If you’ve ever tried to learn a foreign language as a teenager or adult, you’ve probably noticed a strange phenomenon: you’ll learn about your first language as much as you learn about your second. We take for granted certain rules and customs when we write or speak our native language, if it is the only language we know. Looking at the language from the outside, we can appreciate all its nuances.
This is exactly what happened to Kyle Barraclaw when he first tried to play baseball using the clock field. The 31-year-old Barraclaff has appeared in 280 Premier League games and 160 in juveniles – all without a watch – until May 4 in Salt Lake City. The new clock greeted him like an alarm clock that rang at dawn.
“I’m not a very fast-paced worker,” said Barraclaw, who has since been recalled by angels. “I gave up the double to start the (seventh) inning. It was the perfect storm: the first time on the field clock, dropping a few characters with a guy on the second, and my first game in a couple of weeks. “
His first thought: “It will take some time to get used to.”
Barraclough is not alone. For the first time, Triple-A strikers and pitchers are being punished for being late this season. The pitcher has 19 seconds to serve without runners at the base and 24 seconds with the runner on. The striker has seven seconds to pass between innings. Violators will receive an automatic ball (for pitchers) or a blow (for attackers). Anecdotally, in the first month of the season there were many offenders.
This was to be expected, especially among veterans who are closer to the end of a baseball career than to the beginning. The supposed sanctity of baseball as the only sport without a watch may be more ingrained in older players – unlike those who are learning a new language, say, at 31 years old. There are many nuances that need to be mastered.
Take one new rule of the pace of the game, which on the surface seems quite anodic: pitchers are forbidden to go down from the rubber more than twice for the appearance of the plate. This includes any attempts to roll over to the first base with the runner on. The appropriate term for this is to “untie” the rubber.
For Barraclauf, the “rule of separation” bothered him more than the watch itself. Why? This punishes pitchers more than benefits runners, few of whom know how to steal bases. Most runners don’t guarantee more than two throws, so why punish all pitchers?
The main punishment is psychological, Barraclauf said.
“When it all starts in a snowball, now there is no ‘take a step, take a deep breath, slowly.’ There is no slowdown, ”he said. “Otherwise you will be punished for it.”
Psychological punishment cuts in both directions. Attackers get one chance to count down the time during each plate appearance before they are fined. Veteran catcher Chad Wallach, who was promoted by the Angels last week, said he had seen more automatic strikes on hitters than automatic swords struck against pitchers.
Angels midfielder Luis Rengifa played for Salt Lake a couple of weeks ago when he fell behind 0- and 1 without making a single throw. It was his first appearance on the table in the game, and Rengifa said he was too slow to get in and out of the dugout for hours. He was insane.
Rengifa said it ended up with him making a double.
Then, on May 7, Rengifa repulsed Tacoma Renners pitcher Asher Wojciechowski with loaded bases, and the Bees missed four rounds.
“Gban waited for about 30 seconds,” Rengif reminded. “The referee announced the ball. I’m ahead 1-0. (Wojciechowski) threw me a fastball, and I hit Homer.
“Some pitchers like it (the rule). Some jugs don’t do that. “
Other pitchers seem to be tossing between love and hate in the same walk. After the Angels were downgraded, Jose Suarez made his debut in Triple A with Salt Lake on May 6. He was fined with an automatic ball in the second inning. Barraclauf, who was at the bullring that night, recalled how Suarez quickly settled after that.
For the Tacoma strikers, who were tasked with meeting Suarez that evening, it made no sense to disrupt his time. The Triple-A step clock does not allow this, except for one plateout timeout, each hitting is allowed.
“(Suarez) began to move in a flash and rolled, rushing well,” – recalled Barraclauf. “The striker in the penalty area was on time, but Suarez is coming, because the guy is just getting ready and calling the time. Now (Suarez) must return, and the striker must enter – standing – (because) in the second second, when he is ready to go, (Suarez) is ready to quit. “
Thus, the clock introduces an element of rhythm that was previously absent in sports, a nuance that makes learning to play baseball with a game to provide a foreign language. This may be more true for participants than for spectators. However, the Triple-A experiment portends a notable adjustment period when the watch submission rules come to the major leagues.
Here’s the wild thing: after all, some players may prefer this version of baseball without a clockwise iteration.
“It’s too early to tell,” Wallach said.
“I especially hated it,” Barraclauf said. “But then, when the games ended in 2 and a half hours … The game is definitely going much faster.”
Players expect to receive official polls from MLB to evaluate their opinion on the new rules at some point; this was the case last year when Triple A League experimented with larger bases. Perhaps the rules deserve some adjustment. Extra seconds or two won’t add much time to the game and can make players more relaxed.
One rule applies to both players and fans struggling with the idea of a baseball clock: give it time.