Enough talk. Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark just went through months of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement and talked about putting chefs in every clubhouse, but they did nothing about modernizing the game. This “talking phase” has been going on for years. As games become more bloated with dead time—unlimited timeouts, conferences on the mound, pitching changes, pitchers and hitters dallying, expanded September rosters, etc.—a younger generation with more entertainment options doesn’t connect with baseball on the same emotional, love-it-no-matter-what level. Giving people less action (with the ball or people in motion) spread over more time is a business plan nobody in entertainment would even think about executing in today’s world, but that’s what baseball is proffering.
After the CBA agreement was reached right before the Dec. 1 deadline, Manfred said MLB could reach side agreements with the players on issues related to pace of action, September roster size and a potential pitch clock. We’re waiting.