Look, I get it, ok? I do. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. See, over the past several years, Major League Baseball has made a priority speeding up the pace of the game. Being the baseball junkie that I am, I really don’t want the game to be sped up.
Baseball is a unique game. There are no clocks, no time limits, just outs. And as long as you have outs left, then the game will continue.
The rhythm of the game is what makes it so special. A pitcher delivers the ball to the plate and either the batter swings and misses, makes contact to put the ball in play, fouls the pitch off or he takes the pitch.
With each action there is an interval that follows that allows baseball to become a thinking man’s game.
You can really try to get into the head of the pitcher, the batter or even the manager to try to know what they are thinking about to do next.
There aren’t other games out there quite like it, and now the game itself is trying to change all of that.
MLB is trying to connect with the younger crowd and I get that. The average age of the current baseball fan is mid 50’s. That isn’t to say that there are not younger fans out there. I mean, I am 27 and just about the biggest baseball fan you would hope to find.
This offseason, Commissioner Rob Manfred decided that in order to make the game move along faster, he would limit the number of times that a team can make a visit to the mound to talk with the pitcher to six.
This is lunacy, plain and simple.
Mound visits are not the equivalent to timeouts in other sports because as I mentioned earlier, baseball has no clock and theoretically the game could go on forever. Or let’s just say that you are late in a ball game, the eighth inning, and the bases are loaded and the opposing team’s cleanup hitter is walking to the plate.
You as the manager or pitching coach feel that you need to go out to talk to your pitcher about how to attack the hitter in this crucial situation. But you used your last mound visit in the sixth inning to get out of another jam, and it worked.
Now what do you do? It really just makes it so you basically have one hand tied behind your back from a strategic standpoint.
If MLB really wants to speed up the pace of play in their games, there has to be another way to do it without potentially messing with strategy. It’s their and the player’s job to find out what that is.