Major League Baseball could soon see a pitch clock used to limit the amount of time between pitches during games, as the league announced Thursday that it will experiment with the clocks at the Triple-A and Double-A levels of the minor leagues.

The Associated Press, via, reported the news:

A pitch clock will be used this season during minor league games in Triple-A and Double-A, but it has been ruled out for the major leagues this year.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday the decision to use the pitch clock in the minors followed a successful experiment in the Arizona Fall League.

MLB officials said details will be announced later, such as how much time will be allowed between pitches and other speed-up measures to be tested in the minors.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has more:

The main impetus for the pitch clock in baseball is speeding up the game to keep a younger crowd engaged and entertained.

In an age when people rarely watch television without having another screen running, be it on their phone or tablet, the long spaces between action in baseball mean the sport has a hard time competing for attention among the younger generation.

That doesn’t mean the decision to potentially implement a pitch clock at the major league level someday wouldn’t have its potential repercussions, as Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk elaborated on:

It would be a visual distraction. Broadcasters would be flashing it on and off the screen and talking about it all the time. Managers and players would use replay challenges or, at the very least, argue about when it was started and stuff. Technical glitches would happen. Less concretely, it would put lie to the old — and good — saying about how baseball doesn’t have a clock. 

Nonetheless, the experiment at the minor league level means the owners are keen on someday adding a pitch clock to the big league games.

Much like implementing video replay, a pitch clock will be a divisive issue among fans and further the divide between the baseball purists and the young crowd of potential fans the owners so desperately want to attract to the game.

More often than not, the purists don’t win those debates.


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