'Let's get some action': Brewers fans adapt as pitch clock makes regular season debut

NOW: ’Let’s get some action’: Brewers fans adapt as pitch clock makes regular season debut

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- While Brewers fans were disappointed to see the team shut out in its 2023 opener Thursday, they did witness history: the first regular season game in team history including a pitch clock.

Major League Baseball implemented the clock in a series of sweeping rules changes aimed at improving the pace of games.

Pitchers will have 15 seconds from the time they come set on the mound to make a delivery. They'll have 20 seconds when there are runners on base.

Fans filled every seat at Kelly's Bleachers in time for the first pitch Thursday.  Bill Talaska, a longtime Brewers fan from West Allis, said he welcomed the change because he was specifically tired of the downtime between pitches.

"You've got times where the pitcher's taking 35, 40, 50 seconds, he said. "As fans, you're getting bored of just waiting for something to happen. There's too much waiting. Let's get some action."

Roz Rouse, who lives in the Story Hill neighborhood, described Opening Day as a local version of New Year's Day. The return of Brewers baseball meant she's once again seeing fans passing through on their way to games at American Family Field.

Rouse described herself as a traditionalist, though, and said she opposed the pitch clock.

"I'm kind of a fan of the long three-hour game that ends with a score of one-to-nothing," she said.

Rouse noted, based on the feedback she hears when the subject comes up, she's likely in the minority.

"'Get with the program, lady, " Rouse said is what she hears in response. "'Because we want some action and we're getting bored sitting here.'"

Mark Kaelin of Glendale said he supports the rule changes because he'd lost patience with hitters constantly stepping out of the batter's box to adjust their equipment.

Under the new rules, hitters can only step out once during an at-bat, and they'll be assessed an automatic strike if they're not set and "engaged" with the pitcher once the pitch clock has eight seconds remaining.

"I think it's gonna take, maybe a month, for everyone to get adjusted to the new 20-second clock," Kaelin said. "But I'm sure these guys get paid the bucks; they can figure out how to do it."

As for whether the changes would affect business, the bar's owner, Anthony Luchini, said he expected get a slight boost during home games.

"The quicker the game gets done, the quicker they come back," he said with a grin.

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