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The Reality of Timing Rules in Minor League Baseball


Baseball Is Back

Baseball Is Back

Written by Diane Quail

The Minor League has officially installed timers for all Triple-A and Double-A games.  These timers will be used to ensure that pitching breaks will be two minutes and 25 seconds and ensure that pitchers throw a pitch every 20 seconds.


April serves as a grace period where pitchers will not be penalized, however come May 1st that changes.


Once the timer is put in effect, pitchers will be penalized for not following the timer.  If a pitcher does not come to his set position within the last 20 seconds of the inning break, the leadoff batter will begin his at-bat with a 1-0 count.


If the batter does not enter the batter box with at least five seconds left on the inning break timer, he will start his at-bat with a 0-1 count.


The MLB believes that this could help speed up the game ensuring that pitchers do not throw extra warm ups and the batter gets into the batters box, but will it really help the game itself?


This question goes for all of the new timer regulations the MLB is testing out in the Minor Leagues.  How is giving a batter a ball or a pitcher a strike going to speed up the game?  If anything it creates an annoyance for two of the most finesse athletic positions.


The problem with baseball is that critics’ dislike how long games are.  Yet for the most part all sporting events end up being around two and a half hours.  Baseball critics do not like baseball because unlike football and other sports, baseball is not timed.    However, if someone does not like baseball now what makes the MLB think that they will like baseball if pitchers have timers.


Baseball critics feel that baseball is too slow and boring.  The problem with this statement is how broad it is.  Do they mean that baseball is slow as in length or the idea of the game?  Baseball games typically last no more than three hours, football games typically last around three hours basketball as well.

The reason baseball is pegged for being slow is because it is not an action sport.  The only contact you will see in a baseball game is a collision at home, a hit batter or a diving catch.  These typically happen one or two times per game at most.  The excitement in baseball is not the 70-yard touchdowns or the slam-dunks, but hitting a ball over the fence or striking out the cleanup hitter.


For someone who does not understand the strategies involved baseball can seem boring and slow because there is not a huge tackle every five minutes.  A huge play can be a simple strike out or getting a home run hitter to ground out.  These things are not “action packed” so to speak, but they are what make baseball such a great sport.


Timing pitchers and hitters the two will alter most action packed positions tremendously and potentially for the worst.


When a pitcher is in a groove sometimes he will speed up the game.  When a batter feels uncomfortable with the count he may step out of the batters box and take a breather.  This gives them a chance to alter their strategy and potentially what happens with the next pitch.  Baseball is a mind game between these two positions, forcing them to make a decision within 20 seconds will leave room for mistakes.  These mistakes most likely will result in hits and runs, which ultimately makes the game longer.


Timing baseball will not bring baseball more fans.  It will take away the beauty of a game that is based on strategy.  The object of the game is to score runs, get on base or get the batter out if you’re on defense.  Timing this takes from the strategy that has been instilled in players heads’.







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Diane Quail

Diane is a Staff Writer here at
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