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Outraged fans over MLB pitch clock, new rules must see one expert’s take

MLB pitch clock, MLB rule changes, Shohei Ohtani, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander

For the MLB, the game will look much, much different than it currently is on 2023 after major rule changes, such as the introduction of a pitch clock and a ban on defensive shifts, were approved recently.

The pitch clock, which is set at 15 seconds with the bases empty and 20 seconds with runners on base, starts when “the pitcher has the ball, and the catcher and the batter are in the dirt near home plate and play is ready — meaning, runners have retreated if there was a foul ball, or exited the field after an out”, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote. A breakdown of the pitch clock rules can be seen here.

Change, however, is not always the easiest thing to embrace. Especially so for baseball, a sport invented in 1876 and one that is dominated by traditions and unwritten rules. And for its fans, the introduction of a pitch clock could be one the more jarring changes in a game unique in its “timekeeping” design.

Pitch clocks used to be implemented in the minor leagues back in 2015 and Josh Suchon, the radio announcer for the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Rockies’ Triple A affiliate, shared his observations on Twitter as to why fans should be open to embracing the rule change.

Suchon argued that the presence of the pitch clock does not mean “less baseball”, but instead allows for a better flow of the game. It makes sense, given how pitchers take as fast as 17 seconds in between pitches, to a turtle’s pace of 31 seconds.

But Suchon also added that better implementation is needed, and an umpire must be assigned full-time to ensuring the pitch clock works as intended.

Nevertheless, fans should reserve judgment for the rule change. It takes a leap of faith to see if something works or not, and that is the case here as well. If Suchon’s experience watching baseball with a pitch clock is anything to go by, then surely fans would find the game to be more entertaining than it already is.