As MLB teams and umpires continue to get acclimated to the new pace-of-play rules, the league issued a clarification to the Mets, acknowledging a controversial pitch clock call levied against them on Opening Day.
Thursday’s game between the Mets and Marlins featured a questionable call against New York’s Jeff McNeil in the top of the sixth inning. The second baseman was assessed an automatic strike by home plate ump Larry Vanover after teammate Pete Alonso was slow returning to first base between pitches following a McNeil foul ball.
On Friday, Mets manager Buck Showalter announced the league admitted the call was incorrect, noting he was informed by a MLB official that a strike shouldn’t have been charged to McNeil.
“By the time Pete got around third base there was another version out there,” Showalter said, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. “[League officials] wanted to make sure everybody was straight, so I appreciate that.”
When discussing his expectation for how umpires will handle pace-of-play rules going forward, Showalter said he believes there will be some leniency outside of those who blatantly violate the guidelines.
“As long as someone is not trying to circumvent the rules and not use it to their advantage they are going to be thoughtful about it,” he added.
With the 2023 MLB season only two days old, it’ll be interesting to see how MLB plans to handle instances such as the Mets’ penalty going forward. New York (1–1) will continue its series against Miami (1–1) on Saturday at 4:10 p.m. ET.
Jeff McNeil was given a strike by the plate umpire after Pete Alonso took too long getting back to first base pic.twitter.com/GbEb8ch6gD— SNY (@SNYtv) March 30, 2023