ago that probably would have taken 3:30-3:40.
The only game I watched in full was the Sox. My loss, clearly. It's hard to get a sense for pace of play just watching highlights. But I agree with you completely. If a game runs long, so be it, but get in the damn box and get on the damn mound and PLAY.
 

Strike4

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I listed to the Sox game on the radio for several innings and the broadcasters were really complaining about how there aren't discernable signals from the umpires about violations, and who they are on. There were multiple instances where Castiglione was like "and that's a violation" but it was time granted or called by the umpire or something else. Then when there was a violation it was not clear who it was on but they just moved on with the at bat. Even the scoreboard didn't know so everybody was behind the count for a pitch or two. Also they kept having transponder issues.
 

tims4wins

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I'd say yes indeed! And I think it's normal for games with more offense to last longer, but 3:10 definitely sounds better than 3:30-3:40.
The only game I watched in full was the Sox. My loss, clearly. It's hard to get a sense for pace of play just watching highlights. But I agree with you completely. If a game runs long, so be it, but get in the damn box and get on the damn mound and PLAY.
Thanks. I always enjoyed watching pitchers like Mark Buerhle because he worked so quickly.
 

DJnVa

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There were a whole lot of games that clocked in between 2:30 and 2:40 yesterday. I only noticed one that was over 3:30.

Seems like we're off to a great start for pace of play.

From The Athletic:

Even a 10-9 game in Boston — which featured 44 baserunners, 10 pitching changes, two pinch-hitters and two pinch-runners — lasted only 3:10. A year ago on Opening Day, a 3-1 Astros-Angels game — featuring just 18 baserunners — dragged on for 3:15. And not one game all day was completed in 2:45.
  • Last year’s Opening Day, with seven games played, averaged 3 hours and 11 minutes.
  • Not one of the first seven games completed Thursday went as long as last year’s Opening Day average time of games.
  • Only two of the first seven games completed this year were longer than the shortest game on Opening Day last year. The shortest of last year’s Opening Day games was 2 hours and 49 minutes.

MLB Opening Day games 26 minutes shorter vs. last year’s average: How the pitch clock performed - The Athletic
 

Green Monster

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I listed to the Sox game on the radio for several innings and the broadcasters were really complaining about how there aren't discernable signals from the umpires about violations, and who they are on. There were multiple instances where Castiglione was like "and that's a violation" but it was time granted or called by the umpire or something else. Then when there was a violation it was not clear who it was on but they just moved on with the at bat. Even the scoreboard didn't know so everybody was behind the count for a pitch or two. Also they kept having transponder issues.
I definitely support the quicker pace of play but a few minor tweaks might still be needed. I watched quite a bit of spring training and this was my biggest issue. It was very difficult to follow/understand what is being called. Some broadcasts (not NESN) have the pitch clock visible behind the plate and that helps quite a bit. However, If you are listening on the radio your only chance if for the broadcasters to explain it to you and if they don't know what just happened then that's a problem.

From what I understand the umpire has some type of device in their ear that will tell them when the clock hits the key milestones. This prevents the umpire from having to divide their attention between the clock and game action, etc. Perhaps the broadcasters could have the same feed so it would be immediately obvious what was called and they can relay that to the audience.
 
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LogansDad

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I didn't watch any baseball yesterday, but did it have a positive impact on the product? As in, were the games more enjoyable to watch because they were played at a quicker pace? I've been banging the drum for YEARS that pace of play was a bigger issue than commercials, pitching changes, etc.

As noted in the game thread, the Sox game had a ton of offense, walks, etc. and still managed to clock in at 3:10. A year ago that probably would have taken 3:30-3:40.
One thing I will say is that when a pitcher just loses it now, it happens really, really fast. We saw it happen to some extent with Brasier, but Karinchak came in to a 0-0 game in the 8th, and within about 3 minutes was giving up a 3 run bomb to Ty France.

I wonder if there will be a time where someone gives up a free ball just to settle himself down. It is going to be interesting to see which high leverage guys strughle with it the most.
 

LogansDad

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I definitely support the quicker pace of play but a few minor tweaks might still be needed. I watched quite a bit of spring training and this was my biggest issue. It was very difficult to follow/understand what is being called. Some broadcasts (not NESN) have the pitch clock visible behind the plate and that helps quite a bit. However, If you are listening on the radio your only chance if for the broadcasters to explain it to you and if they don't know what just happened then that's a problem.

From what I understand the umpire has some type of device in their ear that will tell them when the clock hits the key milestones. This prevents the umpire from having to divide their attention between the clock and game action, etc. Perhaps the broadcasters could have the same feed so it would be immediately obvious what was called and they can relay that to the audience.
The umpire calls time, points to who the penalty was on and then displays the new count. This seems like it is on the announcers, not the rule.
 

tims4wins

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One thing I will say is that when a pitcher just loses it now, it happens really, really fast. We saw it happen to some extent with Brasier, but Karinchak came in to a 0-0 game in the 8th, and within about 3 minutes was giving up a 3 run bomb to Ty France.

I wonder if there will be a time where someone gives up a free ball just to settle himself down. It is going to be interesting to see which high leverage guys strughle with it the most.
Good point, will be interesting to see how this plays out. The strategic ball may become a thing.
 

Skiponzo

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The umpire calls time, points to who the penalty was on and then displays the new count. This seems like it is on the announcers, not the rule.
I believe this is partly true...we all likely need to recondition ourselves as to what visual clues to look for from the ump, but from the limited ST games I've seen they are also not very demonstrative in pointing it out.
 

Martin and Woods

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One thing I will say is that when a pitcher just loses it now, it happens really, really fast. We saw it happen to some extent with Brasier, but Karinchak came in to a 0-0 game in the 8th, and within about 3 minutes was giving up a 3 run bomb to Ty France.

I wonder if there will be a time where someone gives up a free ball just to settle himself down. It is going to be interesting to see which high leverage guys strughle with it the most.
I was thinking about this, too. Managers are going to have to read pitchers and situations more quickly now to get guys up in the 'pen early enough for them to get warmed up.
 

8slim

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I wonder if there will be a time where someone gives up a free ball just to settle himself down. It is going to be interesting to see which high leverage guys strughle with it the most.
I've been wondering the same. I can definitely see certain cases where it'd be better for a pitcher to give the ball, and take the extra time to compose themselves. Better to get behind 1-0 (which may happen anyway if a P is out of sorts) than give up a first pitch bomb.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Also they kept having transponder issues.
They may have been having "issues" as in claiming the PitchCom isn't working is a cheeky way for a pitcher to take a longer breather. Youk suggested this as a possibility and given Alex Cora's track record he might be on the money. We'll see if this is something that continues to pop up.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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I'm not sure why Karinchak struggled so badly with it last night. He's Cleveland's slowest working pitcher, but he was fine with it during spring training... he even cut his hair a few weeks ago, so he has fewer antics (if you don't remember, Minnesota was so convinced he was using an illegal substance last year they made an umpire run his fingers through his hair). It also wasn't a very controlled test last night due to the absolute incompetence of the umpires in awarding a lead-off walk because they failed to see or hear a clearly obvious foul tip. Karinchak makes Nuke LaLoosh seem like a Rhodes scholar though, so it won't surprise me if this becomes a thing with him.
 

cornwalls@6

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It's glorious. I couldn't be happier with the clock.
+1. It was a pleasure(despite the outcome) to watch yesterday’s game. As important as elapsed time, was the pace and action within that time. It never lagged at all for me. There will be hiccups, and it will likely take most of this year for everyone to fully adjust. But I said it earlier in this thread: I think the pitch clock, and keeping batters in the box, is going to have an historic, transformative effect on the game. It already feels like a greatly improved product.
 
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LogansDad

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I'm not sure why Karinchak struggled so badly with it last night. He's Cleveland's slowest working pitcher, but he was fine with it during spring training... he even cut his hair a few weeks ago, so he has fewer antics (if you don't remember, Minnesota was so convinced he was using an illegal substance last year they made an umpire run his fingers through his hair). It also wasn't a very controlled test last night due to the absolute incompetence of the umpires in awarding a lead-off walk because they failed to see or hear a clearly obvious foul tip. Karinchak makes Nuke LaLoosh seem like a Rhodes scholar though, so it won't surprise me if this becomes a thing with him.
Yeah, the umpires didn't do him any favors, that's for sure. And he also got Juiio out after that, before a long at bat against Wong in which there was a pitch clock violation against Karinchak and end up with Wong getting hit on a 3-2 pitch. I also wasn't trying to single him out because I think it will be a trend for him specifically, just that it was an instance of it all going bad in a hurry, that I happened to be watching. I also think he largely pitched fine, Wong just put up a really good at bat (I think he is an awesome addition to that lineup, FWIW).
 

AB in DC

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I wonder if there will be a time where someone gives up a free ball just to settle himself down. It is going to be interesting to see which high leverage guys strughle with it the most.
It does seem odd that the batter is allowed one timeout per PA but the pitcher isn't.
 

Max Power

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The umpire calls time, points to who the penalty was on and then displays the new count. This seems like it is on the announcers, not the rule.
I was at the game yesterday and the ump would hold his hands like he was holding a bat to indicate that the batter had called time out and used his one for that at bat. That signals to the clock guy to reset it. That must have been what was confusing the announcers.

The pitcher also gets one "disengagement." But he has to choose to use it for either a pickoff attempt or calling timeout. I don't know if the ump has a sign for that or if he just points. That will be confusing since there was never a sign for a balk, just pointing at the pitcher.

The one fix for the system would be for the batter to be charged with a timeout rather than a strike for his first clock offense. I don't recall if Devers had called timeout earlier in the at bat, so maybe they already do that and I didn't notice.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Maine
Seems strange to me that over the course of spring training, violations and issues with the clock became fewer and fewer, then on Opening Day they became a thing again. I wonder if some of that is the people running the clocks? Like, is the person/team that was running the clocks at Jet Blue the same person/team that ran the clocks at Fenway yesterday? I assume things will get smoother as the season moves along, but in the meantime we might see more confusion and unfortunate violations as the ballpark crews work out the kinks.
 

Whoop-La White

used to be zougwa
SoSH Member
I believe this is partly true...we all likely need to recondition ourselves as to what visual clues to look for from the ump, but from the limited ST games I've seen they are also not very demonstrative in pointing it out.
I was listening to the radio broadcast yesterday and Castiglione in particular was exasperated that the umpires weren't clearer in their indications when a violation was assessed on the pitcher or the hitter.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
21,858
Rogers Park
I was listening to the radio broadcast yesterday and Castiglione in particular was exasperated that the umpires weren't clearer in their indications when a violation was assessed on the pitcher or the hitter.
Castiglione (and I love him) might be in a bit of an old dog, new tricks moment with this, because as I imagine he'll come to recognize, the clock violations on hitters and pitchers happen at different times.

What isn't always clear is when a pause is due to a violation and when it's due to a timeout or disengagement. We probably need a more conspicuous and consistent hand signal for that.