Letters to the Editor: Why the pitch clock in baseball is a purist’s nightmare

A pitch clock is seen during a spring training game between the Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers in Phoenix on Feb. 25.
A pitch clock is seen during a spring-training game between the Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers in Phoenix on Feb. 25.
(Morry Gash / Associated Press)

To the editor: Scott Jennings makes some poor arguments in favor of new rules in Major League Baseball like the pitch clock — not that there are many good ones.

The rules are an attack on baseball’s pace. This sport is unique in that time is not a factor, nor should it be. Each game has its own pace. That is its uniqueness and brilliant design.

I’m not sympathetic to Jennings’ need to herd his four youngsters at games that can last longer than three hours. If you want to leave early, then leave.


TV, baseball’s golden goose, wants shorter games so it can get to its regular programming and its advertising revenue. That’s what it’s all about. And MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is the right guy to do the networks’ bidding.

Eugene Lesser, Los Angeles


To the editor: While understanding Jennings’ dislike of the shifts that until recently packed defenders on one side of the infield depending on the hitter, some fans still liked them.

In the National Football League, the defense can blitz or send everyone running after the quarterback if it wants. Or, it can double- or triple-team one player on the offense. Nobody seems to cry that such an alignment is not fair or that it spoils the symmetry of the field of play.

Mostly what the shift in baseball has done is expose the inability of today’s hitters to either bunt or hit the opposite way, a skill that some players were taught in Little League.

In football, a quarterback might sneak the ball for a first down instead of throwing a 60-yard pass that ends up incomplete. Why can’t hitters in baseball similarly adjust?


Tim Mull, Northridge


To the editor: Haven’t we mechanized baseball enough with analytics and pitch counts? We’ve practically taken away complete games and no-hitters.

Putting baseball on a clock to speed up the game is a symptom of a much larger issue in society. Today there’s always a need to be in a hurry, even when you aren’t going anywhere. We cannot tolerate boredom, even a minute of it.

In Los Angeles, we arrive at the game in the second inning and leave in the seventh. Many do not even watch the game between eating and texting.

Baseball as a pastoral sport has been destroyed.

Harry Schwarz, Agoura Hills