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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Suffolk community weighs in on new MLB rules; pitch clock

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America’s most beloved game is finally adding some changes to their rulebook. The MLB is implementing a pitch clock, with the goal of helping gameplay. It is also introducing other new rules for the same purpose, in hopes that more people will start to follow baseball again, as well as attend games. 

According to ESPN, pitchers will have 15 seconds to throw a pitch with the bases empty and 20 seconds with a runner on base. 

The average time of a nine-inning MLB game in the 2022 season was 3 hours and 4 minutes, something that is believed to drive away potential fans. 

Suffolk University freshman Vinny Leonard said the pitch clock is a great addition to the MLB, as it will help speed up the game. 

“I used to be a massive fan of the MLB,” Leonard said. “Recently, the game is just too slow to watch on TV.”

The pitch clock will be enforced by charging the pitcher with a ball, if he has not begun the motion to deliver the pitch before the clock has run out. However, the pressure is not just on the pitcher. Hitters will be required to be in the batter’s box with eight seconds on the pitch clock.

“I don’t think the rule hurts the pitcher or the batter,” said Leonard. “I believe it has a neutral effect on both sides.”

The Minor Leagues have been using the pitch clock in past seasons, and it had quite an effect on the length of games. The use of the clock had cut down the average game time by 25 minutes, something the league now hopes would change people’s opinion of MLB games.

Suffolk University freshman Cormac O’Brien believes it’s something that the game has needed for a while now and will certainly be a benefit for everyone involved, players and fans alike. 

“I believe it will help the game,” O’Brien said. “A common thing I see with people who prefer other sports over baseball, especially on live TV, they say the game drags on for so long.”

“I think this will help build the dynamic of the game to involve quicker thinking and readiness from the players, while also bringing in a few new faces to the game,” he added. 

In addition to the pitch clock, the MLB is also implementing other new rules, such as eliminating the infield shift and increasing the sizes of the bases. All infield players are now required to be standing on the dirt before the outfield, with two players on either side of second base, when previously, for example, if a left-handed hitter was at the plate, the shortstop could have switched over to the other side of the base, leaving a 1-3 ratio in the infield. This will also help limit pickoffs. 

In addition, the sizes of the bases are increasing from 15 square inches to 18 square inches. These rules are being put in place for players to better show off their skills, whether defensively as an infielder or as a runner during a stolen base attempt, as well as for safety, to give everyone in the infield more room. 

O’Brien said he is still not sure about these new additions to the league, especially the increase of the bases and the elimination of the shift.

“I understand the idea of adding both, but I’m also curious as to how well the limiting pickoff issue will be taken into account when adding the pitch clock in,” said O’Brien.

Both the Red Sox and the MLB regular season start March 30. 

Follow Tracy on Twitter @tracylacara4

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About the Contributor
Tracy LaCara, Staff Writer | she/her
Tracy is a sophomore from Hanover, MA majoring in broadcast journalism. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, watching Red Sox games, and exploring different parts of Boston. Aside from the Journal, she is also a part of the Taylor Swift Society Club here at Suffolk. Tracy hopes to have a career in sports journalism in the future, working especially with the MLB.

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Suffolk community weighs in on new MLB rules; pitch clock