Stopwatch patrol: Great playoffs games, yes, but also incredibly long

On Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. (Central), I had a few hours to kill before going out at 5 p.m. I decided to watch Game 2 of the ALCS, figuring I could see a significant portion of the game.

I was wrong. As the clock neared 5, the game, with Kansas City leading 4-3, only was through four innings. I didn’t have a clock on it, but I’d bet there was an average of 30-40 seconds between pitches.

I texted my friend Ira: “You could play an entire World Cup game in the time it took to play four innings.”

Ira responded: “Yes, but the score in the soccer game would be 0-0.”

Well, Ira has a point there.

At least there is some scoring in baseball. And there’s no denying that 3 of the 4 games over the weekend had great finishes.

But they also were ridiculously long.

Game 1: Kansas City 8, Baltimore 6, 10 innings. Time: 4:37

Game 2: Kansas City 6, Baltimore 4. Time: 4:17

Game 1: San Francisco 3, St. Louis 0. Time: 3:23

Game 2: St. Louis 5, San Francisco 4. Time: 3:41.

I know, I’m going to be accused again of not being a “true baseball fan.” A true fan doesn’t care how long the game goes if it is terrific, right?

The problem is, not everyone is a “true” fan who has hours to spend watching baseball. You had two ALCS games that took more than four hours to play nine innings. Even a 3-0 game in Game 1 of NLCS went 3:23. That’s not exciting. It’s tedious.

Once again, I’m going to cite my son as an example of how baseball is losing the young fan. When I told him I wanted to watch Game 2 Saturday, he moaned, squirmed and finally said, “This is really boring.” He went downstairs to watch college football.

My point is: Baseball can have it both ways. It can have great games that also move at a decent pace. These games really shouldn’t be taking more than three hours.

Clearly, it isn’t going to happen this year. If you had to bet on the over-under for tonight’s KC-Baltimore game at 4 hours, what would you take?

I think you know my answer.







One thought on “Stopwatch patrol: Great playoffs games, yes, but also incredibly long

  1. Ed,

    Ever since marathon post-season baseball was ushered in (which seems to me to be around a decade or so ago when the Yanks and BoSox squared of in back-to-back years in the ALCS), I’ve pretty much resigned myself that I WON’T BE WATCHING AN ENTIRE GAME! They even tack on exra commercials between innings to prolong the “entire festivities”, but not for me.

    I have to get up around 5:30 AM Chi. time, and am usually ready to call it a day around 9:30 PM or so. So here’s how I stay in touch with the action without missing quality sleep:

    You watch approx 4-5 innings live, head to bed to read for about 30-40 minutes with the radio call on in the backgrond, and then wake-up to watch the essential highlights on the MLB network to see the outcome.

    It’s gotta be better than sitting there at least until 11:00 EVERY NIGHT, right?

    And I really can’t blame your sons for not watching, and I think they’re not alone…who the hell has got 4 hours to invest in 2014 in a random game that doesn’t involve YOUR TEAM?

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