Home > Musings > Baseball needs a play clock #mlb

Baseball needs a play clock #mlb

April 25th, 2010

Purists think this is terrible idea, but they think unpredictable strike zones are “tradition”, too.

Batters need to get over their OCD nonsense. Get your batting gloves set while you’re on deck, or buy gloves that fit. Spitting on them doesn’t help, you’re in the big leagues now, you’re a millionaire, knock that off. Your bat isn’t a lover to caress and gaze longingly at. It’s a piece of wood that’s gonna break soon. Screw your superstitions.

I get why they do all of it. They’re focusing rituals, centering the batter to do something that operates pretty much on instinct at eye blink speeds mere mortals can’t function at. Too bad. You look like an idiot and (more importantly) slow the game down. Find a better way, you can afford it.

But that’s mildly irritating, what really ticks me off is batters stepping out of the box and constant timeouts. Purists reference the “mental game”, why don’t we just watch the baseball game and leave off mindfucking? You step out of the box, you get a strike. You need to talk to your pitcher, do it in the dugout, or call one of a limited number of timeouts (probably a certain number per pitcher, but that’s another matter).

Throwing balls back to the ump? WTF? Seriously? Unless the ball’s dimensions are radically altered, pitch the ball you get! Or if they need to regain their shape after being hit, rotate them to plan.

The big league game is boring. You’ve already got a game that naturally takes a lot of time. Baseball fans, ever tried to explain why a 12 pitch strike out is good? For the offense? Why a slow roller down the infield baseline should be left to go? Sometimes? Add to this OCD and mundfucking and zzzzzz.

The game is just too slow, and weather delays are frustration enough.

Play ends, the ball goes to the home plate ump. He judges the condition of the ball and throws it or another to the pitcher. The batter has to be in the box by then. At that point the pitcher has to throw the ball. Goal is to pitch within a minute of a play ending.

If there’s no play, it should be like ten seconds between pitches. The batter has a moment to collect himself, then he better be ready. Pitcher and catcher select their next pitch in that time. If the batter isn’t ready, oops, too bad, ball goes past you (to be called as normal). If the defense isn’t ready, that’s a balk.

Purists like to say there’s barely enough time between pitches to consider the possibilities. Consider the potential audience if games weren’t four hours long.

Tags: ,
Comments are closed.