Union Worries About Effect of Clock Change

After one season of limiting pitchers, MLB gives them less time when a runner is on base
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2024 4:10 PM CST
Union Worries About Effect of Clock Change
Tampa Bay's Randy Arozarena waits on deck during a game against the Detroit Tigers last March in St. Petersburg, Florida.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Major League Baseball went nearly 150 years without limiting the time between pitches, before instituting a clock last season. Average game times fell 24 minutes, Yahoo Sports reports, to 2 hours, 40 minutes, and MLB has decided to give pitchers less time this season: 18 seconds instead of 20 when runners are on base. They'll still have 15 seconds when the bases are empty. The head of the Players Association wondered Saturday what the rush was with shortening the clock for this year.

"That's a conversation that should have warranted a much longer dialogue than what we had," Tony Clark said, per the AP. "We voiced those concerns, players voiced those concerns, and yet, the push through of the change to the pitch clock still happened." He said injuries could increase when pitchers are given less time to recover between pitches that require maximum physical effort. "We just had the biggest adjustment this league has ever seen in regards to length of game and how the game was affected, by including a clock," the union boss said. "Rather than give us another year to adjust and adapt to it, why are we adjusting again, and what are the ramifications going to be?" (More pitch clock stories.)

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