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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Baseball players react to pitch clock

The new addition of the pitch clock in order to speed up pace of play has been extremely controversial. The clock counts down from 20 seconds to pitch  or else it is an automatic ball for the batter.
Photo Courtesy of Wikiimedia commons
The new addition of the pitch clock in order to speed up pace of play has been extremely controversial. The clock counts down from 20 seconds to pitch or else it is an automatic ball for the batter.

The game of baseball has been dying out for years. America’s pastime has gone from the country’s number one sport to falling behind other leagues such as the NFL and NBA and with other sports leagues such as the UFC on the rise, the game of baseball and the MLB are in grave danger.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is well aware of the game’s struggles and falling ratings. For example, the MLB had their second lowest watched World Series this past fall and Manfred is desperate for answers on what to do to save this dying sport. This fall in viewership, in Manfreds eyes, is due to the slow pace of play of games.

An average game last season lasted three hours and 3 minutes which the league cites as a prominent issue. The way the MLB plans to fix this is to have pitch clocks for batters and pitchers in order for them to speed up the game process. This has been successful in the minor league level with an average reduced game time of 26 minutes, however, to say this rule is controversial is an understatement.

Many players across the league are furious with this new pitch clock rule. This rule specifically is that pitchers have to throw the pitch within 20 seconds between batters, 15 seconds during at bats, and probably the worst of all they are only allowed to pick off twice. This rule goes both ways however as hitters have to be in the box ready to hit it is an automatic strike against them. These rules, in many players’ eyes, rush the pitcher and will lead to more errant throws.

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I think that the pitch clock is really bad for the game and specifically for pitchers as they will be rushed and have to throw slower.

— Aiden Watts

The pitch clock for both pitchers and hitters will likely be something that the players can adjust to with some growing pains along the way. For example during a spring training game between the Braves and Red Sox the clock ruined possibly the greatest situation a person could ask for in baseball. It was a tie game. Bases loaded 2 outs 3-2 count in the bottom of the 9th and the umpire called a strike because the batter was not in the box in time and the batter struck out. This situation has given critics even more fuel to criticize the change. The rule change that cannot be adjusted to is the “only two pickoffs to a batter.” This will lead to batters stealing bases extremely easily because they know the pitcher will not be able to throw over after the second pickoff attempt leading essentially to a free stolen base.

“I think it’s really unfair especially to catchers because those stolen bases will count against the catcher in the scoresheet. I also feel like it’s changing the way the game is played and not in a good way,” junior Vance Bonior said.

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Luke DeZee
Luke DeZee, Staff Writer
Luke is a senior and a staff writer for the Pitch. This is his second year on the Pitch and enjoys playing baseball in his free time.
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