MLB news this week saw the big boys finally realize speed of play and downtime is not good for the game.
Let's take it to the next level and bring the clock into the amateur level. This was a concept I introduced to college baseball decades ago when former MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and I were hired by college baseball!
12-second clock: From the time the catcher receives the ball from the pitcher on a pitched ball, the defensive team has 12 seconds for the pitcher to put the next ball back in play. First time-warning, second time- the batter receives a ball in the count.
40-second rule: Transition time from the last recorded out of the inning to the time the hitter has to be ready to hit and the defensive team is done with warmups. First time-warning, second time-a strike is given to the hitter.
10 second rule: The time in which the next batter has to be ready to hit. First time-warning, second time- the hitter is out.
The home umpire would be the time clock enforcer and would give a 5,4,3,2, 1 countdown to let the players know they are running out of time.
We integrated the clock in our games at Frozen Ropes and the parents, players and umpires loved it...
Move the game, more at bats, more balls put in play, more opportunities to develop talent and addresses the boredom factor at the young level. Plus, it gets parents home before dark on a Sunday morning doubleheader! The clock is a must for softball also as they sometimes play 3-4 games a day.
- Tony Abbatine