We are closer than ever to a pitch clock in major league games!
Think back on the 2017 season of baseball. Remember those four-and-a-half-hour games that seemed like they would never end, that sagged in the middle, and then tried to make it up to you with some excitement at the end?
The bad news is a pitch clock won’t drastically change the lengths of those games, the good news is that it might make it seem like they’re faster even when they’re mostly the same length! Pace of play is everything, people.
According to a report from NBC, MLB is looking to get an agreement in place with the MLBPA before next season for a pitch clock to be a part of games.
Trying out the pitching clock in minor league games reduced games by only five minutes on average. Which isn’t nothing, it amounts to 13.5 hours per team spread out over the entire regular season, but it’s not the 25 minutes a game that some fans might be imagining it would shave off the top.
Players are now willing to work with the league on adding a pitch clock to major league games, which is one of the biggest things that had to happen for this to even come close to becoming reality.
In order for it to be added in time for the start of the season, an agreement would have to be in place by January or so, which isn’t impossible by any means. Stop getting distracted by free agency deals in December and get this done, baseball! Even if the MLBPA didn’t agree to a pitch clock, the league can technically just make the rule change themselves, but would have to wait until 2019 to add it to the game.
The better news is that a pitch clock isn’t the only pace of play addition that could appear next year. A split-screen commercial break for in between innings, rather than a full commercial break, similar to how TBS and FOX set it up for the postseason could also be a new feature.
Even if these tweaks only lessen game lengths by five minutes on average, there’s so many things you could do with those five minutes!
- Make a cup of coffee so you can stay up for late-night baseball, because face it, a pitch clock isn’t going to get rid of those five-hour Red Sox-Yankees games.
- Scroll through Twitter three more times before you go to bed, completely negating the extra five minutes of sleep you just told yourself you’d have.
- Listen to all of “Return of the Mack,” and still have a minute and 15 seconds left to spend however you want.
- Wonder where Lenny Kravitz got that magnificent blanket scarf and why you haven’t bought your own yet.
- Flip over to whatever basketball game is on before realizing a position player is pitching in Oakland and that’s way more important.
Or you could not notice a change at all and stay up all night watching baseball the same as you’ve done every season since you were 15, except for now there are pitch clocks positioned around the diamond and half of baseball fans are complaining about the change on the internet.
But at least you could get five minutes of your day back every time you watch your favorite team. What you do with that is your business.