By Aidan McAuliffe— Correspondent
Fans are slowly fading away from baseball; the game is getting slower and slower each year. The commissioner of the MLB, Rob Manfred, decided it was time for a change.
He decided to add a pitch clock. That means the pitcher only has 15 seconds to throw the ball to try and speed up the games. The MLB also removed the shift, where players in the field go to one side of the field where the batter usually hits it. These changes will be implemented at the start of the 2023 season.
Many players in the league agree with the decision, but pitcher Cole Arundale says otherwise. “I think it’s not smart. I think they can’t change the rules of the MLB just because some things might take longer or take away advantages for one team. I think baseball is all about advantages and rhythm for some players,” said Arundale.
The proposed rules were tested in the Minor Leagues and proved to be very effective. Jeff Passan, a writer for ESPN, says the changes are an improvement. “Long tested in the minor leagues, the pitch clock, when strictly enforced, has significantly accelerated the speed of games. Minor league games this season have consistently clocked in at under 2 hours, 30 minutes — a time seen by many as ideal — and average game times have settled a little over it,” said Passan.
Two time All Star Joey Gallo hits the ball to the right side more than anyone in the league and has been pushing the shift to be banned for years. “I get the defensive strategies. I do. I am 100 percent not against that… But I think at some point, you have to fix the game a little bit…” Gallo said.
“I don’t understand how I’m supposed to hit a double or triple when I have six guys standing in the outfield,” he added.
Cleveland Guardians Manager Terry Francona says he is not much of a fan of the MLB removing the shift. “I do worry about the shifting thing … the unintended consequences. Like are you rewarding guys that just pull the ball instead of trying to get back to using the whole field? Like I keep hearing people say, ‘Guys are tired of hitting into the shift.’ Then hit the ball the other way. There are solutions other than just lift and separate,” he said.
Most pitchers don’t agree with the pitch clock change, but batters are excited about the new addition. Future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw says he isn’t bothered by the change. “I’m not going to pay any attention to it. And if I go over it then I go over. I’m not going to change anything I do. I’m not going to pay attention to it one bit, and if it becomes a problem I guess I’ll have to deal with it then. But I think there’s a way to fake it. If it looks like it’s winding down or something you can step off. I’m sure there are ways around it. I’m not too worried about it,” said Kershaw.
“I hope that the biggest change in the game is that people are saying that Major League Baseball owns the next generation,” said Manfred.