CARLSBAD, California – Famous for the fact that its duration is defined by outs rather than minutes, baseball would soon implement a clock in the majors.
Club officials said they were encouraged by experiments with a pitching clock this season in the minor leagues. And participants in the general manager meetings held this week in the state of South Carolina have been in favor of adopting a countdown between each launch, in order to accelerate the pace of the game.
“The pitching clock has always been something I’ve been interested in,” Seattle Mariners president of athletic operations Jerry DiPoto said Tuesday. “It’s something we’ve slowly implemented over time in baseball, and I think it has the potential to be something really positive for the pace of play and the action that we see on the field. And that is what we try to do as an industry ”.
In 2021, the pitching clock was tested in the Low-A West league, and it helped reduce the average length of a game from nine innings to 2 hours and 41 minutes. When not in use, the duration was 3:02 hours on average.
There is a 15-second countdown without men on the bases and 17 when there are runners on the trails. There is a maximum wait of 30 seconds between the end of one batter’s turn and the start of the next.
And between each half inning or to change pitcher, a 2:15 minute break is decreed.
The average length of a nine-inning game in the majors set a record of 3:10:07 hours during the regular season. In the postseason, the average rose to 3:37:13 and in the World Series it grew to 3:37:59.
In 2018, Major League Baseball proposed to the players union to implement an 18-second clock when there were no people on the pads and a 20-second clock with runners on base. In March 2019, the majors decided not to install the clocks until 2022, at the earliest.
The proposal therefore remains in place, and Major League Baseball has the prerogative to unilaterally adopt the rule changes on the ground if they give the union members one year in advance.
During the World Series, Commissioner Rob Manfred hoped to get the union’s go-ahead for the watch as part of this round of bargaining for a new collective bargaining agreement. However, he stressed that the older women kept the proposal on the table.