MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark Unhappy With MLB Changes To Pitch Clock

Among the biggest changes that came to Major League Baseball for the 2023 season was a pitch clock that drastically reduced the average game time and increased action on the field.

The league has made a slight adjustment to the timer for the 2024 campaign as it shortened from 20 seconds to 18 with runners on base. The pitch clock stayed at 15 seconds with no one on.

MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark is unhappy with the change and believes the union should have been consulted first, via David Brandt of the Associated Press:

“That’s a conversation that should have warranted a much longer dialogue than what we had,” Clark said Saturday. “We voiced those concerns, players voiced those concerns, and yet, the push through of the change to the pitch clock still happened.”

Clark said that the MLBPA voiced their concerns to the league but still went through with making the change to the pitch clock:

“We just had the biggest adjustment this league has ever seen in regards to length of game and how the game was affected, by including a clock,” Clark said. “Rather than give us another year to adjust and adapt to it, why are we adjusting again, and what are the ramifications going to be?”

Clark noted that the league saw an increase in pitcher injuries last season and doesn’t think a faster pitch clock will be beneficial:

“When fatigue happens, you’re more susceptible to injury,” Clark said. “We’re seeing a lot of injuries and we’re seeing them in a way that simply can’t remove the question of whether or not shortening recovery time is in anyone’s best interest.”

Clark’s main concern is that pitchers will have less time to recover in between pitches, which should be the priority given how hard they throw and the current landscape of injuries.

If there’s any silver lining to had, most pitchers have experience with a pitch clock and might be able to adjust to the changes quicker than last season.

MLB enforcing obstruction rule around bases

In addition to shaving two seconds off the pitch clock with runners on base, MLB will strictly enforce the obstruction rule this year to prevent infielders from blocking runners’ paths to the bag.

The enforcement of the obstruction will mostly affect plays at second and third base. Players will still be allowed to stand in front or behind the bag, but going to a knee to block the path is not permitted.

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