CINCINNATI — The words, “Every Watch Has a Story,” adorn the back of the Cincinnati Reds dugout at Great American Ball Park this season. They’re ads for a luxury watch boutique of the same name. The words appear next to an image of a stopwatch.
It’s fitting Reds players will see watches over and over again in the dugout because a watch will figure prominently in the 2023 Major League Baseball season. A game known for having no time element now will run by a pitch clock.
Many fans on Opening Day on Thursday experienced the pitch clock, which trimmed the average time of Reds spring training games by 21 minutes, for the first time.
Reds manager David Bell didn’t expect fans to notice the clock too much.
“I don’t expect there to be a lot of violations,” he said. “I think that’s what you notice. Maybe early, maybe for the first few games they come to, they might pay more attention to it, but it goes away pretty fast. You kind of forget about it. But what you do notice is the overall pace and you enjoy that and get home a little bit earlier.”
First lineup: Second baseman Jonathan India hit leadoff on Opening Day. He hit in that spot in 70 starts last season.
Center fielder TJ Friedl was one spot behind him. He led off in 41 games last season but did not hit second.
“He does a lot of things offensively,” Bell said. “He gets on base. He’s kind of a diverse type of hitter He has sneaky power. He bunts. He handles the strikes zone well, so having him at the top of the order is kind of exactly what you’re looking for. He hasn’t hit second a lot, but he’ll be fine.”
Second game: The Reds and Pirates are off Friday and resume their three-game series at 4:10 p.m. Saturday. the Reds will celebrate Kids Opening Day. Fans with kids can watch local mascots walk the red carpet at 11:15 a.m. Reds players will follow at noon.
Fans 14 and younger will receive a Kids Reds Cap, and after the game, kids can line up to run the bases.
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