This morning, I received an email from a fellow baseball fan who is frustrated by the molasses pace of games. He noted the game times for the recent Cubs-Dodgers series in Chicago, all of which lasted nine innings.
Thursday: 3:53, Dodgers 8, Cubs 4.
Friday: 3:31, Dodgers 14, Cubs 5 (“the snappy one of the bunch,” my friend said).
Saturday: 3:44, Cubs 8, Dodgers 7
Sunday: 3:45, Dodgers 8, Cubs 5.
My friend added, with much chagrin, his three kids “have no interest in watching baseball.”
Yes, those games were high-scoring, but I have documented many times here that there are plenty low-scoring games that go long. Bill Madden of the New York Daily News noted last week Tampa Bay’s 1-0 victory over the Yankees took 3:28, the longest 1-0, 9-inning game in history. Talk about a snooze fest.
At last, MLB looks to like it finally act. Today, out-going commish Bud Selig formed a committee to speed up the game.
The release from MLB:
Major League Baseball announced that Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has conducted a conference call with a new committee that will study the issue of pace of game. The goals of the committee will focus on decreasing time of game and improving the overall pace of play in the 2015 regular season and beyond.
The committee will be chaired by Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz. Other members include (alphabetically) New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson; MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark; Boston Red Sox partner Michael Gordon; MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred; MLB Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations Joe Torre; and Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner.
Commissioner Selig said: “We have the greatest game in the world, but we are always looking for ways to improve it. The game is at its highest levels of popularity and we will continue to strive to identify ways that can build on its stature well into the future. With the cooperation of all appropriate parties, we can make progress on improving the pace of play, and we will have recommendations in the very near future for the 2015 season. I believe that this group has the experience and the perspective to be mindful of our game’s traditions while being creative about our approach in the future.”
It’s real simple. Just go back to the past and insists hitters remain in the box in between pitches. It would be a huge start.