“Quicker is better”…KBO’s move to ML, and why managers are happy about it

“I vote yes. I think it should be implemented sooner rather than later to promote speed.”

There is general support on the field for the KBO’s attempt to become a major league. While the details need to be discussed, the managers agreed that efforts to shorten the length of the game are necessary for the sake of promotion.

On the 20th, the KBO announced a plan to strengthen the KBO League, announcing that it would introduce a number of major league game systems such as pitch clock and extra innings. The goal is to shorten the game time, speed up and abolish draws to increase interest and excitement, and to apply international competition regulations in the league to strengthen the competitiveness of players.

Pitch clock and extra innings will be piloted and ready for implementation in the 2024 season. Increased base sizes, restrictions on defence shifts, and the rule that a pitcher must face at least three batters or pitch until the end of the inning are also being prepared for the 2025 season.

“I’m in favour of it,” said Kia Tigers manager Kim Jong-kook. I think it should be implemented sooner rather than later for the sake of speeding up the pitch clock. (The three-batter rule) is the most urgent issue right now, which is the long pitching change time. I think that system should also be implemented sooner to shorten the time a little bit.”

“The players’ opinion is the most important thing, but I personally welcome it. Major League Baseball has a much longer history and more experience than we do. I know that people who watch baseball prefer a less boring game. I understand that, and it’s natural to go with what’s good.”

“I think (the extra innings system) is better than having a tie because you can either win or lose after four hours of hard work. “I know the Americans were initially skeptical about it, but now they take it for granted. At first, opinions may be divided, but I think we will come to a consensus.”

Lotte Giants manager Larry Sutton said, “The general manager is in New York right now, watching Triple-A games and seeing how the pitch clock was introduced and how the rules are applied. The bottom line is, I think it’s a positive thing for the KBO. If we follow the system implemented by Major League Baseball, we will get used to the international rules and it will be a good motivation for the players. It will also have a positive effect on the development of Korean baseball. As a manager running a game, there is a point to consider how to operate if the rule of facing at least three batters when a reliever comes in is also applied.”

“This is a system that has been tested and introduced by the Major League Baseball, which is far ahead in the history of baseball. I think it is a decision to make the game less boring so that even one more fan can come to the ballpark, so I think we should prepare for the system even if there are inconveniences and awkwardness in the field. PitchClock will take time for pitchers to get used to, but they have time to prepare this winter. It’s going to be interesting for the spectators, too.”

It was not without its detractors. NC Dinos manager Kang Myung-ho said, “It’s definitely a necessary step to speed up the game. I think it’s right for baseball to follow the major leagues. We are a team that actively uses defensive shifts, and I think we need to reinforce this method again.” However, “The three-batter mandatory opponent rule needs a little more discussion. I personally think it’s still too early for domestic players.”안전놀이터

Choi Won-ho, head coach of the Hanwha Eagles, said, “There are pros and cons. I don’t know if time is absolute for box office. For a film to be successful, it needs to be promoted by popular teams and ride-to-judge. It’s exciting because it’s less predictable. Will fans say it’s not fun to play for three to four hours? I think it’s 50/50. I hope it’s a discussion for the sake of promotion, not for the sake of finishing quickly,” he said, adding, “As for penalty kicks, personally, I think it’s okay because there are a lot of draws now.”

There seems to be some consensus on the field regarding the introduction of a major league system and speed-up to strengthen international competitiveness. It seems that major changes are not out of the question as long as the details of the system are communicated with the field and enough time is given for adaptation so that the system can flexibly permeate the KBO.

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