Blog Entry

The clock and baseball -- can they coexist?

Posted on: June 16, 2009 2:19 pm
As the MLB attempts to speed up the game of baseball, I find myself digging in my heels. The thing I love most about that sport is the possibility that I just bought a ticket to a game that will never end. I hate the idea of putting the pitcher on a clock. I love the stall tactics if he's on my team, and love to boo them if he isn't. They say it's a move to create more fans. I wonder if the game needs fans that want an instant answer to a really long question. Then I wonder what's next. Will they apply the 10 run mercy rule that exists in Little League? Will they limit a team to a certain number of runs per inning, or decide that once a team has batted around, they have to take the field? Will innings be measured in minutes instead of outs? Will three foul tips be made to equal a strike? Will a tie game be decided by which team had the most hits instead of going on to extra innings?

Summer is a time of hope -- an endless season. The thought of blustery winter winds is more distant than at any other time in the year. While we go through our daily grind our bodies still long for the months-long summer vacation of our childhoods. Then, we buy a ticket or turn on the television and settle in. While everything else in our lves is run by the almighty clock, we have baseball -- the game that can go on forever. It takes me back to my youth, when each game I played absorbed me totally, with no thought of going home or performing my chores until a voice yelled from the front porch.

It seems to me that efforts to speed up baseball would be efforts to change the very essence of the game. You might as well force NFL teams to stop taking time-outs in the final minutes of a game; or deem every foul by the losing team in a close basketball game an intentional foul (because, after all, they are); or end stoppage time play in soccer. To apply a clock to baseball strikes me as a feeble attempt to force the game to fit a set broadcast time, like taking a hammer to a square peg you're trying to fit into a round hole. Funny, in other sports there are attempts as the clock ticks down, to lengthen games. In baseball there's no clock. There are just 18 players who have nowhere else they'd rather be than on the green field playing with a ball and a stick until the final inning comes and the final out is made -- and their mothers step out on the porch and call them home.

If they've got the time to play, I've got the time to watch.

Category: MLB

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: June 29, 2009 11:38 pm

The clock and baseball -- can they coexist?

Thanks, Father Drew. There must be more of us out there, but no one's nominating us for commissioner, unfortunately.

Since: Jun 24, 2009
Posted on: June 29, 2009 6:50 pm

The clock and baseball -- can they coexist?

Excellent point. I am glad that someone else feels the same way. One reason I love baseball is that it is has intrinsically different aspects that all the other sports lack. The absence of the clock is just one of these, the same goes for the uniqeness and excentricities of baseball parks. I agree with you when you say this is all just a ruse to make the game fit broadcast schedules and it would really piss me off if ever this thiung happens.

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: June 27, 2009 2:47 pm

The clock and baseball -- can they coexist?

Thanks Matt. Now there are two voices in the wilderness.

Since: Jun 23, 2009
Posted on: June 26, 2009 3:50 pm

The clock and baseball -- can they coexist?

Entertaining and very well written.  I agree with you, if people want a fast paced game
 watch basketball or hockey.  Baseball exists outside of time and if we succomb to the
restraints of television time schedules we will lose an integral part of americas pastime.

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