Recently, several of us were given another opportunity to pose questions to John Mozeliak. Some of us had multiple questions for him, others not as many. The timing was a couple of weeks ago, just as the GM meetings in Arizona were concluding. I had just one question for the Cardinals Senior Vice President and General Manager, and thought I’d share that with you here.
D7: Are you aware of any consensus among the various organizations concerning further rule modifications? The “experimental” pitch clock, requiring a batter to stay in/close to the batter’s box and other tweaks have been widely discussed and speculated about. What’s the sentiment on such things from those, like you, closer to the situation?
Mo: Pace of game: the idea of pace of game is to broaden the fan base. We understand that the die-hard baseball fan isn’t overly concerned with how long a game takes. But if we can have more people interested because it’s easy to watch and more enjoyable, then the game of baseball will enhance their experience.
I am in favor of looking at ways to speed up the game. I think initiatives like pitch clocks are going to be very difficult to see happen at the Major League level. But from a more organic approach you could see initiatives happen at the minor league level.
Nothing earth-shattering or terribly surprising about his response, that’s for sure. But, and maybe it’s just me, if you read between the lines, it almost sounds like that whole experimental pitch clock thing (which I vacillate back-and-forth as to whether I hate it more or less than the DH) may just be an attempt to “Pavlov” kids who take the mound to step up the pace of the game. Perhaps the minor league systems across baseball will implement this “experiment”, and it achieves MLB’s goal of quickening the pace of the game. I just hope it doesn’t last as long as the “experimental” designated hitter, at forty-some years and counting.