MLB commissioner Rob Manfred ready to address concerns about new pitch clock

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses pitch clock concerns
from Mike Santa Barbara, with

After the thrilling conclusion of the 2023 World Baseball Classic — which was devoid of a pitch clock — apprehension over MLB’s newly implemented rules has only grown with the approach of Opening Day.

Appearing on Friday’s episode of the “Rich Eisen Show,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred did his best to quell fans’ fears over the much-debated pitch clock, confirming the league is open to making changes if needed.

“Our feet are not in stone with respect to the pitch clock,” Manfred said. “We saw it in the minor leagues, in spring training, we want to see it in regular-season games, particularly in situations that are high-leverage. I think we will talk about what should happen in those situations. I think that we certainly have the capacity to make adjustments on the fly.”

The pitch clock has already positively impacted the pace of play in spring training, shortening game times, one of the inital goals of the rule change. However, several contests have also ended on walk-off violations, which many dread occurring in a big game or possibly even the World Series.

The unease over the pitch clock has seemed to pick up after this week’s WBC championship game, which ended in a memorable battle between Los Angeles Angels teammates Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout.

Their high-wire at-bat that would have been rife with violations if played under major league rules. Instead of an unforgettable championship-clinching strikeout, a clock might have decided the outcome.

“I do think that there’s enough flexibility in the rules, including the capacity of the umpire to rewind the clock, that something in a really dramatic situation, I think our umpires are really good at managing those kinds of situations,” Manfred said, at least somewhat addressing the end-game question.

No amount of tinkering will appease those who widely reject the pitch clock, but MLB seems to have the right approach when it comes to convincing those still on the fence. After some positives and negatives during its run in spring training, we’re all about to see the rules rolled out on the big stage.