Evansville Otters Introduce Pitch Clocks at Historic Bosse Field for 2023 Season, But Not All Fans Are Thrilled
The Evansville Otters are gearing up for the start of the 2023 season starting in May and revealed a new addition to Historic Bosse Field on Facebook earlier this week that many fans aren't too thrilled about.
Major League Baseball Implements Pitch Clocks
Full disclosure: I am not a huge baseball fan. I enjoyed playing the game growing up and even enjoy the atmosphere of going to Bosse Field or a Major League Baseball park to watch a game in person. But I'm not a fan of a specific team, and the only time I'll watch a game on TV is during the playoffs when there's more on the line than simply winning. There are several reasons for that, the fact that a season is 162 games (for MLB, anyway) is one of them. Another is that there's not a ton of action. You can go several innings without anyone scoring a run, or even hitting the ball. Especially if the pitcher on the mound is really good. But the biggest is the pace of the game. It was fairly common for games to last over three hours, and if there was a chance little to nothing is going to happen over that time, I'm out. Sorry, not sorry.
One of the new changes Major League Baseball implemented this season to try and speed things up and hopefully generate a little more action, was installing pitch clocks at all its stadiums. The goal, of course, was to keep pitchers from taking their sweet time in between pitches, and like it or not, so far this season it's working.
According to ESPN earlier this month, the average length of games was down 31 minutes to two hours and 38 minutes.
Other Baseball Leagues Follow Suit
Several minor league baseball teams followed Major League Baseball's lead and began installing pitch clocks ahead of the starts of their respective seasons. That includes the league the Evansville Otters are in, the Frontier League, which announced back in November it would be implementing the technology as well. That announcement included how its version would work.
The new rules will require pitchers to wait no longer than 14 seconds between pitches when there are no runners on base. If there are runners on base, they will have 18 seconds to deliver the ball to home plate. Batters must be in the box and ready to hit at the 9-second mark. Violation of these time parameters can result in a called strike or ball depending on the offender.
Evansville Otters Install Pitch Clock at Bosse Field
Earlier this week, the Otters revealed the pitch clocks they've installed at Bosse Field in a post on Facebook.
The post was liked 248 times, loved 21, while 10 people gave it a wow, and 8 were apparently saddened by the new addition. However, a quick scroll through the comments showed several fans are not on board with this change in the game. Some let GIFs show their displeasure, while others had no problem voicing their opinion. Here is what a few of them had to say:
Not a fan, let baseball be baseball. - Lori Corn
This is ridiculous - James J McEllhiney
Terrible. Really necessary in the frontier league? - Christopher Baker
horrible decision (sic) - Jason Duncan
NOOOOOOOOOOO - Kae Smith
Dumb - Michael Landon Lynch Jr.
To be fair, there were several comments either in favor of the clocks, indifferent to them, or just excited about the Otters' season starting soon.
Personally, I have no problem with this. If this puts a little more excitement into the game, then why not give it a shot? I also think there are far bigger, and more important, issues to address in this country we all should be focusing our energy on. To be upset about something trivial like a clock designed to try and make a game more exciting is asinine to me. But, I'm not a baseball purist, and I certainly understand many of us are passionate about sports. For me, that sport is football. And I'll admit, I don't love some of the rules changes the NFL has added over the years, but I don't feel the need to share those thoughts on social media because frankly, who cares? At the end of the day, it's just a game. But maybe I'm in the minority with that way of thinking.