Shot clock violation costs Braves a walk

Cal Conley of the Atlanta Braves thought he had just won the game with a two-out, bases-loaded walk on Saturday. He took a few steps toward first base, bat still in hand, when umpire John Libka jumped up behind home plate and signaled for strike three.

Game over. Conley couldn’t believe it. Neither did his classmates. The fans booed.

Welcome to 2023, where the new rules of baseball designed to improve the pace of play are quickly reaching everyone, especially the players.

The most dramatic moment of the new shot clock era came on the first full day of spring games, and in the most dramatic setting possible. Conley, who was facing Boston Red Sox reliever Robert Kwiatkowski, was not sitting in the box and alerted the pitcher when the clock ticked less than eight seconds.

The penalty is an automatic strike, which led to the game in North Port, Florida ending tied 6-6. Kwiatkowski got the strikeout after throwing just two actual strikes.

It was a far more dramatic moment than when San Diego Padres slugger Manny Machado became the first player to commit a shot clock violation Friday when he was ordered an automatic strike in the bottom of the first. inning against Seattle because he wasn’t ready. in the box on time.

The shot clock is one of the new rules designed to speed up the pace of play. Players will have 30 seconds to resume play between batters. Between pitches, pitchers have 15 seconds with no one and 20 seconds with a runner. The pitcher must start his pitch before the clock expires. After a pitch, the clock starts again when the pitcher recovers the ball, the catcher and batter are in the circle around home plate, and play is ready to resume.


Could the shot clock lead to more sign stealing on the field, which in turn would force managers to eliminate the third base coach as a go-between for signal transmission?

Veteran managers Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter think so.

It’s an interesting point from Baker, considering he took over as Houston’s manager in 2020 after AJ Hinch was fired following the shocking revelation that the Astros had illicitly stolen signs in 2017, when they won the World Series, and again in 2018.

“That worries me because you’re always aware of people stealing signs,” Baker said Saturday as the defending World Series champion Astros beat Showalter’s New York Mets 4-2 in West Palm Beach, Florida. . “And then there is the sensitive area. Ok, are you cheating? Is that part of the game, steal signals? If I know you’re hit and run, that’s what I’m supposed to do.”

Baker said there is less time for the dugout to signal to the third base coach, who in turn must relay the signals to the hitters and runners, and therefore less time to use decoys, which makes the signals easier. to decipher.

Baker believes the shot clock puts even more pressure on the third base coach to be quick, and somewhat deceptive. On the other hand, the shot clock also limits the amount of time defenses have to react, even if they know a hit-and-run or bunt is coming.

Baker said the hardest job on the field is coaching third base. “Everyone in the stadium has their eyes on him. Everyone is trying to figure out his sign sequence. There are boys in the stands, there are boys now in videos. I mean, if you know what the opposition is going to do, that makes it even more difficult to do. Yes, I’m worried about that.”

Showalter shares Baker’s concern to the point that he’s considering cutting out the middleman and having all signals come directly from the bench, a common practice at youth levels.

“There are so many things that because we’re afraid to copy colleges or high schools because, ‘Oh, they’re amateurs and we’re professionals,’” Showalter said. “There are things that they did better. They don’t go through the third base coach. Why do we transfer things to a third base coach and then transfer them to the player? It’s just another relay.”


Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell used his only timeout during his second-inning at-bat, and then on the next pitch, he hit a long, two-run home run to shut out the Seattle left-hander. Marco Gonzales. In his last at-bat, he received a second-strike violation by home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski and ultimately struck out.

“I was trying to figure out how many timeouts before a strike, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t call another one,” Adell said. “The next at-bat I ran into seven seconds and got a strike. I think it’s okay, we’ll all get into a rhythm, there will be some violations here and there.


St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said umpire CB Bucknor “has no class” for refusing to shake his hand during the lineup card exchange at home plate before a game against the Washington Nationals. Marmol, who shook hands with the other three umpires, saw Bucknor for the first time since he was ejected in a contentious dispute Aug. 21 in Arizona.

“I went into that game pretty sure of my thoughts on him as a referee,” Marmol said. “They weren’t very good and you can see his lack of class as a man. I chose my words wisely. I just don’t think he’s good at his job and he just showed his lack of class as a man.”

Marmol was ejected last year in the final game of a series after protesting a Bucknor strike against Nolan Arenado, with each loudly questioning the "time in the league" of the other.

Bucknor was unavailable after Saturday’s game and did not return a reporter’s phone call.



Colorado Rockies slugger Kris Bryant’s first spring training game this season included more runs than he expected. The 31-year-old is trying to recover after missing a large part of the 2022 season with various injuries, including to his right foot. He hit .306 with five home runs in 42 games.

Bryant reached first base on fielder’s choice in the first inning against the Diamondbacks. He then scored from first base on Ryan McMahon’s double to the wall.

“I felt good running, I just felt slow,” Bryant said, laughing. “But I figure for the first time in spring training doing that, it’s a good test for me.”


Phillies right-hander Noah Song threw himself off a mound during his third day of training after joining the team from the US Navy, calling the session “good.” The 25-year-old had been a flight officer training in a P-8 Poseidon maritime reconnaissance and patrol aircraft before he was allowed to transfer from active duty to the reserves.

Song was impressive in his one professional season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, striking out 19 in 17 innings with a 1.06 ERA. With a fastball in the top 90 mph, he went 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings during his senior year in the Navy.

The Phillies selected Song from the Phillies in the December draft for unprotected minor leaguers.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here