Is there really that much of a push from fans for pace of play in baseball? I say that for the simple reason everyone I know that attends games and are more than casual baseball fans are disgusted with this subject.
These are people I grew up with and have followed the sport with since the mid 70's. The ideas these people are coming up with will do nothing to speed the game up. Strike zone? They say this would cause more action in the game.
What it will cause is inflated stats with more hits and runs on the board which will also make for a longer games. How does this help? A Pitch clock? There should never be a clock in baseball of any kind. The beauty of baseball is patience. You have to be patient at the plate and on the mound to be successful in this sport.
You have to be able to play mind games with your opponent on both ends. For the pitcher when he slows down it forces the hitter to slow down and become uncomfortable. When he speeds up it does the same thing. What about holding runners? Would this be affected by a pitch clock? Will speedy base runners be able to use this clock to their advantage?
Limit trips to the mound? What this will eventually cause is more pitching changes which will cause longer games. Sometimes a catcher or pitching coach needs to visit the mound to calm down and make the pitcher focus on the situation at hand.
If they are limited then the pitcher may continue to implode and have to be removed from the game hence more pitcher changes and longer games. Pitchers must face at least 3 hitters? All this does is take strategy away from the manager and the specialist in the bullpen.
Starting extra inning with runners on base? This could be by far the dumbest idea of them all. I have seen a small sample size of this from the WBC and seems to me to favor the visiting team as if they score first they grab the momentum and makes it harder for the Home team to grab it back.You can see it in the players faces and actions.
I would like to see a statistic for how many times the visiting teams score first in extra innings that the home team comes back to win? I know it happens but at what percentage? I can't find this stat. Automatic walks? Well I guess we will see what this ridiculous idea will do this year as it has been forced upon the league.
My opinion is nothing really. Just taking away from the game a little it does not happen frequently enough to impact much. I know everyone has an opinion and this is just mine. From what I have seen in forums all over the internet most fans have a similar one.
They added replay which I agree with somewhat but feel it should be handled differently.This has dramatically added time to games. The manager should not be able to view the replay before making a decision. This really needs to change. If you feel it was close enough then challenge or don't no more video reviewers in the clubhouse.
In closing baseball is the best sport of them all. Please don't ruin this game the way they have done with NASCAR the NFL and NCAA Football with rules that are created to either appease the participants or some organization that finds these sports to rough or to slow in our now wussified society. As far as the argument for shorter attention spans of our youth,how many times have seen them staring at a phone or ipad for hours at a time.