That’s Amaury News and Commentary: “The Clock Rules” A’s Win Opener in 2 Hours and 30 minutes

After ten years in professional baseball Oakland A’s starter Shintaro Fujinami will be making his MLB debut pitching against the Los Angeles Angels on Sat Apr 1, 2023 at the Oakland Coliseum (file photo San Francisco Chronicle)

“The Clock Rules” A’s Win Opener in 2 Hours and 30 minutes —

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–In 2022 Top Gun “Maverick” officially was the #1 move worldwide in the box office, beating out Avatar. Maverick movie length was 2 hours and 11 minutes. On March 30, 2023, the Oakland Athletics Home Night Opener lasted 2 hours and 30 minutes as they beat the western rivals Los Angeles Angels by a 2 -1 score.

These two teams have played very long games through the years, I remember calling a game on April, 2013 in Oakland, which the A’s won in a 19-inning marathon, that lasted six and a half hours. Of course, there will be games that go into extra-innings, and those will always beat the clock.

The Oakland Athletics opened their 2023 season (their 56th in Oakland) in front of over 26,000 euphoric fans at the Oakland Coliseum. There was a large contingency of Angels Othani’s and Trout fans behind the Angels dugout who came to watch the A’s come from behind, scoring late, and won 2-1 over the much more talented-loaded, expensive salaried players like Mike Trout, Shohei Othani, and Anthony Rendon’s Angels.

However, a place that traditionally has held long, long games was done in just 2 hours and 30 minutes of play. Meanwhile, the other Bay Area team, 3,000 miles away in New York City, the Yankees opened their season blanking the San Francisco Giants 5-0, in all of 2 hours and 33 minutes. What is going on?

“Elementary my dear Watson” said Sherlock Holmes. And it is, elementary as the mundane clock. It is all about the clock now in major league baseball. A new era of baseball started when all 30 MLB teams played on the same day to open their season. This is the first time this has happened since the 1968 season.

This Saturday A’s rookie pitcher Shintaro Fujinami, will make his major league debut, after 10 years in the Japanese professional leagues. The Oakland Coliseum press box was inundated by Japanese reporters during the first Angels visit to Oakland and will also be there to witness their compatriot Fujinami.

The A’s have Shintaro “Fuji’ Fujinami pitching as a starter every six days, to accommodate his train of work like he was pitching in Japan. It would have been even a great spectacle if Fuji would have opened the season on Thursday against his compatriot Shohei Othani.

Fujinami and Ohtani share a history together that dates back to their days as high school phenoms. The two were both first-round selections in the 2012 Nippon Professional Baseball Draft, Ohtani signing with the Nippon-Ham Fighters and Fujinami landing with the Hanshin Tigers through a lottery process.

Saturday’s game at 1:07pm and then Sunday at the same time, prior to hosting the Cleveland Guardians for a three-game series beginning Monday.

Although the A’s are not expected to contend this year, or in the near future, game one of the season was a memorable as the A’s began the Clock era of Baseball. At least for one-day the Oakland A’s are in first place after that very exciting opener at the Coliseum.

Clock History: In 1954 the NBA adopted the 24 seconds clock, limit to score when a team has the ball. In 1976 the NFL introduced a 30-second play clock to speed up the game, later extended it to a 40 second clock. In 2023 Major League Baseball has adopted a clock.

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