Cleveland Indians reliever Andrew Miller, a prominent voice in the Major League Baseball Players Association, said he hopes that MLB's plan to introduce a pitch clock in 2018 doesn't lead to a "big fight or some sort of ugly showdown,'' even though players are overwhelmingly opposed to the idea. Miller -- who serves as one of four elected association representatives, along with Washington's Daniel Murphy, Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt and the New York Mets' Matt Harvey -- has been heavily involved in pace-of-game talks, which hit a wall Thursday when players rejected the owners' latest proposal. Barring a sudden change of course, MLB will unilaterally implement a 20-second clock and a limit on mound visits this season without consent from the union. "As players, across the board, we agree that we want games to be quicker so it doesn't have an effect on viewership,'' Miller told ESPN on Friday from Cleveland, where he is attending a team event. "We get it. We're in the entertainment business, and if we're not putting the best product out there, we're at fault and we need to make an adjustment. I think we all accept that we can be better with pace of play and make the game more appealing to viewers. "We're all for that. We're just not necessarily for the changes MLB wants to make to get to that end goal. A lot of guys don't like the clock, and I don't disagree, personally. My take is, that's one of the things about the sport that makes us so appealing and so unique -- that we don't have a clock ticking. "Different players had different issues, and ultimately this wasn't something we supported. But if MLB does implement, our job is to try and go out there and make it work. This is not something we want to turn into a big fight or some sort of ugly showdown about us trying to make a point. MLB thinks they have a way to speed up games. It's really important to them. They've made it abundantly clear. We just don't necessarily love the way they're doing it.'' In 2015, MLB placed timers at ballparks to minimize down time between innings and introduced a rule requiring hitters to keep one foot in the batter's box, barring several exceptions. The changes had a positive impact in 2015, reducing the average game time by six minutes. But MLB games returned to three hours in length in 2016 and spiked to a record 3:05.11 in 2017.
Indians' Miller hopes pace-of-play talks don't turn into 'ugly showdown'
ESPN | Jan 19