Does the Pace of Play Really Need to Improve?
Baseball may just be going at the right speed.
Now, my opinion on the pace of play is probably very different from everyone else’s. In a world where everyone and everything is going 100 MPH, baseball may seem like an ancient thing of the past. However, I love that baseball isn’t fast-paced like basketball or hockey or even our daily lives. Being able to watch the game while still being able to eat, take notes for an upcoming article, or do literally anything short of leaving the room is just one of the many things that makes baseball America’s National pastime.
A couple days ago, while I was crying about the news of Revis heading to the Jets, I started to watch ESPN’s short film “4 Days in October.” In the beginning of the film, they continuously show the clock during Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. As Mariano Rivera enters the game, they show the scoreboard strike midnight. River surrendered a walk to Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts stole second, which looks closer and closer to me every day, and Billy Mueller drove in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth.
Now how would this have been different if there was a play clock? Or if the hitters could not step out of the batting box? The biggest moment in Boston Red Sox history would have been completely different. You would not have had Mariano Rivera throwing over to Dave Roberts multiple times. You would not have had Rivera holding the ball for an extended amount of time to try and disrupt Roberts’s ability to get a good jump to steal. Kevin Millar may have been given a violation for stepping out of the box every single pitch, which in return may have cost him a strike.
In the bottom of the 12th, David Ortiz hit a home run into the right field bleachers and the rest is history, (Sorry Yankee fans) but it makes you think where the future of our beloved game is heading. It may not be the fastest or most interesting game, which obviously appeals to the younger audience, but it is America’s Pastime. The small positional and mental battles that occur before, during and after every single pitch is what makes baseball so fascinating. There may not be 70 yard touchdown passes or a line brawl like there are in other sports, but thats what makes it special.