Baseball Has No Clock

Baseball is the greatest game on Earth. Why is it such a great game? You don’t have to be affluent to take part in it. You don’t need a ton of equipment to play – just a bat, a ball, and a glove. It gives Dads and sons something to talk about. Every ballpark is unique. It’s as fun to watch the defensive aspect of the game as it is the offense. The most exciting plays in sports: The play-at-the-plate and the walk-off home run. It is both a team sport and an individual sport. Uniforms, like the players who wear them, give us the means to savour the game’s past. And most important of all, victory is not corrupted by the clock.

“You can’t sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You’ve got to throw the ball over the plate and give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game of them all.” —Earl Weaver

At the youth level, the idea of scrapping the clock and allowing games to be decided after the final inning with no draws is highly controversial within NSW to say the least. Why should the clock be abolished in junior baseball?

Time Wasting

Youth and adult league games can be slowed intentionally to allow a lead to be preserved. No matter how much an umpire monitors this ultimately there is little that can be done to eliminate game stalling antics.

Pitching

I’ve heard the argument “we don’t have the pitching to complete 5, 7, or 9 innings.” The answer is simple, supply and demand. If the demand is there for more quality pitching, the supply will be forced to increase. Playing two and three inning games once a week is little more than a waste of time.

Time Allocation

Many players and parents like the fact that baseball is at best 2 ¼ hours long. Win lose or draw they can plan their day around it. For those who like this and play baseball for this reason only, they are not the ones to bring this sport out of the basement in this country. A league of more dedicated and baseball enthusiastic players will emerge when games are played through until conclusion. This is not a sneaky plan to push people away from the game, rather a plan to increase the number of dedicated players creating a new breed of players willing to put in the time to become great.

Game Awareness

Will improve greatly with the need to take the opportunities presented throughout the game as opposed to listening to a coach making decisions based on what his watch says.

Pitch Counts

Don’t get me started on this one. Australian Baseball and their band of merry men have come up with these arbitrary numbers to help our youth to aid in their development. With this so called ‘help’, why is Australia not at the forefront of pitching development? If you ask any 16 year old how many complete games he has ever thrown, I will wager to guess the answer will zero.

Hopefully within my lifetime we will see Australian baseball break free of this “football mentality.” Then the development of players can really begin. Slowing down the clock in a Sunday NRL game is common practice and considered a ‘savvy’ tactic. This has no place in baseball and bringing back an innings rule will all but abolish nonsense. Please comment below if you agree or disagree.

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