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Old, new school clash in Phillies organizational debate over clocks

A Phillies icon and a member of their future are at odds on one of the sport’s newest additions.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball: It's the slowest game in the world.

And it's supposed to be, damn it. [Hurls empty glass bottle at suspicious child riding by on bicycle with training wheels]. Just ask local above the law celebrity Mike Schmidt:

"Truthfully, there's no place in baseball for a time clock. The thought of it makes me cringe. I'll never forget my college coach saying, ‘You can't run out the clock in baseball, you gotta get 27 outs before the game is over.'"

Schmidt is staunchly opposed to pitch clocks, feeling so strongly on the issue that the column from which that quote comes includes powerful baseball phrasing like "crack of the bat," and "the beauty of our game," and "good ol' rhubarb."

On the other side is Phillies pitcher Justin De Fratus, who boldly took a stance opposite that of Mike Schmidt, knowing that this technically makes him vulnerable to a public beheading based on Philadelphia's highly illegal private constitution that's separate from the regular U.S. one.

De Fratus likes the effect pitch clocks will have on momentum, paralleling it to how demanding to go to the bathroom ruins a road trip. He also said it makes the game flow more naturally, something that Schmidt would likely deem sacrilege and demand that some previously unseen guards seize De Fratus.

The insertion of technology into a game that involves so much archaic wizardry like baseball spoils some of the romantic notions, and maybe some of this stuff like pitch clocks won't work out. But there's no harm in giving it a shot.

And not to disagree with Schmidt [Schmidt's guards eye me suspiciously], but the pitch clock does nothing to affect the amount of outs needed to end a game. It simply aims to stop David Ortiz from stepping out of the box, taking his batting gloves off, receiving a phone call, watching a bird, thinking about what it would be like to be a bird, and then stepping back in long enough for the pitcher to step off.

It may be an issue that's not necessarily paramount for the sport to address, but they are doing it, but the Phillies more than anyone should be interested in putting a cap on the length of games. Sure, we're all excited to see them play now, but by the time May rolls around, Aaron Harang throwing 70 pitches over three innings on a sunburny afternoon is - and I know this is hard to believe - not going to be paradise on earth.