The pitch clock (officially known as the “pitch timer” has been one of the best things baseball has done to play on the field in decades.
The pace of play was much better and overall, the average MLB game time dropped 24 minutes from last year.
As was explained in a demonstration last February in Arizona, the clocks were specifically placed at ballparks so that they did not show in the center field camera shot that most TV channels use for nearly every pitch. This was a good idea — there’s no need to distract the viewer with the constantly counting clock a major feature of the picture you’re seeing. But since it is an important part of the game — and a violation of the timer results in a ball or a strike — TV channels made it a part of their on-screen scorebox graphic. Thus, if you wanted to glance at it you could, but you didn’t have to.
That is, every TV channel except Fox. Here’s a screenshot from Game 2 of the World Series, where you can see the timer in the background... but it’s not on Fox’s graphic:
Fox didn’t show the timer during its regular season coverage either.
Literally every other TV channel carrying MLB games has the clock on its scorebug. Here are screenshots from all of them — all of these are from games of either September 29 or 30. (Channels that carry multiple teams are only shown once.)
Marquee Sports Network
That’s a good place for it — easily visible if you want to look, and in a contrasting color to the pitcher and batter names. Marquee’s scorebug is one of the best.
This is a bit clunky. I’m not a big fan of Bally’s scorebug anyway, and here they squish the timer in the portion of the bug that shows how many runners are on base. But at least it’s there. Bally Sports (for now) still carries games of 12 MLB teams.
This one’s good. It’s in a contrasting color to the rest of the bug, easily visible. NBC Sports RSNs cover games of the White Sox, Phillies, Giants and A’s.
Again, the timer is easily visible in a contrasting color on the channel that carries Mets games.
This is another good look for the timer on the Red Sox channel — an easily-spotted contrasting color.
This is from a Pirates game on their channel which no longer exists, but you have to figure that its successor channel will carry on with a similar look. The “6” at the bottom right of the bug is the timer.
This is from MLBN’s production of a Diamondbacks game after MLB took over their rights. This is the look used for D-backs and Padres games as well as MLBN’s “showcase” national games. The number is easy to find right below the base graphic. This is one of the better scorebugs in general.
This is from a Mariners game. The number is at the bottom right of the scorebug graphic, a similar look to the Pirates. ROOT Sports also carried Astros and Rockies games in 2023; that will be changing in 2024 as the Great RSN Movement continues.
Another graphic with the timer in contrasting colors, easy to find. MASN carries Nationals and Orioles games. MASN’s scorebug is a good one.
Sports Network (Canada)
The Blue Jays’ channel has the timer at the lower left of its scorebug (the number 10 as shown here), another one easy to find if you want to.
The Dodgers channel temporarily replaces the pitch count with the timer as it counts down.
The Yankees channel has it, though it could be better. You can see it next to the pitcher’s name on the bottom left of the bug here; it temporarily replaces the pitch count.
Even ESPN and TBS showed the timer during their postseason games.
ESPN’s timer is in the lower right in a contrasting color (white, in this case, a bit hard to find, but at least it’s there). This is from the Brewers/Diamondbacks wild card series.
The TBS timer shows right below the count, something you might be checking in on anyway. This is from the NLCS.
I’m not a big fan of Fox’s scorebug anyway. Go look at the Fox screenshot at the top of this article and then check out this one, from Fox’s coverage of the 2019 ALCS:
That’s about as clean as it gets. Plain text, easy to read, all the info in good contrasting colors — why they changed it to the almost cartoonish version we see now is beyond me. Fox’s previous version, shown here from Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, is also better than their current bug:
To sum up the issue about showing the pitch timer: Every channel televising major league baseball in the USA and Canada shows it as part of its scorebug, easy for you to find if you want to, and if you don’t, it’s in a place that’s not distracting.
What’s your excuse for not using it at all, Fox?