In an effort to speed up games, Major League Baseball plans to implement a pitch clock and stricter rules on mound visits in the 2018 season. That’s according to a memo that was obtained and reported by Yahoo Sports Jeff Passan on Thursday.
It’s a proposal that most routine-oriented players are dead set against. Just don’t include Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale among those players. In fact, Sale says he’d actually welcome the faster pace a pitch clock would bring to the game.
Chris Sale, who works fast, said he welcomed the idea of the pitch clock and agrees with the idea of cutting out dead time in the game.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) January 20, 2018
As Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe notes there, Sale likes to work fast when pitching.
Some might even say too fast.
Chris Sale is in favor of adding a pitch clock to increase pace-of-play. Dude throws the ball as the catcher is still getting into his crouch so they may need the opposite for him. #RedSox
— Andrew Tashian (@Tashville401) January 20, 2018
But beyond staying in rhythm, which can be difficult to do when constantly sidetracked by mound visits and other distractions, Sale clearly sees the bigger picture too. Commissioner Rob Manfred wants the game to appeal to a broader audience, and he sees the repeated lulls in the action as a detriment to that.
Numerous reports say the players’ union will reject any pace of play measures brought forth by the league. That will force commissioner Rob Manfred to use his power to override them. It also highlights how little support the addition of a pitch clock has among the players, and how rare Sale’s position is.
Sale isn’t completely alone though. In fact, he has some Hall of Fame back up on this subject. Speaking to the media at the Red Sox Winter Weekend on Saturday, Pedro Martinez said he would have welcomed a pitch clock during his playing days too.
Pedro on the new pitch clock: "I was just like Chris Sale… I would love the clock."
— Chris Mason (@ByChrisMason) January 19, 2018
Those are two pretty strong votes for the pitch clock.
As for those speaking out against it, such as Houston Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr., now’s probably the time to begin the process of accepting it. With Manfred’s mind seemingly made up, they’ll have to be ready to speed things up sooner than later.
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