Jerry Cransnick of ESPN.com talked to Joe Garagiola Jr., who reports to Joe Torre as baseball’s senior vice president of standards and on-field operations, about the long games in the postseason.
“These are the most important games of the year, so you don’t want to ask teams to start doing things that really impact how they approach the game,” Garagiola said from Fenway Park, where Boston is hosting St. Louis in the first two games of the World Series. “That said, the umpires will encourage teams to try to maintain a good pace, because I think everybody likes that.
“But if people are taking a little more time between pitches, or batters are stepping out because they want to compose themselves, it’s because somebody is going to be the world champion at the end of the next eight or nine days. You can’t lose sight of that.”
Later, Garagiola added:
“You have to cut the teams a little slack,” Garagiola said. “If you’re seeing more trips to the mound and looking in the dugouts, this is not the time to be confused or unclear or have the pitcher and catcher not be on the same page. One swing and everybody goes home.”
Obviously, everyone knows where I stand on this issue. My questions to Garagiola Jr.: Why is it different now than when your dad played in the 40s and 50s and called games in the 70s and 80s? Weren’t the stakes just as high back then? How come they were able to finish games in 2:15-2:30?
Even if you add the additional 20 minutes for commercials, the 2:30 game only is 2:50. Prior to last night, the average game during the postseason was 3:22. While last night’s Game 2 was a relatively quick 3:05, that’s still too long for a 4-2 game.
Please Joe Jr., do something about the pace.