New changes in baseball speed up the game


The clock is ticking as the pitcher winds up. (photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated)

Devin Brainch, Sports reporter

For many young people, baseball has widely been considered a dying spectator sport. These kids consider it uninteresting and time consuming. A main cause of this is the length of a single game. In 2022, according to ESPN, a baseball game averaged about three hours and 10 minutes long. With each game this lengthy, and the Major League Baseball season consisting of 162 games (the longest among all the American professional sports leagues), watching baseball became more dull than enjoyable. At least for a generation accustomed to watching 20-second TikTok videos.

While it took a while, the MLB finally caught on to this and implemented one of the most impactful additions to the game, the pitch clock. Previously, pitchers could take nearly as long as they wanted to throw a pitch, which extended games drastically. Pitchers took advantage of this time and used extra seconds to recover. But the new pitch clock allows the pitcher a mere 20 seconds with runners on base, and only 15 seconds with the bases empty, to throw the next pitch. While one may think this wouldn’t have a major impact on the length of games, the statistics prove otherwise. In 2023, so far the average length of an MLB game has been 2 hours and 37 minutes, according to ESPN. This is almost 30 minutes shorter than previous years. 

Many fans love the new pace of play, as it allows them to watch an entire game in the time it takes to watch a movie. Some, however, are angry over the new rules. They think that the pitch clock is intruding on the game itself. They favor returning to the old style of baseball. 

Along with these fans, quite a few pitchers dislike the pitch clock as they have less time to do the best job they can. According to Mets pitcher Max Scherzer, in The Athletic, this rule could put pitchers at risk: “ ‘The injury bug is going to be coming across the league.’ ”

Many other significant changes have been implemented, such as increasing the size of the bases. However, the pitch clock has shown to be the most impactful. With differing opinions among players and fans, only time will tell if the pitch clock will be a home run for the game of baseball.