Cody Bellinger was the most serious pitch-clock violator in 2023, because Dodgers’ fans gave him standing ovations.
In the first two weeks of MLB’s 2023 regular-season, the pitch timer has been a huge success. The new pitch clock has resulted in shorter game times and more action. This is what MLB wanted when it implemented this policy.
But during Friday’s match between the Chicago Cubs Los Angeles Dodgers. Codinger Bellinger made his return to Los Angeles. Bellinger spent his first six years of career with the Dodgers. He then signed with the Cubs offseason. He was named Rookie Of The Year and MVP by the Dodgers. He helped them win the 2020 World Series.
The Dodgers, and their fans, wanted to express their appreciation for Bellinger’s return. Bellinger was greeted with an enthusiastic response by fans even before the game began. tipped his cap to the crowd Show your appreciation
Bellinger was up at the plate again in the second inning. Fans stood and applauded him before he stepped up. He acknowledged them briefly before he hit. The umpire then stopped the game to charge Bellinger with pitch-clock violations.
Bellinger did not seem to be too bothered by the sequence. He had started the at-bat, however, with a strike. Bellinger then grounded to first base six pitches later. He ended the game 1-for-4, with a walk in addition to the run scored. Cubs’ 8-2 win.
Do you need to adjust the pitch timer?
Bellinger’s violation of the pitch-clock rule raises a question regarding its enforcement. Should the pitch-clock be dispensed with when a former club acknowledges a player?
If you read this rule as it is written, Jim Wolf was right. Even though it seemed ridiculous to punish Bellinger, the rule was correctly enforced. Fans have been generally supportive of the pitch timer, but do they want to see it enforced during a moment such as this?
It appears that the umpires have some flexibility with this situation, which is even more frustrating. Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen In 2023, he was given a standing ovation by Pirates fans for his first plate appearance. McCutchen played for the Pirates during the first nine years of his career. After six seasons, McCutchen returned to the Pirates in the off-season.
McCutchen’s fans were treated to one of MLB’s most emotional moments in 2023.
McCutchen had the opportunity to thank the fans, wipe some tears away and collect himself before going into the box. McCutchen was not charged with a pitching violation by the home plate umpire Ryan Wills. Wills let the moment happen because he understood how important it was to McCutchen and the fans. MLB appeared to support the move. It tweeted a video and retweeted a Pirates video showing McCutchen receiving an ovation.
Wills wasn’t behind the plate Friday night when Bellinger got his ovation. Jim Wolf, an experienced MLB umpire who has been in the league for many years, called Bellinger out on his violation.
This moment ruined a tribute that would otherwise have been nice to Bellinger. Wolf was only doing his duty, but let’s hope that the league will allow umpires some discretion when fans show their love for players and milestones. Although it is great that games are being played faster, some moments deserve breathing room.