Monday, February 18, 2019

Manfred: Pitch Clock WILL Debut at Spring Training

When Spring Training begins on February 21, 2019, it will feature a 20-second pitch clock, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters a week ahead of baseball's preseason.

Manfred responded to a pace-of-play query by saying, "I'm trying not to be that clear about the pitch clock...this is the point."

The Commissioner continued by explaining his plan for phasing in the use of a clock during live play, asking reporters to wait for an official press release from the league, though Manfred did state the pitch clock would be 20 seconds in duration.

Earlier this offseason, Manfred explained baseball's pace-of-play proposals and other potential rule changes. Those proposals went to the doorstep of Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark, who as recently as Monday afternoon decried Manfred's negotiations—related to payroll issues—as "unconstructive and misleading at best." Manfred had previously criticized the MLBPA's "negativity."
Related Post2019 Rule Change Proposals - Pitch Clock & NL DH? (2/6/19)

League reaction to the impending pitch clock is mixed. While some managers have compared it to the mound visit limit that MLB'ers quickly adapted to, others, such as Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, dismissed the clock: "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."

Kershaw then said something that just might make any umpire's skin crawl, regardless of one's stance on the clock: "I think there's ways to fake it...I'm sure there are ways around it."

Teammate Rich Hill was more blunt: "I don't really like it. It's ridiculous."

Video as follows:
Alternate Link: Manfred signals start of the pitch clock era in Major League Spring Training (MLB)


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