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Volume 26 No. 204
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MLB Tests Pitch Clocks In Spring Training Games To Mixed Reaction

Pitchers have 20 seconds between getting the ball back from the catcher and becoming set again
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Pitchers have 20 seconds between getting the ball back from the catcher and becoming set again
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Pitchers have 20 seconds between getting the ball back from the catcher and becoming set again
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

MLB implemented the use of pitch clocks during Spring Training game this weekend, with the intent to "shave seconds off games that are being criticized as too long," according to Jesse Dougherty of the WASHINGTON POST. The pitch clock gives pitchers 20 seconds "between getting the ball back from the catcher and coming set for their next offerings." Nationals P Max Scherzer, who is the team's MLBPA representative, said, "I just don’t agree with this pitch clock thing." He added, "I know as players that’s something that MLB is trying to negotiate, I don’t think there’s a negotiation here. It just shouldn’t be in the game. ... There’s no clock in baseball for a reason" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/23). D-backs RF Steven Souza Jr. said, “The ultimate goal is to help bring more fans to the game. If that’s an avenue, then so be it. I don’t personally think it is.” He added, "The idea of putting a clock on something in baseball doesn’t seem right to me" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/23). Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder said, "I don’t think it’s going to have a dramatic effect" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/25).

GETTING A PIECE OF IT: FIVE THIRTY EIGHT's Travis Sawchik noted a "significant culprit behind the sport’s sluggish pace of play may be something that no pitch clock or simple rule change can fix: the foul ball." The number of foul balls in MLB games has increased by 11.98% from '98 (FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.com, 2/21).