Indians' Andrew Miller doesn't want 'big fight' over pitch clock

By Ron Clements 20 January 2018 231
Indians' Andrew Miller doesn't want 'big fight' over pitch clock

Andrew Miller realizes the game of baseball can be sped up to make it more appealing to the casual fan.

That doesn't mean he's in favor of seeing game clocks at the stadiums.

The Indians pitcher is one of four elected Major League Baseball Players Association representatives involved with MLB's pace-of-play negotiations. While MLB brass would like to implement a 20-second pitch clock to improve pace of play, the players think reducing game times can be accomplished in the form of replay review reform and reducing downtime between innings.

"As players, across the board, we agree that we want games to be quicker so it doesn't have an effect on viewership,'' Miller told ESPN on Friday, a day after the MLBPA rejected MLB's latest proposal of pace-of-play rules. "We get it. We're in the entertainment business, and if we're not putting the best product out there, we're at fault and we need to make an adjustment. I think we all accept that we can be better with pace of play and make the game more appealing to viewers.

"We're all for that. We're just not necessarily for the changes MLB wants to make to get to that end goal. A lot of guys don't like the clock, and I don't disagree, personally. My take is, that's one of the things about the sport that makes us so appealing and so unique — that we don't have a clock ticking.

"Different players had different issues, and ultimately this wasn't something we supported. But if MLB does implement, our job is to try and go out there and make it work. This is not something we want to turn into a big fight or some sort of ugly showdown about us trying to make a point. MLB thinks they have a way to speed up games. It's really important to them. They've made it abundantly clear. We just don't necessarily love the way they're doing it."

The other three players involved in talks with the league are Washington's Daniel Murphy, Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt and Mets pitcher Matt Harvey. MLB experimented with pitch clocks in 2015 and games were reduced by an average of six minutes. Pitch clocks were put into place in the minors that same year and Miller said more experienced pitchers knew how to manipulate the pitch clock. The rejected MLB proposal, which could be unilaterally implemented without consent from the union, called for automatic balls and strikes for violations by either the pitcher or batter. 

"One of the positives is, the numbers aren't that tight. I think that's something we can accomplish — to get in the batter's box in 30 seconds and get a pitch off in 20 seconds," Miller told ESPN. "Hopefully it will be a PR battle at the beginning and it doesn't turn into something ugly.

"I can't imagine a better experience for fans than what we've seen the last two years in the World Series. We have young superstar talents. I think our game is in a great place. I hope this isn't something that pulls us in the wrong direction. It's just a matter of fine-tuning things.''

 

About Author

Ron Clements

Related News

Comment