I’m really getting sick of the thought of putting a clock in a sport that has never had one.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported that the MLB would like to put a 30-second time limit on managers to decide if they want to challenge a play. It makes sense to at least monitor this process as currently managers will tell players to step off the mound or out of the box so his staff can look at a play and decide if it’s worth a challenge. However, the thought of adding a clock or defined time limit to a game that is not based on time really makes me want to smash my face against a cement wall.
If you recall, another way the MLB wants to speed up the game is to put a shot clock on the pitcher. Basically, they would have to start the process of the pitch within a certain amount of seconds otherwise they would be penalized a ball or something. I don’t really know the whole rule because whenever I try to start researching it I end up pouring lemon juice in my eyeballs.
Here’s a crazy concept: Why don’t the umpires take a little more responsibility? We don’t need a damn shot clock to make sure the game stays at a consistent pace. That’s traditionally one of the umpire’s jobs. They don’t even need to get calls right anymore now that replay is a thing, so is this really too much to ask from them?
Instead of letting David Price take more time than a $5MM Super Bowl commercial in between pitchers, maybe the umpire should take him aside and say “hey, Davey, you’re great and all but if you don’t speed your shit up I’m going to embarrass you.” Or, “hey Mr. Bautista, I know you’re concerned about the tightness of your batting gloves but I doubt they’ve gotten looser since three seconds ago. Please step in the box.”
Timers or clocks are not supposed to be a factor in baseball. Each game sets its own pace and in that way its different from every other sport. If the MLB wants to speed up the game, put that responsibility on the umpires just as they’re doing with the new strike zone. The only clock I need at the field is on the scoreboard, and it’s not winding down or keeping track of seconds. It’s telling me that it’s 7:11 and time to throw the first pitch…and maybe get a slurpee after the game.