MLB’s Schedules are a Mess…But Wait, There’s a New Clock

Eric Broder Van Dyke /
Eric Broder Van Dyke /

Been to a baseball game only to realize that you’ve finished your Cracker Jacks even before the fifth inning? It’s not just you. Long-time fans of Major League Baseball have reached their limits with the game. After watching the games of each season get progressively longer each season, fans are tired of spending a whole afternoon at the stadium.

If you’re like many of us, you yearn for the two-and-a-half-hour days of the 1980s.

While 30 minutes might not seem like a long time, when you’ve got kids in tow, and it seems like every pitch takes 5 minutes to get going. That time only gets longer when the batter gets a hit, especially if multiple runs are scored.

Now, thanks to the pitch clock, the games will get much faster and have a more predictable rhythm to them. Who knew? A clock could actually help to improve the timing of a game. You’d think this would be some high-tech discovery. And yet, the MLB just realized that a clock can help.

Oh, but it’s helping…even if the players don’t like it.

Padres’ Manny Machado got the first penalty as a batter for not being in the box with eight seconds on the clock. Likewise, Pirates’ Roansy Contreras received one of the first as a pitcher for not starting his delivery in time.

With its debut in the World Series, the clock is causing players to become irate. Pirates’ veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen is already advocating for changes, too. “I wish once an inning if a hitter went over time, you got a warning. The game is definitely moving fast. I just led off that last inning and I didn’t have my breath. I was wondering if I should take a pitch.”

This will be a back-and-forth issue with some adjustments likely to be made during the season. With feedback from fans, players, and sponsors being asked for along the way, MLB will make this right for everyone. And maybe, you’ll be able to make it through the game with just one run to the snack bar. We can hope, right?