Report: MLB wants to add pitch clock to shorten game times

Major League Baseball wants to implement a pitch clock — 14 seconds with the bases empty and 19 seconds with runners on, ESPN reported Sunday.

MLB came upon those numbers after studying the results of experiments in minor leagues, per the report. Game times dropped by 21 minutes in Low-A in 2021 with a pitch clock, and MLB officials have been trying to find ways to speed up the pace of play.

Games in the major leagues averaged a record 3 hours, 10 minutes and 7 seconds in 2021, MLB announced in October. That’s nearly five minutes longer than in 2019 and 20 minutes longer than a decade ago.

Sticking Point in Talks

Whether players would agree to the pitch clock is up in the air, and the implementation of rule changes has been a sticking point in current contentious negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement between the owners and Major League Baseball Players Association.

The owners locked out players last December, and MLB so far has canceled the first two series of the 2022 season as negotiations continue.

First Data Field, clock
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The two sides are expected to meet Sunday.

In the past, some MLB pitchers have spoken out against a potential pitch clock.

“It just shouldn’t be in the game. Having a pitch clock, if you have ball-strike implications, that’s messing with the fabric of the game. There’s no clock in baseball, and there’s no clock in baseball for a reason,” said veteran Max Scherzer, a union subcommittee member, in 2019.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)