Cue all the pitch clock jokes after Saturday's Boston Red Sox vs Atlanta Braves game! New York Yankees fans might actually be in support of the whining about this one because anything that benefits the Sox, who have done nothing but stepped in you know what ever since 2004, can no longer be tolerated.
With the incoming 2023 MLB rule changes, the pitch clock has by far been the most controversial. There are new guidelines for both the pitcher and batter.
The league has introduced a 30-second timer in between batters, a 15-second timer in between pitches with the bases empty, and a 20-second timer in between pitches with runners on base. As for the hitters, they have eight seconds in between pitches to enter the batter's box and make it known to the pitcher that they're ready. A violation on the pitcher's end results in a called ball. A violation on the hitter's end results in a called strike.
While we've already seen the game speed up after the first full day of its usage, we've also seen the potential drastic pitfalls (which usually come whenever changes of such magnitude are made). Objectively, that happens. It's a necessary evil for improving whatever the current state of affairs might be.
But when the Red Sox give us a nonsensical preview of how they'll pick up a pseudo-victory over the Yankees or against anyone in a crucial playoff series, that's where we'll have to draw the line. We might have to cancel all of this, even if it's for the greater good.
Red Sox benefit from pitch clock rule in crazy fashion, to the dismay of Yankees fans
Sure, it's only spring training, but the tone cannot be set with the Red Sox as a figurehead for the beneficiaries of the pitch clock (though we know we're bound to see this a few more times across the league by the end of the 2023 season).
In the bottom of the ninth, after the Sox took the lead in the top of the eighth, the Braves stormed back by scoring three runs to tie it. With two outs and the bases loaded, prospect Cal Conley gathered himself before stepping into the batter's box with a 3-2 count. But the extra second he took didn't give him a chance to potentially whiff on strike three.
He was ruled out after an eight-second violation, bailing out relievers Joey Stock and Robert Kwiatkowski, and the game ended in a 6-6 tie. Simply gotta be kidding.
Yankees fans had plenty to be excited about on Saturday with Gleyber Torres quickly finding his stroke and top prospect Jasson Dominguez hitting a monster home run, so it was nice to take a little while before focusing on the rather frustrating Boston bailout on Sunday.
Call us superstitious, but any fortunate bounce for the Red Sox -- no matter how small -- must be squashed before it gets out of hand. Or else we might get sucked into a fraudulent 2013 World Series victory or 2021 ALCS run.