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As Time Passes By, So Does Baseball

Brian Snitker, manager of the Atlanta Braves - Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports - 2/26/2023

Los Angeles, California– What was it that happened at “Cool Today Park” in North Port, Florida, on the first day of official spring training games? I’ll tell you what it was. It was what big league baseball has become. It is the new MLB. One where we have moved on from the past glories of what was once our “National Pastime.” When an automatic strike ended, a 6-6 tie between the Braves and Red Sox.

After the Braves scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game and with Cal Conley at bat, plate umpire John Libka ended the game when he called an automatic strike with the bases loaded, two outs and a full count on Conley. Libka ruled Conley wasn’t ready to hit in time. Don’t blame Libka; he was doing his job correctly, as per the new major league rules set in place by the powers that be in baseball today.

Because there are no extra innings in spring training games, the game was over. To the hometown Braves fans, it was “Thanks for coming, see you later, alligator.” The time of the game was 2:39 and according to the geniuses who run baseball today, the fans left happy! Like who cares who wins, the game was under three hours!

Yes, the pace of the game was better, but pitchers used to work faster in the past. Unfortunately, players develop those talents from a young age. Baseball can’t wait for them to develop, so they had to put a clock in to speed them up. That’s embarrassing. It all slowed down when bat flips and non baseball theatrics became the showboat norm; the dugout began calling every pitch, and when the pitchers stopped having a plan for every batter. It is the world we live in.

When we see people in the most expensive seats behind home plate looking at their phones, it also is the world we live in and that doesn’t bother me that much. But now we have these giant clocks counting down the seconds between pitches that fans will become fixated on and miss seeing things right in front of them. Like, the pitcher’s individual oddities as he gets set to deliver, and the idiosyncrasies of a batter as he sizes up that pitcher. That is part of the magic of watching this game in its purest form.

Baseball has been taken over by people who don’t seem to have a passion for the game and in some cases never played it. For all of us die-hard baseball fans who have a genuine passion for the game, it’s like that scene at the end of “Planet of the Apes” when Charlton Heston rides a horse on the beach, discovers they destroyed the Statue of Liberty and says, “You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you!”

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