The first weekend of college baseball is in the books, and coaches around the country are already complaining about the NCAA's new "pace of play" rules.
Essentially, batters and pitchers both have a 20-second clock. Pitchers must begin their delivery within 20 seconds, or else a ball will be called. If a hitter isn't in the box within 10 seconds, or he tries to step out after 10 seconds, a strike is called. Among other rules, the NCAA also implemented a 10-run rule that would end blowouts after seven innings, and mound visits are now limited to 30 seconds.
While this is undoubtedly speeding up the game, it's also changing it for the worse, and coaches have a problem with it.
In the Tennessee-Arizona season opener Friday night in Scottsdale, UT hitter Christian Moore repeatedly yelled "time!" to the home plate umpire, only for him to never receive it as the pitcher remained statue-like on the mound.
NCAA's Pace of Play Rules Create Chaos in Opening Weekend
Do players not get time in college baseball anymore? This is wild
— Josh Teeter (@joshteeter01) February 18, 2023
And in Arkansas' win over Texas on Friday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, a Texas hitter was rung up on strikes after he appeared to call time while in the box.
Get in the box or get on out pic.twitter.com/FR1qkJr4Ey
— Arkansas Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) February 18, 2023
Ridiculous, right? This isn't even baseball anymore. What if the dude had a bug in his eye? Whatever it takes to shave off 30 minutes from the game, I suppose.
Arkansas was walloped 18-6 the next day by TCU — which stole six bases in the game — and Razorbacks head coach Dave Van Horn had some very pointed words regarding the new rules. He bluntly said they were "ruining the game."
"If it's getting down to three, two, one, and they're on base, they know our pitcher's got to pitch and the guy can get a pretty good start (on the bases)," Van Horn said. "We've talked about it, that this was going to happen. Just got to pick, start it over. ... But to me it's, we can be quicker pitching, that's not the problem, it's all the other things. Changing the play. When you put on different bunt coverages. You throw a pitch and you see what their baserunner's doing, trying to change your coverage. So it's like you don't have time."
Arkansas HC Dave Van Horn gives his opinions on college baseball?s new pace of play rules.
?It?s ruining the game.? pic.twitter.com/4GisSl7ECR
— Mason Choate (@ChoateMason) February 19, 2023
Not every coach hates the new rules. Vanderbilt didn't have a single "shot clock" violation all weekend, going 2-1. Head coach Tim Corbin seems to have adjusted well to them, saying the Commodores scrimmaged using the new rules before the season.
"I just think that if we get a year under our belt, I think everyone's gonna look back and say, 'OK, you know, it's fine,'" Corbin told The Tennessean. "The pro game's gonna be more sped up than we are. And I would imagine that they'll have some beefs at first, but I think once they start playing, it's great for the fans. I mean, you don't want to watch this stuff. Three hours and 30 minutes, you lose your concentration after an hour. So especially if you play in ... Nashville where it's maybe 35 degrees in February and March."
Still, Texas head coach Dave Pierce and Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle both called the new rules a "joke." Are they old school or simply tired of the NCAA constantly trying to tweak the game?
Total joke?only college baseball changes the rules EVERY year. Not fair for anyone involved?.including umpires, players & coaches?any organization with any sort of FEEL would adjust now!!!! https://t.co/L0orUxDAsw
— Jim Schlossnagle (@CoachSchloss) February 19, 2023
Full quote: ?Yeah it?s a joke just to he honest with you. I hate to say it and it?s not the umpire?s fault. We have evaluators here and you know they?re under scrutiny but the problem with it is it?s just a frustrating thing for hitters, pitchers, umpires, coaches, it is what it
— Aaron Little (@AaronLittleOB) February 18, 2023
Maybe the NCAA should listen to these coaches and work on a different solution. Just a thought.
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