Baseball is not football or basketball or soccer.
Those games are ruled by clocks. A finite countdown begins from the first moment. But baseball, until recent times – and in all the years of my childhood, when it was THE game (my middle grade science teacher had World Series radio on during class) – had no clock.
Sadly – my own two cents – that history is changing. Every year the lords of baseball add new rules to “speed up” the game, to make it fit our time, now so impatient and full of distraction. The latest, and worst, is the pitch clock — pitchers will have 15 seconds to get off a pitch (20 seconds if there’s a runner on base) and can only try to pick off a runner on first TWO times. It’s meant to quicken the pace obviously, but also to get more runners into scoring position since a player wanting to steal second can take a big lead after the first two attempts at picking him off fail.
But consider — one of the great moments in what was once our national game is the double play. It can bail a pitcher out of a tough situation, save the defensive team when the bases are loaded with one out, and is one of those electric moments in baseball — bang bang, two outs — that make it unique. But if there are more steals of second (the bases will be larger as well) the number of double plays will shrink. That’s a fundamental change in the architecture of a great game. Count me out.
Yes, I know, I’m an old-fashioned curmudgeon, but say what you will, just don’t mess with my favorite game.