A big story of the past few days has been the speed of MLB games. Or lack there of. Many have complained insistently about how slow the game has become. Especially for the big time winners. You guessed it. The teams that have the longest average games consistently are the Yankees and Red Sox. Well go figure that these two teams were matched up in the first series of the year for these storied franchises. A very interesting statistic for the stats gurus out there. Yankees games lasted a total of 70 hours longer than Mariner’s games last season. That is nearly 3 days.
All the games in this opening series between the 2 powerhouses went well over 3 hours and really seemed to drag on for forever. Even to the point where one of the umpires went as far to call both teams out and call their slow plays disgraceful to the game. Who is this ump kidding? If I were the Yankees or Red Sox and people were complaining about how slow their games went, I would say check out my rings..just kidding.
But in all seriousness, this is a really hot topic. Many sports fans across the country have lost some interest in the Major League game due to the length of the games. They do really drag on. This is in part due to television, but also in part to the trend of more and more managers who micro manage. For those of you who do not know what it means to micro manage, it means to have your hand in everything. Like at your job, it would mean your boss is constantly checking on you and has their hand in everything you do. There are pros and cons to micro managers, but in this case it would be a negative. A micro manager in baseball is constantly shuffling the lineup, bringing in pitchers from the bullpen, and putting in pinch hitters and runners. Many managers who are “micro” managers consistently over think situations. This obviously slows the game up.
Now for me personally, I am fine with the games being well over 3 hours. I love the game and all the little nuances. For the common fan though, it is too long. Fans get turned off and cannot possibly sit in front of a tv and watch an entire game and many feel like they cannot even go and sit at a stadium that long to watch a live game.
So what can be done to fix this problem? I mean I guess they could make rule changes or shorten commercial breaks. But one of the beauties about baseball versus other sports is that there is no game clock. A game will go as long as it is going to go. So would rule changes take away from the art of the craft? You tell me.
My question for you all today. How can they speed up games? If they do make rule changes, would it ruin the game? Let me hear your thoughts on this hot topic.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.