Standing ovation given to him by Dodgers fans, Cody Bellinger

Due to the standing ovation given to him by Dodgers fans, Cody Bellinger committed the worst pitch-clock infraction of 2023.

Cody Bellinger

The pitch clock has been a resounding success through the first few weeks of the 2023 MLB regular season. Cody Bellinger With the new policy, MLB has achieved exactly what it set out to do: shorter game times and more action.

Yet during the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers game on Friday, a fairly significant fault in the system was found. Cody Bellinger’s homecoming to Los Angeles was highlighted by the game.

Prior to signing with the Chicago Cubs in the summer, Bellinger played his first six seasons of professional baseball with the Dodgers. With the Dodgers, he received MVP and Rookie of the Year awards. He also contributed to their 2020 World Series triumph.

For that reason, the Dodgers and their supporters wanted to express their gratitude for Bellinger’s comeback. Before the game began, Bellinger received a thunderous ovation from the audience and showed his thanks by tipping his cap to them.

Fans jumped up and cheered once again as Bellinger approached the plate in the second inning. Before preparing to hit, he gave the crowd one more quick acknowledgment. At that point, the umpire called time on the game and cited Bellinger for violating the pitch clock.

Even though Bellinger started the at-bat with a strike, he didn’t appear very irritated about the sequence. After receiving six pitches, Bellinger grounded out to the first base. He went 1-for-4 for the game, walk once, and driving in a run as the Cubs prevailed 8-2.

Does the pitch clock need to be tweaked?

Bellinger’s pitch-clock infraction does raise a concern about how the regulation is applied. Should the pitch-clock regulation be relaxed in situations where a player is being recognized by his previous team?

Umpire Jim Wolf made the appropriate decision in this case if you read the rule precisely as it is worded. Even though it was absolutely absurd to penalize Bellinger at that particular time, the regulation was duly applied. Do supporters truly want the pitch clock to be enforced now, even if they have typically supported the rule?

It seems the umpires do have some latitude in this case, which just serves to exacerbate the frustrating issue. The Pittsburgh Pirates Andrew McCutchen was permitted to enjoy a prolonged standing ovation from the home crowd before his first at-bat in 2023.

All across his first nine seasons of professional baseball, McCutchen was a great player with the Pirates. After six seasons away, he returned to the team over the summer.

Cody Bellinger

One of the most moving events of the 2023 MLB season was the ovation for McCutchen that the crowd saw.

Before entering the box, McCutchen was permitted to thank the crowd, blot away a few tears, and collect himself. Ryan Wills, the home plate umpire, did not cite McCutchen for a pitch violation. Instead, Wills permitted the event to take place after realising how much it meant to McCutchen and the fans.

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MLB appeared to support the decision as it posted a video of the event and shared the Pirates’ video of McCutchen’s standing ovation on Twitter.

When Bellinger earned his standing ovation on Friday night, Wills wasn’t at the plate. Jim Wolf, a veteran MLB official, was the one who Cody Bellinger infraction.

Cody Bellinger
Cody Bellinger

What was otherwise a lovely homage to Bellinger was marred by the incident. Wolf was only carrying out his duty, but let’s hope the league instructs officials to exercise discretion when fans wish to recognize players or significant accomplishments.

But it is still nice that the games are moving more quickly, there are some situations that call for a break.