Hardball is a Slow Game: Making Baseball Faster

 

“Strike two,” the umpire yells.  The Royals are leading the Orioles in the bottom of the sixth inning.  I get out of my chair, go to get a soda, send a text to my friend, and the next pitch hasn’t even been thrown.  In recent years, it has become even more obvious that Major League Baseball games have taken longer than ever before.  This has taken a toll on the players and team employees, but it has probably made a larger influence on the fans.

Many fans believe that the ratio of excitement and action in a regular season baseball game in comparison to the length of time of the game is not worth the cost of the ticket or the travel time required to get to the game.

Especially in the New York area, the Mets (SNY) and the Yankees (YES) have their own television networks that cover every regular season and playoff game. Fans can now experience even more content than ever with the easier access of highlights and live games on numerous platforms, including TV, YouTube, and even live streaming programs provided by the league themselves.

There have been many propositions in the possible ways to make baseball games faster including adjustments to the timing of certain aspects of the sport.  At the current point, there is no portion of the sport controlled by a clock of any sort.  According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2014 there is one pitch, on average, every 38 seconds.  Because of this, many MLB analysts have suggested putting a pitch clock in place similar to a play clock in football or a shot clock in basketball.  This will hopefully ensure that baseball games can move at a faster pace.

 

A's_have_a_pitcher's_mound_meeting_at_Boston_at_Oakland_2010-07-21

 

Another adjustment that could be made is the addition of rules that would limit the movement of batters out of the batters box, as well as the length of meetings between the pitcher and catcher, and between the manager and infield.

Though this may be infeasible on a major league level, one independent league, the Atlantic League, tried out many of these adjustments for a season.  The result was rather promising, with the average game time dropping by about 15 minutes, but over the course of the season, many teams slumped back to their former selves, and the game time dropped almost back to normal.

Hopefully over the next few years, America’s national pastime will hopefully continue to live up to its nickname by adjusting to modern standards and will continue to keep the sport as a prevalent part of American society by speeding up play.

 

— Porter Bowman, School News Editor

Posted by on October 21, 2014. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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