The MLB commissioner’s office has brought a new proposal to the table in the outgoing pace-of-play discussions between the players and the league. As reported by Ken Rosenthal: no changes this year, except for a cap on mound visits, but if players don’t get the average game length down to 2 hours and 55 minutes on their own—a 13-minute drop from last season—then a pitch clock and other developments will be introduced in 2019. There’s a lot to unpack there, but this blog post is not concerned with that. I am, for now, concerned with just one part of the proposal: the idea of bringing back bullpen carts.
Oh, hell yes. Please! Bullpen carts have such potential as much more than just a ‘70s throwback. They look wonderfully stupid (or the best ones do, at least). They don’t take themselves seriously. They recognize and support the fact that baseball is supposed to be fun. And they do so in a way that makes sense—a bullpen cart is not something shoehorned into the game for the express purpose of serving the league’s ideal of “fun,” it’s a simple and logical feature that fills a need and one that teams can make as silly or as serious as they want to.
Give me this:
And this (especially this):
There is not that much time to be gained from having relievers enter the game via tacky golf cart rather than awkward slow jog. But there’s a lot of joy in it.