The Mets and their pitching, are going to be dealing with some changes on the horizon.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Robert Manfred has more than just the pitch clock on the way next season. It’s no surprise that the Player’s Union is planning to veto these changes. But that won’t stop Manfred from implementing the 20-second pitch clock or limits on mound visits.
It’s no surprise that the Player’s Union thinks that this could be dangerous to player’s health. Can you just imagine Noah Syndergaard rushing to repeatedly throw 100mph fastballs? I’m not a doctor, but I feel like that can’t be good for anyone’s elbows.
Now, I know some view this as a necessary change based on the way the game has changed and grown over the years. And if the heart of this issue was trying to make these changes for the good of the game itself, I would probably be a bit more on board with them myself.
Realistically speaking, we know why these changes are being made. It has less to do with the game and everything to do with the core audience of who’s viewing the game. It’s become apparent that the majority of the millennial audience can’t seem to sit through a baseball game. And so since 2015, Manfred has been searching for different ways to increase the pace of play.
“Back in my day…”
Speaking as someone who classifies as a millennial, (I was born in 1990), these changes really do break my heart. And no, this isn’t going to be a “millennials ruin everything” rant. This is just me, speaking for a case against pace of play increases.
One of my favorite things about a day or evening at the ballpark is that I can completely check out of reality for a few hours. Clearly, I’m in the minority here. Otherwise, we wouldn’t even be talking about changes to the game. I’m not saying I don’t check my phone on occasion. I’ll take a nice photo or two of the field, maybe with some friends, but then for the most part, I’m distraction free. My phone goes in my bag and I can just focus on the little world that’s right in front of me. It’s the most comforting feeling and it’ therapeutic. Similar to how one might find yoga a way to clear their head, that’s what baseball has always been for me. (Millenials love yoga right? Maybe there’s something there, Mr. Manfred)?
Why we’re here
I don’t go to a baseball game with the intention of “hurry up and get this over with so I can go do some other stuff.” It’s a pastime for a reason. It’s something that’s meant to fill that specific moment of your life. It reminds us to be present. We’re always thinking about what comes next, what we’re doing in the next few hours or days. Often neglecting something great that’s probably happening right in front of our faces.
I know everyone wants to blame Millennials for this, but let’s face it, we’ve all become a lot less present as the years have gone by. We can’t help it. Technology has done it to us all. Let baseball be that time machine that most of us are looking for. It’s been one of the few constants in a world that’s often unpleasant and forever changing around us.
Maybe there are some other options to be explored here. Something to get fans involved with watching the game itself. An app that rewards you when you don’t look at your phone in the ballpark. I’d be willing to see almost anything else that doesn’t change the aspects of the game that we’ve loved for so many years.