Childhood Fantasy Crushed During Boston Red Sox Spring Training Game
It's something literally every single person that's ever played baseball or softball has dreamt of.
Bottom of the Ninth, two down, bases loaded, full count, and you're at the plate. Your team is either losing or the game is tied, and it's all up to you and the next pitch.
It's literally the fantasy that drives players to keep going from when they start out in T-Ball, through Little League, during their high school and college careers, and hopefully if they make it to the MLB.
Red Sox Spring Training
It almost seems a little early this year, but spring training started for the Boston Red Sox last weekend, with their first game being against the Atlanta Braves. And it couldn't have ended more controversially, giving us a look into not only what baseball will look like during the upcoming regular season, but also why fans may start despising the sport even more.
New MLB Pitch Clock Rules
The Sox/Braves spring training game a few days ago was also the first time either team had to deal with the new pitch clock rules, which not only keeps pitchers on a time limit, but also batters.
According to the MLB, batters get only one timeout per plate appearance and have to be in the box and ready to go by the time the pitch clock gets to eight seconds remaining. And that's where the controversy starts to the end of the game and the childhood fantasy mentioned above.
Red Sox vs Braves Game
Because as the Braves' Cal Conley was at the plate awaiting what either way would have been the final pitch of the game from Sox' reliever Robert Kwiatkowski, the umpire stepped in, pointed at Conley, and called him out. At bat ended. Game ended in a 6-6 tie. Childhood fantasy ended.
Because instead of the game possibly ending on a strikeout, a hit up the middle to score the game-winning run, or even a grand slam -- the game ended with the umpire just saying, "Yeah bro, you weren't ready to go with the pitch clock hit eight so you're out."
An underwhelming, anti-climatic finish to a hugely dramatic moment to a game in a professional sport that is struggling to keep the popularity it once had. Because baseball is no longer "America's pastime" and it's ridiculous, fantasy-shattering reasons like this that are making it that way.