Toucher & Hardy

Toucher & Hardy

Major League Baseball’s institution of the new pitch clock has created some confusion about the future of the sport. Pitchers and batters alike have roughly a month to adjust before the regular season starts. Already, spring training game times are clocking in marginally shorter than usual. With games set to be quicker, questions arise about everything from the pace of play to beer sales.  

On Tuesday’s Toucher & Rich program—Fred, Rich, and Wallach ask Tara Sullivan, Boston Globe sports columnist, questions about baseball’s newest invention. 

Parts of conversation abbreviated for clarity.

  • Feb 24, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; A general view of the pitch clock being used in a spring training game between the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins at JetBlue Park. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    Feb 24, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; A general view of the pitch clock being used in a spring training game between the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins at JetBlue Park. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

  • Rich: Will the pitch clock lead to more hits? 

    Tara Sullivan: We all know baseball had careened toward this strikeout or homerun thing, either a 100-mile-an-hour pitch or a homerun. I think the game wants to get back to the art of pitching. I see that as a positive. I miss a pitcher being able to use pace to his advantage instead of just throwing triple-digit fastballs. 

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  • Tara Sullivan: Batters are thinking about the clock as a disadvantage too. If the batter gets to the eight-second mark on the clock and is now looking up, the pitcher can wait until zero seconds to throw the ball. So, the pitcher can hold the batter in that position. [Max] Scherzer was saying yesterday that he will absolutely do that. 

  • Rich: Will there not be sufficient time in the game to sell enough beer? Don’t they stop selling beer in the seventh or eighth inning? 

    Wallach: Seventh inning stretch. 

    Fred: Both John and I know this. 

    Rich: If the games are 30 minutes less, then that’s 30 minutes less time you have to sell beer. 

    Tara Sullivan: I thought of that yesterday too. First, I think [owners] should abide by what’s good for the game as a whole. The long-term hope is you will put more people in the seats. So, ideally, you’re selling more beer during those first seven innings than you would have because there are more people there. And that sales will come out the same in the end. 

  • Tara Sullivan: But you’ll have the overall positive impact of more viewers because people are not turning off the game and going to bed. The long-term hope [with the pitch clock] is that it increases fans in the seats and viewership in other ways. That will help the bottom line in ways more important than concessions. But it’s a fair question. 

    Fred: I think the television ratings for baseball will explode now. I’m not saying it will take on the Super Bowl, but if you’re cutting half an hour out of a game, your viewership will go up. 

     

  • Full Segment

  • Ryan Beaton is a producer for 985thesportshub.com. You can follow Ryan at @ry_beaton on Twitter.

    Follow @Toucherandrich on Twitter, @Toucherandrichofficial and @fredtoucher on Instagram to keep up with the show!

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