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BCB After Dark: It’s all about timing

The late night club for night owls, early-risers and Cub fans abroad asks what you think about a pitch clock.

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Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the late-night spot for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Thanks for coming in. We’re waiving the cover charge tonight. We’ve saved a table for you near the stage. Bring your own beverage.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

The Cubs didn’t play today. The Cubs minor leaguers didn’t play today, which isn’t surprising since only Iowa’s season is still ongoing. Any Twin Cities Cubs fans can see the I-Cubs in St. Paul from Wednesday to Sunday.

The Cardinals keep winning. That’s a disturbing development.

Last week I asked who you thought would miss the playoffs in the American League. Very few of you (5%) thought that the Blue Jays would not make the playoffs, so it came down to the Yankees and Red Sox. The Yankees were your choice to miss the Wild Card spot with 52% of the vote. Another 41% of you thought that the Red Sox would miss the postseason.

Here’s the place where I talk about jazz and movies. You’re free to skip ahead to the question at the end. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Tonight’s jazz video is from trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and his Quintet, playing at a jazz festival in Bavaria in 1991. Hubbard is generally considered to be perhaps the greatest jazz trumpeter among those that came around after Miles Davis. Hubbard even told a story of how when he was young, he mostly just copied Miles until one night the man himself showed up at one of his shows. Knowing that he couldn’t imitate Miles in front of Miles, he was finally forced to do his own thing. It was a good thing that he did. Miles was so impressed that he told the head of Blue Note records to sign him up to a record deal.

I’ve got a movie to review tonight, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to put it off until Wednesday night/Thursday morning again. I’ve not been feeling well over the past few days and I’m hoping it’s just the poor air quality and the medication I’m on and not COVID. I am fully vaccinated and I haven’t been in close contact with anyone with COVID (as far as I know), so it’s probably not COVID, but that doesn’t make me feel any better. But I does mean that I’m lying on the couch at my house watching old movies between naps. I hope I feel better enough to write it up the movie I watched over the weekend on Wednesday. I’ll give you a hint—it’s the final film of a classic actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

So instead I’m just going to open the floor for recommendations again. Is there a film you’d like me to watch and write up? I’m looking for things that are pre-1980, although I’m not fanatical about that. It would help if the film was available on a streaming service. I’m not going to a film festival in the middle of a pandemic.

I’ll do movies that are more recent than 1980 if I feel the spirit of it. Heck, I’ve watched Weekend at Bernie’s probably three times and I’m sure I could say something about it. Of course, the appeal of that film is how utterly dumb it is. Is it so dumb it’s clever (like Beavis and Butthead Do America) or is it just so dumb that it’s just dumb? I’ve seen it three times and I still don’t know. I kind of lean to the “dumb” one, however.

But personally, I think there should be a Weekend at Bernie’s television show, where every week Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman (or younger replacement actors, I don’t care) have to convince someone that Bernie is still alive by dragging him along with them. By the end of the first season, Bernie could start to smell and decompose.

And unlike Elaine Benes, I’ve never seen Weekend at Bernie’s II.

Welcome back to all of you who skip the jazz and movies, although I kind of skipped out on the movies tonight as well.

Tonight’s question is about Jayson Stark’s article in The Athletic about the use of a 15-second pitch clock (The Athletic sub. req.) in the Low-A West League (the former California League).

In that article, Stark talks to several people who are studying the effects of the pitch clock, such as Raul Ibañez and Rico Brogna, and they praise how it changes the game. The contests are 21 minutes shorter, on average, and there is a lot more action. There are fewer strikeouts and more balls in play. The other odd thing is that it is not showing that pitchers are throwing with decreased velocity. But hitters are much more successful at hitting pitches that come quickly rather than after they’ve been waiting around for 30 seconds.

People have brought up some counter-arguments. J.J. Cooper writes that they’ve had a 20-second pitch clock in Triple-A and Double-A for several seasons, and after some initial success in cutting down the length of games, they went right back up in later seasons and are longer than they were before pitch clocks were implemented. There is some suggestion that enforcement of the pitch clocks has been lax in later seasons which could explain some of that. There was also a loophole where pitchers could step off the mound and re-set the clock, which happened with increasing frequency in later seasons.

Also, major leaguers hate the idea. A pitch clock will be tough to implement without getting some buy-in from the players.

So where do you stand on pitch clocks? No one thinks that they’ll fix everything that needs fixing about baseball, but does it seem like a promising step in the right direction? Or maybe you’re a purist who thinks that part of the beauty of baseball is that there is no clock?

Vote here and give your take in the comments.


A pitch clock in baseball?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Yay! An idea whose time has come!
    (47 votes)
  • 32%
    Nay! Baseball has no clock!
    (29 votes)
  • 13%
    (12 votes)
88 votes total Vote Now

Thanks again for stopping in. I’ll have someone bring your car around. I hope we see you again tomorrow night with another edition of BCB After Dark.