Table of Contents
The Pitch Clock Makes me Pay Attention
I loved baseball when I was a kid. Used to tune-in for TWIB every Saturday morning and listen to Tigers games on the radio with my grandfather. I started playing around 5 years old and played through my Varsity season. I even umpired little league for years. The ‘84 Tigers and ‘92 Jays were my generational jam as a fan — proud to say I was there for both of those street parties.
But somewhere along the way I lost interest in baseball. Whether the game became a distraction, or I became distracted from the game, I just didn’t have the desire to spend the time – so much time – following it each season.
More than the length of the games, it was how slowly things happened all throughout the game. At-bats seemed endless. Pitchers took forever to get on the mound and checked runners with alacrity. Actual pitching changes required a sundial to time and happened often.
As a result, I often found myself missing the most memorable moments of a game because my attention span and ability to concentrate on all that slow-moving nothingness had waned. Perhaps a slow pace of play is the tradition of baseball, but it certainly is not the future if initial results from the new pitch clock rule are any indication.
The Pitch Clock By the Numbers
From a pure numbers standpoint, average game length after MLB’s opening weekend is down close to 30 minutes per contest vs 2022. Pitch clock violations have occurred and been enforced, but there’s been no such incidents that you could put in the ‘game changing’ category as of yet.
More than this, the new clock means pitchers can’t delay trying to hold runners close. Combined with the new limit on pickoff attempts, that’s creating opportunities for smart baserunners. Take a look at the Baltimore Orioles’ first two games of the 2023 season if you don’t believe me.
What’s more, fans are leaning into the new pitch clock rule not just as spectators, but as active participants in the game, by chanting fake pitch clock counts when opposing hurlers are on the mound. Check out Seattle Mariners home fans messing with visiting Cleveland Guardians pitcher James Karinchak on March 31st.
It’s these cumulative effects that have begun to draw me back into the MLB game. When I think about why, it’s because, for the first time in years, I feel like the league is taking meaningful steps to modernize the game, not just for the sake of the game, but for the sake of the fans. This just feels like a more entertaining sports product.
Baseball isn’t just asking for my attention anymore, with little on offer in return, the game is working to become faster, higher-scoring, and more exciting. The old traditions, including a leisurely gentleman’s pace of play, are falling, making room for new viewers and fans.
To the purists that lament these changes and hold fast to the traditions of baseball, I suggest you are missing the forest for the trees. The new pitch clock and other rules implemented by MLB are designed to make a new generation of fans fall in love with the game, not you.
That’s how it’s going to survive.
How do you play baseball survivor pool?
In a MLB Survivor pool, players pick one MLB team every week that they think will win. Each team can only be picked one time per season. A player survives to the next week if their chosen team wins at least half of its games that week. Administrators can select how many incorrect picks (strikes) before a player is eliminated.
What is a baseball survivor pool?
In a MLB Survivor pool, players choose one pro team each week that they believe will win. They may only pick a team once per season. If their selected team wins 50% or more of its games for that week they survive until the next week. Pool commissioners may select how many 'strikes' (incorrect picks) before a player is eliminated.
What is a 13-run baseball pool?
A 13 Run Baseball pool is a simple but fun pool for Pro Baseball. Each member (maximum of 30) is assigned a professional team. The goal is to be the first member to have their team score every number of runs, from 0 to 13. In some pools the number of runs can be changed to be from 6 to 13.
What are MLB props?
Each game, MLB players have certain prop lines that are assigned to them. These can be for base hits, strikeouts, walks, and other stats. For example, Mike Trout could have a line of over 1.5 base hits for a game. If he has 2 base hits that game, his prop would go over.