From the “Let’s Provide a Fix For a Problem that Doesn’t Actually Exist File,” Baseball has announced that “Pitch Clocks” WILL BE USED AT AAA AND AA THIS SEASON. The theory here is that the pace of the game will “speed up,” which has been deemed a problem, particularly when the Yankees battle the Red Sox. So here we go again, tampering with the very fabric of the game – again.
When I was a kid, there was no such thing as a “Designated Hitter.” That came about in the American League and while it changed some of the managing of a game, it didn’t hurt things all that bad. Then came ubiquitous artificial turf, which, as far as I am concerned can go burn in hell. This did change the game, badly as far as I am concerned, because not only did it allow gap doubles to become inside the park home runs, it led to the worst baseball abomination of all time – Domed Stadiums.
Look, I lived near Seattle in the early 1980’s, the first time I had ever been close enough to a Major League City to go to a game pretty much when I wanted to go. The Mariners were bad. No, bad doesn’t do it justice. The Mariners were atrocious. When the 1983 team lost it’s 100th game, Wayne Cody celebrated on the air with a bottle of very cheap champagne. I went to at least twenty games that year, including “Fan Appreciation Night” against the Division Winning White Sox. The fans were booing the cheap prizes the team gave out to “thank” them for actually showing up to watch this team of not-so-loveable losers. With Steinbrenner wannabe George Argyros at the helm of the team, it seemed like there was no hope whatsoever for the future and baseball in Seattle was doomed to double-knit uniforms with still a better logo than they have today on the hat.
But the worst part of it all, was that damned Kingdome. The Seahawks may have loved it, but for baseball it was a tomb. Depth perception was virtually non-existent, and if you sat down the 1st or 3rd baselines you’d end up having to tell relief pitchers to sit down or get out of the way to see whatever action there was on the field. Unless it was Dan Quisenberry, then you watched him warm up because it was far better than whatever the M’s were doing on the field.
It stank with a funky musty odor that clung to the clothes and the nostrils. And even when it did protect the game itself from the rain, you still had to bundle up to get there and re-bundle up to leave. It sucked, and I would gladly have blown it up for free, although mid-game probably wasn’t the best time to offer to do it.
Anyway, artificial turf begot domes and should have been cursed into the seventh level of hell for it.
Next came Interleague Play. I have to admit, I opposed it. Vehemently.
And I was wrong.
Then came the Wildcard, then the second Wildcard and the one game playoff. And the world not only didn’t stop revolving, it became more fun and interesting. So it was okay.
But this? Pitch clocks?
There already is a Pitch Clock, it’s called “an Umpire.” In fact, rule 8.04 already says that when the bases are empty, a pitcher HAS to pitch within 12 seconds, and it’s up to the Umpire to enforce this. While the rule is all-but-unenforced, I’ve never in my baseball life seen an Umpire allow a Pitcher to just stall and stall.
The problem with rules like this is that it takes away the Umpires “judgment.” We train these guys from the Camps to the Minors and all the way up to hone their judgment and skills, and now we say that they can’t count to twelve? We don’t need Pitch clocks and we don’t need instant replay. Things like that make Umpires sloppy, like NFL Refs.
At any rate, the test for the Pitch Clocks will be in the Minors, at the AA and AAA levels. Which is odd because usually Minor League games don’t need a lot of speeding up, not like a Yanks-Sox tilt anyway. What the Minors DO need is an innings limit to prevent injuries and using position players from having to balk home winning runs to end marathon games.
But that’s not likely to happen, is it?
Posted on January 15, 2015, in 1983 Season, Baseball, Mariners, Minor Legue and tagged 1983, 2015, AA, AAA, Dan Quisenberry, George Argyros, Kingdome, MiLB, Pitch Clock, Red Sox, Seattle Mariners. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.