In the warped world where people speak baseball what is it that strikes fear like no other concept? A clock. Baseball Think causes baseball people to insist that there is no clock even when they deal with keeping time as in the newest lame attempts to ineffectively bring baseball back from the brink of extinction due it devolving into an unwatchable slow motion mess.
Increase time to reduce time: only in the Bud Selig Alice in Wonderland league. Sunday, January 18, 2015
Enter the well hidden details by new Commissioner Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer:
I won't critique it, just highlight the most ridiculous part:
Schuerholz said: "The Pace of Game Committee wants to take measured steps as we address this industry goal to quicken the pace of our great game. It is not an objective of ours to achieve a dramatic time reduction right away; it is more important to develop a culture of better habits and a structure with more exact timings for non-game action."
Say what? They do not want to "achieve a dramatic time reduction right away". What? Do it so slowly that it will not be noticeable and therefore ineffective. That's the objective? To doom the effort?
There are several items with measurable time intervals but everyone insists that there is not and should not be an actual clock. I guess there will be a lot of people counting "Mississippi" repeatedly.
Perhaps worse than the league bureaucrats, including the unions of the players and even umpires, are the media types who are not significantly different in their views. Even outsiders do not want reform. Both insiders and outsiders wallow in junk like the batter keeping one foot in the batter's box.
Earth to planet Baseball: only the umpires can call time out! The batter may not step out and implicitly get time out. If Commissioner Rob "Bud Light" Manfred had a pair, he'd inform all parties that he was instructing, dare we say ordering, the umpires to enforce existing rules starting immediately and that, where there is ambiguity, he, Manfred, will clarify in terms of radically speeding up the pace of play.
Yesterday Yankee manager Joe Girardi addressed this general topic and mentioned time between innings and time for changes, which I took to mean pitching changes. Time for TV commercials will not be reduced. Time for the ritual of changing pitchers should simply be eliminated by making all substitutions on the fly as football and basketball do. This would make it practical for players to re-enter, which is long overdue.
The problem is the DEAD time between the 300 pitches in each game. They still don't understand that. When there should be play, there is inaction that has nothing to do with the nature of the game. Mindless dead time does not equate to time honored matching of wits between batter and pitcher. Neither batter nor pitcher is thinking any more by procrastinating, probably just the opposite. And here is breaking news for the professional news reporters: the pendulum switched dramatically from the pitcher to the batter as the chief culprit years ago, yet I continue to hear about the pitcher causing most of the delays. The pitcher is usually waiting for the batter to get back from his walk.
Here is all anyone ever needs to know about it: high and tight, low and away.
Why doesn't one of the thirty teams decide to run a hurry up offense? Just one. Just to demonstrate how it can be done and to possibly shame other teams into also speeding up. How about to offer a more entertaining form of baseball to its fans?
How about a rogue plate umpire unilaterally informing both teams before a game that he intends to follow the rules and that he will not call time if a batter takes a walk, even with only one foot. In boxing the contestants are told to follow the most basic rule: protect yourself at all times. Batters should be required to adhere to that and not depend on the umpire to protect them by running away from home plate at the slightest indication that a batter has decided to bail out for no apparent reason.
How about some players speeding up on their own. Maybe if some top players did it, others would follow. Baseball think promotes lots of followers.
How about somebody showing some leadership, some imagination. Is that so radical?