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Does Baseball Have to Be So Slow?
The Wall Street Journal ^ | May 1, 2014 | BRIAN COSTA

Posted on 05/01/2014 2:10:31 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican

The Boston Red Sox spent last winter basking in the afterglow of their World Series victory. They also spent some of it pondering a couple of questions: Why do their games take so long? And what should Major League Baseball do about it?

At the request of commissioner Bud Selig, the perennially slow-paced Red Sox formed a committee of seven team executives to study the issue and recommend changes for the league as a whole. A volunteer corps of 30 front-office staffers spent over 350 hours combing through video of Boston's 2013 regular-season games, charting every little drag on the pace of play.

The Red Sox, whose games averaged an MLB-high 3 hours 15 minutes in 2013, are only about halfway done with the project. But the fact that such a committee even exists shows how little progress MLB has made in its attempts to speed up the game.

"This is one of the most critical issues facing baseball as we move forward into the next three, five, seven years," Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy said.

Selig has expressed concern about the pace of play for years. It has become almost cliché for fans to grumble about hitters stepping out of the batter's box, pitchers pacing around the mound and—no, not another pitching change! But for all of the attention the issue has received, the speed of the game continues to reach new lows.

Entering Thursday, the average game time this season was 3:08, according to Stats LLC. Never mind comparisons to the days of flannel jerseys and black-and-white telecasts: That is 13 minutes longer than the average time in 2010.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


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1 posted on 05/01/2014 2:10:31 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

You could always add monster trucks.


2 posted on 05/01/2014 2:12:18 PM PDT by uglybiker (nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-BATMAN!)
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To: MinorityRepublican

It is faster than grass growing, but not much.


3 posted on 05/01/2014 2:12:28 PM PDT by Goreknowshowtocheat
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To: MinorityRepublican

Five minutes of excitement jam packed into three hours.


4 posted on 05/01/2014 2:12:45 PM PDT by garyb
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To: MinorityRepublican

The Red Sox are the elite team of liberals everywhere in the USA. So, their games must be slow and stately like a minuet.

Try a Yankee game. Last time I went to one, I was out in 90 minutes!


5 posted on 05/01/2014 2:13:02 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: MinorityRepublican

I can’t watch a pro baseball game. Too boring.


6 posted on 05/01/2014 2:13:09 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: MinorityRepublican

Hey, don’t mass with my favorite nap background. I can turn on a game on the TV and get the nicest naps!


7 posted on 05/01/2014 2:13:17 PM PDT by MHGinTN
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To: MinorityRepublican; All
 photo obama_cant_throw_a_baseball.gif

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8 posted on 05/01/2014 2:13:51 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: MinorityRepublican

More time for beer!


9 posted on 05/01/2014 2:14:07 PM PDT by BulletBobCo
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To: garyb

As opposed to soccer or hockey, which are thirty seconds of excitement packed into three hours.


10 posted on 05/01/2014 2:15:12 PM PDT by riverdawg
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To: MinorityRepublican

Its a detail game. While some say its slow, I’m watching players on both sides position themselves for constantly changing strategies.

Maybe they just need more black players. /s


11 posted on 05/01/2014 2:16:53 PM PDT by cripplecreek
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To: MinorityRepublican

For later


12 posted on 05/01/2014 2:17:56 PM PDT by Doctor 2Brains
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To: MinorityRepublican
It's the Parade of a Thousand Relievers, every night, and all the managers do it.

I remember the days of ten-man pitching staffs and complete games.

13 posted on 05/01/2014 2:18:28 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Lifelong baseball fan)
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To: MinorityRepublican
"I had no idea how boring this game was without beer"

14 posted on 05/01/2014 2:20:23 PM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: MinorityRepublican

15 posted on 05/01/2014 2:21:55 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: Charles Henrickson

The solutions are in the article—make the batters stay in the box and give the pitchers a time limit to throw the ball. Don’t monkey around with the number of strikes/balls/fouls, though, as the consequences might be very undesirable.


16 posted on 05/01/2014 2:22:19 PM PDT by Arkansas Toothpick
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To: MinorityRepublican

Are we all sold on the idea of nine innings? ;-)


17 posted on 05/01/2014 2:22:51 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: MinorityRepublican
Shorten the commercial breaks between innings. Umpires, enforce the rules about the time a pitcher has between pitches, and don't let the batters keep stepping out of the batter's box and adjusting their batting gloves. Teams, don't do all these long ceremonies and songs between innings.

I really should be the next commissioner. I would fix up a lot of things.

18 posted on 05/01/2014 2:22:58 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Lifelong baseball fan)
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To: MinorityRepublican
TV advertising time and all of the between-inning gimmicks, besides making the game longer, make it impossible to settle in to the pace of baseball.

I love going to an afternoon game in the late summer or autumn, sun shining down, filling out the scorecard, catching all the details...and then, here come the race between ketchup, mustard, and relish!

19 posted on 05/01/2014 2:23:17 PM PDT by grania
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To: MinorityRepublican
They could require batters to take the bat with them for protection from the defensive players who will have the option of physically assaulting base runners attempting to get from base to base.

Add a few dozen scantily clad cheerleaders along the first and third baselines and that should make watching a 3 hour game more tolerable for the average NFL/NBA fan.

20 posted on 05/01/2014 2:23:43 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: MinorityRepublican

Faster moving than watching a golf tournament,more civilized than soccer.


21 posted on 05/01/2014 2:23:44 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: riverdawg

Soccer, yes; hockey NO!


22 posted on 05/01/2014 2:24:13 PM PDT by SgtHooper (This is my tag!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I felt that way until I followed one team at the games. Once I learned what to look for, something was going on all over the field with every pitch. Coaches, managers, bull pen, fielders location, base runners - I really learned to love the game. In football you actually see more on TV. But with baseball you only get to see a small portion of the action. I really learned to love the game.


23 posted on 05/01/2014 2:24:15 PM PDT by impactplayer
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To: MinorityRepublican

Pitch clock, no mound conferences, limit the number of times the pitcher can “attempt” to throw out a guy taking a lead off, and limit the number of times the batter can step out of the box. Not only would that shorten the games, it would get rid of the most boring parts.


24 posted on 05/01/2014 2:24:20 PM PDT by discostu (Seriously, do we no longer do "phrasing"?!)
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To: MinorityRepublican

1. Limit players to just one time at bat.
2. No substitutions.
3. 9 outs per inning and only one inning.
4. Ties are allowed.
5. No extra innings.
6. Home team bats second.
7. Game is over when the game is tied after 18 batters have been to the plate.
8. Game is over whenever the home team gets ahead.
9. Ticket price refunded for all games ending in a tie.


25 posted on 05/01/2014 2:25:15 PM PDT by InterceptPoint
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To: miss marmelstein

Maybe when they’re not facing the Sox, Yankees-Sox games tend to be the longest of the season.


26 posted on 05/01/2014 2:25:29 PM PDT by discostu (Seriously, do we no longer do "phrasing"?!)
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To: musicman

Love it.


27 posted on 05/01/2014 2:25:42 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: MinorityRepublican

Baseball is not a game for people in a hurry. There are sports like that. Golf is another one. Baseball isn’t broken, despite the best attempts of some people to bury it.

If you look at football, where the ball is actually in play for only a few minutes out of sixty, you see a sport with a reputation for being fast that really isn’t.

Sports like hockey, where the puck is almost constantly in motion and where substitutions are allowed during play, is better for those who seek action. For scoring, I suppose there’s always basketball.


28 posted on 05/01/2014 2:25:47 PM PDT by Colonel_Flagg ("Compromise" means you've already decided you lost.)
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To: MinorityRepublican

Most cable providers now offer dvr service for about 10 bucks a month. Very useful for recording games and then quickly just watching the plays, rather than watching the pitcher standing on the mound, getting ready, and getting the sign from the catcher. The total time that elapses while the pitcher is holding the ball has got to be 80-90% of the total time of the game, with the relief pitcher parade accounting for a good deal of the remainder.


29 posted on 05/01/2014 2:27:48 PM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree (Jay Carney: The (Benghazi) emails weren't about Benghazi.)
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To: MinorityRepublican
Seriously, limit the number of times a pitcher can 'check' a runner at first; require the players to run on and off the field between innings and half innings, put a time limit (similar to a snap clock) on pitchers.

That and limit TV commercial breaks, is about all one can do without compromising the game.

30 posted on 05/01/2014 2:27:58 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: riverdawg
As opposed to soccer or hockey, which are thirty seconds of excitement packed into three hours.

A Yankee friend of mine forced me to go to a hockey game with him. (back when the Flames were in Atlanta)

I liked that they sent out that big machine to clean the ice during halftime, and got up to leave.

He then told me, "No, no....they play another period".

"Holy Jesus....I gotta sit through more of this?!"

At least the Tuborg beer was good.

31 posted on 05/01/2014 2:28:42 PM PDT by eddie willers
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To: MinorityRepublican

If you love baseball it isn’t slow if you don’t iti is. I suppose games could be 7 innings - still there is a beauty to baseball that is easier to see if you ever played the game.


32 posted on 05/01/2014 2:28:54 PM PDT by KSCITYBOY
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To: garyb

I would figure 2. My wife for whatever reason over the past few years has become a sports addict, esp. boring college baseball. I don’t care about sports enough really to amount to anything.


33 posted on 05/01/2014 2:34:25 PM PDT by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

When I go to a game I just watch the women...


34 posted on 05/01/2014 2:34:58 PM PDT by refermech
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To: MinorityRepublican
Until the 1954 season, major leaguers left their gloves on the field when they came in for their team's at bat.

Gloves on field

I know it's hard to believe they played with the other team's gloves out there, but I've asked about this and know it's true.

35 posted on 05/01/2014 2:36:28 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: MinorityRepublican
In addition to what's suggested in the article, I'd raise the pitcher's mound (I think they lowered it in 1969). You'd have less scoring and a faster game. I'd take a 4-2 game over an 11-8 slugfest any day, I know though a lot of people prefer the slugfest.
36 posted on 05/01/2014 2:41:02 PM PDT by Fair Paul
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To: MinorityRepublican

Three balls, three strikes, and no more than one foul ball after two strikes.


37 posted on 05/01/2014 2:41:49 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: MinorityRepublican

baseball needs a play clock just like football. That would solve everything.


38 posted on 05/01/2014 2:46:00 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: cripplecreek
I’m watching players on both sides position themselves for constantly changing strategies.

Funny, the few times I watched a bit when my dad had a game on, I just saw a constantly scratching and spitting.

Still laugh remember the comments after the Iran hostages came back a someone wanted to offer them lifetime season tickets to some baseball team.

A wag said "Haven't they suffered enough?"

39 posted on 05/01/2014 2:47:17 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: driftless2
Three balls, three strikes, and no more than one foul ball after two strikes.

Not in amillion years! That game would not be baseball.

40 posted on 05/01/2014 2:49:43 PM PDT by pgkdan
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To: discostu

I blame the Sox!


41 posted on 05/01/2014 2:50:01 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Colonel_Flagg

People who don’t care for baseball shouldn’t watch or bitch about it.

That’s all the fix it needs.


42 posted on 05/01/2014 2:50:51 PM PDT by cripplecreek
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To: MinorityRepublican

When Bob Gibson pitched for the Cardinals, the only thing faster than his wind up and pitch was his fastball. Just ask Tim McCarver.


43 posted on 05/01/2014 2:50:58 PM PDT by stboz
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To: Jonty30

44 posted on 05/01/2014 2:51:28 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: cripplecreek

Same goes for soccer.


45 posted on 05/01/2014 2:51:30 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Colonel_Flagg

Amen brother! Don’t mess with baseball.


46 posted on 05/01/2014 2:52:21 PM PDT by pgkdan
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To: All

The one suggestion I have, although it doesn’t occur very often in a game, is when a pitcher purposely walks a batter....Why not simply gesture to the ump, point to first base and walk the batter. Why throw 3 meaningless pitches?


47 posted on 05/01/2014 2:57:00 PM PDT by Maringa
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To: MinorityRepublican

Allowing the ‘challenges’ this season adds to the ‘minutes’ since the decisions have to come from the main center in New York.


48 posted on 05/01/2014 2:57:58 PM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Maringa

Yikes!!! I mean 4 pitches...


49 posted on 05/01/2014 2:58:09 PM PDT by Maringa
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To: Charles Henrickson
I remember the days of ten-man pitching staffs and complete games.

Yeah, I also remember when a starting pitcher completing a game was not such a big achievement since the pitcher was expected to complete his game. Now, everything is specialized (like medicine). The Closer, the 8th inning guy, leftie/rightie pitcher/hitter match-ups.

50 posted on 05/01/2014 2:59:50 PM PDT by LibertarianLiz
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