AWSI: Challenging Times for Major League Baseball…


While enjoying the Sunday sports sections of the newspapers, we came upon another head-scratcher. The Sporting Green of the San Francisco Chronicle had a headline about a “pitch clock” accompanied by a captioned photo of a SF Giants pitcher who averages 28.5 seconds between pitches. Apparently this is the second longest in the majors and “well above a 20-second limit.”


Okay —So the argument presented by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is that limiting pitching changes AND enforcing the 20-second rule will help improve pace-of-play.

…would be one of those things that would keep pace of play in the mind of pitchers without really changing the behavior in a huge way.

Hold onto that thought while we redirect your attention to the other Sunday sports page headline. This one, care of the New York Times (“Upon Further Review”), focused on MLB managers challenges.

Major league managers are allowed to ask for one replay review per game on calls that are eligible to be overturned. This includes hit by pitch, traps on fly balls, timing plays, tag plays and force plays. If any portion of the call is overturned, the manager retains the right to challenge one more play. But no manager can challenge more than two per game.

The chart that followed that intro rocked!


So you can see who has great success (Ned Yost and Bob Melvin), and who isn’t so good at the sport of challenges (John Gibbons and Dusty Baker).

We’ve noticed these challenges really lag the game. That’s why it seems really weird to be working on ways to speed things up when at the same time, this challenge system slows the game down.

Furthermore, there’s been quite a bit of chatter about why “pace of play” in baseball has been singled out as an issue.

AWSI, longer games mean more food is sold and ads pushed to viewers. So from a business standpoint, long is good. Besides, if there was a sport in need of a shot clock to “grow the game,” we nominate golf.

Enough said. That’s a wrap! #SCMF!

—The Gang

Note: If you are curious, here are a few more links to click on.





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