Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora understands why some have been turned off recently from baseball.
He even sees it from his own kids, who prefer to play soccer and gymnastics over baseball.
“There’s sports out there that they’re more fun because there’s no dead time,” Cora told reporters from spring training on Monday, per NBC Sports Boston video. “When they go to soccer practice, it’s nonstop. When they go to gymnastics, imagine, jumping all over the place and doing all that stuff. And then when you go to baseball practice, it’s hitting, it’s fielding. There’s a lot of dead time. I think that’s what we’re trying to avoid.”
Major League Baseball took a giant step in cutting down on the dead time with the implementation of a pitch clock, which has been put into action starting in spring training. Pitchers now have 15 seconds between pitches with nobody on base and get a little more time with 20 seconds between throws to the plate when runners are on.
Some players have already spoken out critically of it, but Cora certainly won’t be included in that group.
“I love it,” Cora said. “Why I say that? Because I want to be home sooner rather than later. I think it’s a better product for the fans.”
The impact of the pitch clock has already been felt during the exhibition season. It brought a Grapefruit League game between the Red Sox and Atlanta Braves to an unexpected stop when Braves shortstop Cal Conley didn’t get into the batter’s box quick enough on a 3-2 count in the ninth inning. The umpire assessed Conley with a strike, resulting in a strikeout for him and ending the game.
According to Baseball America, spring training games this year are taking two hours and 39 minutes to play on average, which is down over 20 minutes from 2021.
“The pace has been amazing,” Cora said. “Obviously, there are a few things that we still have to work (out), and we got 27 more days, or whatever it is, to get to where we want to. But for the game, for where we want to go, no doubt about it this is the right thing.”