Sports Take: MLB pitch clock is one of the best additions to the sport

FILE - Miami Marlins' Luis Arraez stand in the on-deck circle next to the pitch clock during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, July 16, 2023, in Baltimore. The average time of a nine-inning major league game dropped to 2 hours, 40 minutes in the first year of the pitch clock, a 24-minute decrease that reduced the time to its level in 1985. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams, File)

By Zach Babajanof-Rustrian | Sports Writer

In the 2023 season, Major League Baseball officials added the pitch clock to aid the speed of the game. After the season and now into 2024, I’ve seen that the pitch clock has been very useful and has accelerated the pace of the game.

The MLB announced the pitch clock — a 30-second timer in between batters — in September 2022. Between pitches, a 15-second timer would be in place when the bases are empty and a 20-second timer would be in place with runners on base.

This addition has been seen before in college baseball, with the NCAA adding the clock in 2011. There was a 20-second clock for pitchers to deliver the ball when the bases were empty and a 90-second clock between innings.

History has proven to fans and players of the game that baseball is more interesting with the pitch clock. Going to live games has been more fun than ever before.

While baseball at the ballpark is known for hanging out with friends and eating hot dogs or cracker jacks — basically, not really paying attention to the game — the improvements have shown that it’s a nice sport to watch.

I went to five Tampa Bay Rays games during the summer before leaving for college, and I always enjoyed them. When I was a kid going to the games, I remember feeling like the games were dragging on, but last summer, the contests were fast-paced and a lot of fun.

Even watching the games from home has been a lot more enjoyable. I’ve been able to watch baseball on my laptop while doing homework.

Although some people think the pitch clock has hurt the game, the MLB has also seen it help the game. In the 2024 season, the MLB has shortened the pitch clock by two seconds to go from 20 seconds to 18 seconds with runners on base, and it will keep the 15-second clock when the bases are empty.

Baseball has seen the quickest games since 1984, with games being cut by an average of 24 minutes. It has also seen an updated draw in viewership, with more than 70 million people going to the ballpark since 2017, according to an Associated Press article.

As the 2024 season continues, I’m excited to see the game of baseball evolve and grow in viewership. Baseball is a sport I’ve always loved. I enjoyed it the most last season, and I’m happy to see growth with the upcoming slate.

Zach Babajanof-Rustrian is a freshman journalism and psychology major from Lutz, Florida. In his first year at the Lariat, he is excited to learn from the editors and to improve his writing skills. After graduation, he hopes to become a public relations agent for a Tampa sports team.