For some, baseball always will be a timeless game. For others, baseball always has been seen as an endless, boring pastime.
With the average time of games soaring over the three-hour mark in recent seasons, Major League Baseball has moved to implement a 20-second pitch clock that commissioner Rob Manfred said will be worked into Major League games this spring training.
It’s a move that only should affect the slowest-paced pitchers in the game, but it still has been met with backlash from players across the league.
Add Clayton Kershaw to the list.
Among the greatest pitchers in the game right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers ace doesn’t plan to even acknowledge the clock, according the LA Times’ Jorge Castillo.
?I?m not going to pay any attention to it,? the Dodgers left-hander said Monday. ?And if I go over it then I go over. I?m not going to change anything I do. I?m not going to pay attention to it one bit, and if it becomes a problem I guess I?ll have to deal with it then. But I think there?s ways to fake it. If it looks like it?s winding down or something you can step off. I?m sure there are ways around it. I?m not too worried about it.?
Kershaw agreed that most players are in favor of speeding up the game, but doesn’t think a pitch clock is the way to get the job done.
?The commissioner?s office wants pace of play, but the game has changed so much that there?s so many swings and misses, there?s so many strikeouts, there?s so many home runs, there?s so many fill-in-the-blank. It?s like almost two steps forward, one step back type situation,? Kershaw said. ?So I?d be interested to see if the game clock actually makes a difference.?
Kershaw is not wrong in pointing out that perhaps, more important than the actual time it takes to play a game, is the amount of downtime that has arisen with strikeouts up and balls put in play way down. But a pitch clock may be the easiest way to shave time off games, even if it is by a few minutes.