Eye-opening video contrasting David Price and Mike Torrez shows just how long it takes Price to deliver pitch

Alex Reimer
April 15, 2019 - 12:17 pm

Baseball’s pace of play issues have been perfectly encapsulated in a 38-second video that features two Red Sox pitchers throwing the ball in playoff games 40 years apart.

Young sports journalist Tucker Boynton, who is slated to graduate from Harvard University in 2022, created a video that contrasts David Price’s pace against the Yankees in last season’s ALDS to Mike Torrez in the famous 1978 one-game playoff between the two rivals. The difference between the two is striking.

The clip begins with Price and Torrez both delivering the ball to home plate. But that's where the similarities end. It only takes Torrez a mere 10 seconds to throw his second pitch of the at-bat, whereas Price hasn’t even received the sign from the catcher at that point. Less than 15 seconds later, Torrez is winding up for his third pitch of the at-bat, just as Price is finally getting ready to throw his second offering. 

Price has been one of the biggest detractors of the pitch clock, saying in Spring Training it is unfair to instruct pitchers to speed things up. “Throughout our development, we’re taught to slow down the game, and now we’re being asked to speed it up,” the lefty told the Boston Globe.

Price took a mind-numbing 26.9 seconds between pitches last year, as evidenced by the aforementioned video. But as baseball history shows, pitchers do not intrinsically require that much to throw the ball. These habits have been developed, and for the sake of the game, they must be broken.

In addition to an interminable pace, baseball’s biggest issue over the last couple of years has been a lack of action. So far, the problem has only been exacerbated this season. According to the Twitter account “Boston Sports Info,” we are on pace for there to be 66,621 walks, strikeouts and home runs across the league this year. In 2005, the three true outcomes were recorded 50,868 times.

Or in other words, a ball is put into play every four minutes.

Baseball is getting slower and features less action than ever. That is not a recipe for popularity in today’s hyperactive age.