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fungo bat
04-16-2014, 09:51 AM
Last night's game against Boston was a low-scoring, 9-inning contest. Each team scored on a solo home run, and the game winner crossed the plate on an errant throw. The teams combined for just 8 hits. So how come it took 3 hours and 36 minutes to play?

I know the Red Sox are notorious for long contests. But still, over 3 1/2 hours for a pitcher's duel? Here are a few suggestions to speed things up:

Umpires should force batters to get in the box instead of stepping out between every pitch.

Umpires should enforce the time limit pitchers have to deliver.

I know the replay system is new, but decisions need to be made quickly so as not to bog the game even more than it is already.

When a pitching change is made, the new pitcher should get 5 warmup throws. I think the limit now is 8.

Managers seem to overthink game strategy by paying a visit to the mound practically every inning in the later stages of the game (I refer to this as the LaRussa Influence). Umpires should "hurry up" the conversation.

Any other ideas or ways to speed things up would be appreciated. Over 3 1/2 hours for a low-scoring regulation game is ridiculous.

esbrechtel
04-16-2014, 10:24 AM
I have a feeling the length of games is going to be addressed soon. I wouldn't be shocked if innings start to be cut. 7 inning games that could fit into that ideal 2:30-3 hour window makes some sense.

Tree Hate Me
04-16-2014, 10:31 AM
I have a feeling the length of games is going to be addressed soon. I wouldn't be shocked if innings start to be cut. 7 inning games that could fit into that ideal 2:30-3 hour window makes some sense.

Dodger fans would only get to see 4 or 5 innings of baseball then.

Milw
04-16-2014, 10:39 AM
I have a feeling the length of games is going to be addressed soon. I wouldn't be shocked if innings start to be cut. 7 inning games that could fit into that ideal 2:30-3 hour window makes some sense.
There is a 0% chance baseball cuts innings. Zero.

34 Inch Stick
04-16-2014, 10:46 AM
Rather than a warm up pitch maximum for relievers, place a time limit on the action. Three minutes from the time the manager signals the reliever until the umpire restarts play. Do what you want with that time.

Marqhead
04-16-2014, 10:53 AM
There is a 0% chance baseball cuts innings. Zero.

Agreed.

They have to do something about time. It should not take more than 3 hours for a regular baseball game. Need to reduce the time between pitches significantly.

Noneck
04-16-2014, 10:53 AM
I wouldn't be shocked if innings start to be cut. 7 inning games that could fit into that ideal 2:30-3 hour window makes some sense.

MLB will NEVER have pony league innings games.

LITTLE NELL
04-16-2014, 11:16 AM
The Challenge rule is not helping things either.
MLB needs to sit down and address the issue of long games. When a relief pitcher has warmed up and is called in the game why does he need 8 more pitches. Batters should not constantly step out of the box, PK is a prime example always messing with his glove ala Mike Hargrove. Pitchers are also guilty especially with men on base, maybe Mark Buerhle should give a class on how to pitch a game in around 2 hours.

amsteel
04-16-2014, 11:27 AM
Limit mound visits and institute a pitch clock.

WhiteSox5187
04-16-2014, 11:40 AM
Reducing the number of innings played makes no sense. One of the things they can do is force the batter to stay in the box, every now and then you'll see this happen when an ump refuses to grant time and the pitcher gets an automatic strike. If this happened on a wider scale, especially in the early innings or when the game is a blowout, that would help.

I like the idea of a pitch clock but I don't want their to be a clock in stadiums. There is a rule that with nobody on base a pitcher has 12 seconds from the time he is on the mound to get the sign and throw the ball. Enforce that rule (it will drive Papelbon nuts) and that will speed up the game.

JB98
04-16-2014, 11:40 AM
Hitters need to get in the damn box. That's the biggest issue.

Paulwny
04-16-2014, 11:52 AM
Hitters need to get in the damn box. That's the biggest issue.


Agree, too many batters taking a slow stroll to the batter's box, then a few more practice swings, then readjusting their gloves, then one foot in the box while they survey the field.

dickallen15
04-16-2014, 12:06 PM
One of the reasons the Red Sox play longer games and the White Sox are playing longer games this year is the emphasis on working counts. More pitches is going to make the games longer. People get mad at a player for swinging at the first pitch and popping out, while applauding a 12 pitch AB, which makes sense. The problem is, those lead to longer at bats, and eventually even more pitching changes. Shaving 15 seconds here and there is nice, but I think 3 hour plus games are pretty much here to stay.

I won't even mention catchers now almost always get signs from the dugout. Apparently pitchers now need a sign to throw to first base.

Tree Hate Me
04-16-2014, 12:14 PM
I won't even mention catchers now almost always get signs from the dugout. Apparently pitchers now need a sign to throw to first base.

Here's an idea that is just crazy enough to shave a few seconds off each play. Borrow from the NFL and have the catcher wear an earpiece with connection to a coach. Turn it off once the pitcher starts his motion so in case of pop fouls, wild pitches or passed balls there isn't any guidance from the dugout as to the whereabouts of the baseball.

Moses_Scurry
04-16-2014, 12:28 PM
Easy answer, sign 5 Mark Buerhle's.

How about instituting the 10 run slaughter rule? How about a cap on runs that can be scored in an inning?

If the Sox batters are showing more patience, leading to higher opponent pitch counts, leading to inferior bullpen pitchers like Capuano being used, leading to more White Sox victories, the games can be 4 hours for all I care.

dickallen15
04-16-2014, 12:35 PM
Easy answer, sign 5 Mark Buerhle's.

How about instituting the 10 run slaughter rule? How about a cap on runs that can be scored in an inning?

If the Sox batters are showing more patience, leading to higher opponent pitch counts, leading to inferior bullpen pitchers like Capuano being used, leading to more White Sox victories, the games can be 4 hours for all I care.

Buehrle is 3-0 with an ERA below 1.00 averaging about 7 innings and the time of his games have been 2:55,2:52 and 2:45.

hoosiersoxfan
04-16-2014, 12:40 PM
Part of the reason I can't stand watching Belisario pitch (other than him being awful so far) is that between every pitch, especially when guys are on base, he walks around the mound for 30 seconds just staring off in to space.

Too many pitchers do this

shes
04-16-2014, 12:56 PM
4 hours is just too damn long for a baseball game.

I love baseball, grew up playing it, but I often find myself wishing that when the game was devised, it was made a 7 inning game rather than 9. I've taken to just DVR-ing everything and hitting the FF button when needed. Not a perfect solution, but better than what we've got right now.

Finding a way to speed the game up is, in my opinion, as important as (ostensibly) stamping out PEDs.

TDog
04-16-2014, 01:04 PM
Limit mound visits and institute a pitch clock.


Theoretically, there is a pitch clock with no one on base, or at least there used to be. If it was repealed, I didn't notice. I haven't seen a pitcher called for a ball for taking too long to pitch, though, since the 1960s. You can't put a clock on pitchers with runners on base because it would add an advantage to baserunners. You can't limit the throws to first because it would give an advantage to baserunners. You could eliminate all instant replay, which generally takes more time than it should, but that isn't going to happen.

You could limit pitching changes, say allow only one pitching change an inning. I didn't see last night's White Sox game, but I'm guessing mid-inning pitching changes ate up more time than players stepping out of the box. I'm not advocating this, of course. Shortening the game to seven innings would change the game more than limiting pitching changes. Obviously that isn't going to happen. And unless you factor ties into the standings, limiting last night's Sox game (no need to specify which Sox) wouldn't have shortened the game. Put a hitter out with two fouls on two strikes. That isn't going to happen.

I was concerned last night when I was in San Francisco that I would be caught in post-Giants-game traffic because I was hitting the Bay Bridge a little after 10 on my way home. As it turned out, the game hadn't yet hit the ninth, and the 3-2 Giants 12-inning win wasn't completed until after midnight.

You aren't going to see anything significant done to shorten baseball games because it would diminish baseball. Really, mid-inning pitching changes are the biggest reasons games take so long, and those will only be limited by roster limitations.

Chez
04-16-2014, 01:16 PM
Contract the Red Sox and Yankees.

Milw
04-16-2014, 01:19 PM
Theoretically, there is a pitch clock with no one on base, or at least there used to be. If it was repealed, I didn't notice. I haven't seen a pitcher called for a ball for taking too long to pitch, though, since the 1960s. You can't put a clock on pitchers with runners on base because it would add an advantage to baserunners. You can't limit the throws to first because it would give an advantage to baserunners. You could eliminate all instant replay, which generally takes more time than it should, but that isn't going to happen.

You could limit pitching changes, say allow only one pitching change an inning. I didn't see last night's White Sox game, but I'm guessing mid-inning pitching changes ate up more time than players stepping out of the box. I'm not advocating this, of course. Shortening the game to seven innings would change the game more than limiting pitching changes. Obviously that isn't going to happen. And unless you factor ties into the standings, limiting last night's Sox game (no need to specify which Sox) wouldn't have shortened the game. Put a hitter out with two fouls on two strikes. That isn't going to happen.

I was concerned last night when I was in San Francisco that I would be caught in post-Giants-game traffic because I was hitting the Bay Bridge a little after 10 on my way home. As it turned out, the game hadn't yet hit the ninth, and the 3-2 Giants 12-inning win wasn't completed until after midnight.

You aren't going to see anything significant done to shorten baseball games because it would diminish baseball. Really, mid-inning pitching changes are the biggest reasons games take so long, and those will only be limited by roster limitations.
Yep. This is baseball. Not saying there aren't some things that can be done to speed it up a bit, but at the end of the day, you can't do anything real drastic without fundamentally changing the game itself. I'm all for making baseball more appealing to non-fans (and, apparently, fans who are impatient), but at some point you have to either accept it for what it is or not be a fan.

PaleHoser
04-16-2014, 02:02 PM
They don't need to speed up aspects of the game. Working counts and 12-pitch at-bats take time.

Eliminate at least one 30 second commercial between half innings would save 10 minutes per game.

Eliminate the commercial breaks during pitching changes would save more time. I'm dating myself, but I miss the days when they used to show the relievers warm-up, slow motion video of his motion and a breakdown of their pitches, record, etc.

Like that would ever happen. But a guy can dream.

And eliminate "God Bless America" at the 7th inning stretch. Especially in New York. I love my country, but the National Anthem at the beginning of the game and the recognition of the soldier/sailor/airman/Marine works for me.

Madvora
04-16-2014, 02:22 PM
I haven't watched a regular speed game in a long time. I always start at least an hour and a half after the first pitch on my DVR and skip through all the commercials. Usually I skip or fast forward the excruciatingly long time between pitches.

kittle42
04-16-2014, 02:41 PM
There is a 0% chance baseball cuts innings. Zero.

Let's be fair. It's probably .0000000001%.

kittle42
04-16-2014, 02:43 PM
MLB needs to sit down and address the issue of long games.

Amen. The NHL did it and shaved, what, 15+ minutes off average game times? It is great.

cheezheadsoxfan
04-16-2014, 02:57 PM
Easy answer, sign 5 Mark Buerhle's.

How about instituting the 10 run slaughter rule? How about a cap on runs that can be scored in an inning?

If the Sox batters are showing more patience, leading to higher opponent pitch counts, leading to inferior bullpen pitchers like Capuano being used, leading to more White Sox victories, the games can be 4 hours for all I care.

This.

35th and Shields
04-16-2014, 03:04 PM
Amen. The NHL did it and shaved, what, 15+ minutes off average game times? It is great.

I know they added no TV timeouts after icings and I think they became more strict on the time to lineup and drop the puck after the whistle. Am I missing any others?

MLB could easily implement a similar rule with time between pitches. If the pitcher doesn't throw within a certain time, the batter receives an automatic ball to the count (vice versa for the batter). I'd love to see the time between pitching changes reduced, but with the current nature of protecting pitchers that may be a pipe dream.

jdm2662
04-16-2014, 03:10 PM
The Red Sox and Yankees bore me to death. Yet, they are the only teams that matter to the baseball world. Whatever, I haven't watched ESPN in over ten years. I'm not missing anything.

And yes, I was quite distrubed that a 2-1 9 inning game ended at 10:45.

hawkjt
04-16-2014, 03:48 PM
The Red Sox and Yankees bore me to death. Yet, they are the only teams that matter to the baseball world. Whatever, I haven't watched ESPN in over ten years. I'm not missing anything.

And yes, I was quite distrubed that a 2-1 9 inning game ended at 10:45.


Lets face it...the Boston/NY method of wearing down pitchers works...and they win. So, when they play each other it is like mutual slow-play, and if the White Sox are smartly working the counts better, when they play these two teams, slo-play squared.

Just win, and I can live with it. Love how Sox are battling at the plate.

Tannerfan
04-16-2014, 04:13 PM
Awhile back someone asked Vin Scully why games had gotten longer.
He gave a one word answer: "Velcro."
I agree with him. It's on the batters taking too long between pitches re-adjusting their batting gloves even after pitches when they haven't swung.
If the rules were enforced, the games would be shorter.

amsteel
04-16-2014, 05:09 PM
Awhile back someone asked Vin Scully why games had gotten longer.
He gave a one word answer: "Velcro."
I agree with him. It's on the batters taking too long between pitches re-adjusting their batting gloves even after pitches when they haven't swung.
If the rules were enforced, the games would be shorter.

Another reason why Konerko shouldn't have been brought back.

tstrike2000
04-16-2014, 05:45 PM
Maybe they should just do away with the umpire review since it still gets screwed up anyway.

Moses_Scurry
04-16-2014, 10:10 PM
Well Robin had three pitching changes in one inning to go with 4 walks. That 1/2 inning alone had to have added at least 25 minutes or so.

Noneck
04-16-2014, 10:15 PM
I could be missing something here but why would owners want shorter games? Longer games extend concession time and more commercials for TV and radio. Players are salaried not hourly employees.

ChicagoG19
04-16-2014, 10:32 PM
I could be missing something here but why would owners want shorter games? Longer games extend concession time and more commercials for TV and radio. Players are salaried not hourly employees.

Yeah, but the length of games is one of the reasons the current youth cite for not liking baseball and I believe it. My teenage relatives have a hard time paying attention to 3 innings, let alone 9. I think the Owners and MLB recognize this and need to shorten the length of games to ensure the sport keeps growing.

Noneck
04-16-2014, 10:36 PM
Yeah, but the length of games is one of the reasons the current youth cite for not liking baseball and I believe it. My teenage relatives have a hard time paying attention to 3 innings, let alone 9. I think the Owners and MLB recognize this and need to shorten the length of games to ensure the sport keeps growing.

The extended time of a game hasnt hurt the NFL or NBA, why is it hurting baseball?

shes
04-16-2014, 10:48 PM
The extended time of a game hasnt hurt the NFL or NBA, why is it hurting baseball?

Because baseball is, by far, the least exciting sport of the three to the casual fan.

Noneck
04-16-2014, 10:52 PM
Because baseball is, by far, the least exciting sport of the three to the casual fan.


That is something no matter how I try to process it, I will never understand.

shes
04-16-2014, 11:06 PM
That is something no matter how I try to process it, I will never understand.

I think the casual fan has no interest in the pitching and defense aspect of the game. In basketball that problem doesn't exist because possessions are so short and there really isn't any dead time.

Football has a lot of dead time, like baseball, but they have the monumental advantage of the 16-game schedule. Each game feels like a special event because it comes around so infrequently. I can guarantee if baseball were only played on Sundays we'd be more forgiving of its shortcomings, as we currently are with the NFL.

ChicagoG19
04-16-2014, 11:09 PM
The extended time of a game hasnt hurt the NFL or NBA, why is it hurting baseball?

NFL: They only play once week, generally on Sundays, fantasy football and gambling make people watch even if they don't care about the team.

NBA: They play half the amount of games, they still typically finish in 2 1/2 hours, and there is indeed more action in basketball than in baseball.

Shoeless
04-16-2014, 11:35 PM
That is something no matter how I try to process it, I will never understand.

Funny. It's obvious. I love baseball. I love the White Sox. Football, basketball, and hockey are more exciting because they are faster pace.

A complete NBA game takes 48 minutes. A complete NFL game takes 60. Terry thing else is extra, but the clock is king. That is not the case in baseball.

doublem23
04-17-2014, 12:30 AM
Because baseball is, by far, the least exciting sport of the three to the casual fan.

Do you have any sort of proof for this statement?

A. Cavatica
04-17-2014, 12:31 AM
Much better tonight.

kittle42
04-17-2014, 12:31 AM
Do you have any sort of proof for this statement?

Does he need any? Man, for the short attention span generation, baseball is a slow, slow sport.

Boondock Saint
04-17-2014, 12:32 AM
Funny. It's obvious. I love baseball. I love the White Sox. Football, basketball, and hockey are more exciting because they are faster pace.

A complete NBA game takes 48 minutes. A complete NFL game takes 60. Terry thing else is extra, but the clock is king. That is not the case in baseball.

That is just patently false. The clock in those sports is 48 and 60 minutes, but those games take 2-3 hours on average. Those clocks stop. A lot.

doublem23
04-17-2014, 12:34 AM
Does he need any? Man, for the short attention span generation, baseball is a slow, slow sport.

Well considering attendance is at all-time highs, revenues are at all time highs, TV contracts are at all-time highs... Yes.

harwar
04-17-2014, 05:25 AM
I think that any time shaved off of the actual game would just extend the commercial time in between innings..

Moses_Scurry
04-17-2014, 07:59 AM
I think that any time shaved off of the actual game would just extend the commercial time in between innings..

That's a bingo!

I would submit that this is the true reason why we hear about this issue from Selig et al. Total game time won't change. There will just be more commercials. Kind of like after the touchdown and then again after the kickoff.

TDog
04-17-2014, 12:53 PM
I think that any time shaved off of the actual game would just extend the commercial time in between innings..

Which gets to the point of the problem. Eliminate the commercials, and the games go a lot faster. Some years ago it was suggested that baseball would benefit from having games on cable because there would be no commercials, but these were the prognosticators who said people wouldn't have to sit through commercials if they were paying for their television. Way back in 1969 when I was watching White Sox games on Channel 32, I used to like that there were no commercials going into the eighth inning, and Jack Drees just talked about the game for a few moments before the game resumed. Later, I came to see that was because the White Sox couldn't sell enough commercial time to cover the half-innings and pitching changes.

There are things you could do to speed up the game. India has teams playing a cricket format that is much faster paced than the traditional game, and it is more popular on Indian television than traditional cricket tests are in the UK. One thing you could do with baseball is expand the strike zone. Fewer walks would make for a quicker game. Even calling the rule-book strike zone, which many umpires don't do, up and down at least, would help.

Baseball shrunk the strike zone and lowered the pitcher's mound after the 1968 season because the quicker games lacked offense that fans were demanding. Enforce a bigger strike zone, and you'll get a quicker game, unless it goes extra innings. Limit the commercials, and it will make the game quicker still. Hitters taking balls slows down the game. Hitters walking slows down the game. Going out to the mound to talk to pitchers who can't find the current strike zone slows down the game. Changing pitchers when pitchers can't throw strikes slows down the game.

And when a game runs longer than last summer's Lone Ranger movie, there must be a problem.

Red Barchetta
04-17-2014, 01:09 PM
Hitters need to get in the damn box. That's the biggest issue.

I agree. I used to hate watching (our) Albert Belle bat. After every single pitch, he would step out and take two practice swings and then call for time to get back in the box! :angry:

Unless the batter fouls off a pitch or the pitcher calls time out, the batter should stay in the box.

Chez
04-17-2014, 01:21 PM
Which gets to the point of the problem. Eliminate the commercials, and the games go a lot faster. Some years ago it was suggested that baseball would benefit from having games on cable because there would be no commercials, but these were the prognosticators who said people wouldn't have to sit through commercials if they were paying for their television. Way back in 1969 when I was watching White Sox games on Channel 32, I used to like that there were no commercials going into the eighth inning, and Jack Drees just talked about the game for a few moments before the game resumed. Later, I came to see that was because the White Sox couldn't sell enough commercial time to cover the half-innings and pitching changes.




Seriously? This has no chance of gaining traction. If not for revenue from television contracts (national and local), few teams would turn a profit. Maybe none. If not for commercials, there is no revenue from television contracts. The seven inning suggestion has a better chance of passing than eliminating commercials. And that has no chance.

kufram
04-17-2014, 01:24 PM
Cut the number of pitchers on the roster.

shes
04-17-2014, 01:34 PM
Do you have any sort of proof for this statement?

You mean scientifically? No. I'm not sure data on which sports the casual fan finds most boring exist. I can only speak on what I've seen, read, and heard throughout the years.

TDog
04-17-2014, 01:43 PM
Seriously? This has no chance of gaining traction. If not for revenue from television contracts (national and local), few teams would turn a profit. Maybe none. If not for commercials, there is no revenue from television contracts. The seven inning suggestion has a better chance of passing than eliminating commercials. And that has no chance.

I wasn't suggesting what should be done. I was suggesting what could would speed up the game. I was serious in that it would speed up the game. I wasn't suggesting that baseball needs to pass rules prohibiting commercials. I've seen cricket and soccer (for lack of the real name that would only confuse) played without commercials in other countries, but I understand that's not realistic in the U.S.

Really, I don't have any problems with baseball being too slow or too long, although if I am at an extra-inning Giants game and will need to catch the BART, I would like the game to move along. The only sport I can stand to watch on television is baseball, and I find it much less tedious than other sports (except when there's a Sox pitcher who can't find the strike zone) because I am playing so much about the game in my head between pitches. When I'm at the park it's better because I am watching other things besides the pitcher and batter, but at home, baseball is the only sport that is worth sitting through commercials for. I understand I'm in the minority.

But as with the 1969 White Sox, if people stop watching baseball on television, television won't sell baseball commercials.

Chez
04-17-2014, 01:46 PM
I wasn't suggesting what should be done. I was suggesting what could would speed up the game. I was serious in that it would speed up the game. I wasn't suggesting that baseball needs to pass rules prohibiting commercials. I've seen cricket and soccer (for lack of the real name that would only confuse) played without commercials in other countries, but I understand that's not realistic in the U.S.

Really, I don't have any problems with baseball being too slow or too long, although if I am at an extra-inning Giants game and will need to catch the BART, I would like the game to move along. The only sport I can stand to watch on television is baseball, and I find it much less tedious than other sports (except when there's a Sox pitcher who can't find the strike zone) because I am playing so much about the game in my head between pitches. When I'm at the park it's better because I am watching other things besides the pitcher and batter, but at home, baseball is the only sport that is worth sitting through commercials for. I understand I'm in the minority.

But as with the 1969 White Sox, if people stop watching baseball on television, television won't sell baseball commercials.

Ok. Sorry if I misinterpreted your earlier post.

Moses_Scurry
04-17-2014, 02:17 PM
Seriously? This has no chance of gaining traction. If not for revenue from television contracts (national and local), few teams would turn a profit. Maybe none. If not for commercials, there is no revenue from television contracts. The seven inning suggestion has a better chance of passing than eliminating commercials. And that has no chance.

I think it's a little disingenuous for the powers that be to complain about game length when the addition of more commercials is the real reason that games are longer. Changing pitchers, batters being walked, batters stepping out of the box between pitches, etc have been around since the invention of television. Adding commercials has not. I don't care if they do nothing to shorten games. I bet most fans feel the same way. I don't want more commercials added, and I sure as hell don't want a rule instituted that significantly changes gameplay so that they can fit more commercials into the broadcast.

TDog
04-17-2014, 02:20 PM
I think it's a little disingenuous for the powers that be to complain about game length when the addition of more commercials is the real reason that games are longer. Changing pitchers, batters being walked, batters stepping out of the box between pitches, etc have been around since the invention of television. Adding commercials has not. I don't care if they do nothing to shorten games. I bet most fans feel the same way. I don't want more commercials added, and I sure as hell don't want a rule instituted that significantly changes gameplay so that they can fit more commercials into the broadcast.

This expresses some of the frustration I'm feeling concern the ongoing debate.

Milw
04-17-2014, 02:38 PM
Cut the number of pitchers on the roster.
If MLB attempted to reduce roster size, there would be labor armageddon. Others may feel differently, but I'm not willing to lose a year-plus of baseball just to shorten games by 4 minutes.

Paulwny
04-17-2014, 02:39 PM
FWIW

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/06/08/why-baseball-games-take-long/wikaeRMGatBDGDefpbFE1H/story.html

kufram
04-17-2014, 03:47 PM
If MLB attempted to reduce roster size, there would be labor armageddon. Others may feel differently, but I'm not willing to lose a year-plus of baseball just to shorten games by 4 minutes.

I didn't say reduce roster size.

TDog
04-17-2014, 03:53 PM
I didn't say reduce roster size.

Did you suggest more utility infielders should be pitching?

Madvora
04-17-2014, 04:17 PM
My five hour DVR recording ran out yesterday before I could even see who won the game.

Shoeless
04-17-2014, 07:38 PM
That is just patently false. The clock in those sports is 48 and 60 minutes, but those games take 2-3 hours on average. Those clocks stop. A lot.

But the ending comes when the clock is up. There's a theoretical time limit. Baseball has no time regulation, which it desperately needs.

Railsplitter
04-17-2014, 09:11 PM
In addition to batter stepping out of the box, there are pitchers who, once they get a guy a base start rubbing the ball, taking off the cap to wipe the forehead and generally slow down their delovery

ChicagoG19
04-17-2014, 09:42 PM
But the ending comes when the clock is up. There's a theoretical time limit. Baseball has no time regulation, which it desperately needs.

No No No No. The lack of a clock is one of the beautiful things about the game. You can always come back from a deficit regardless of how late in the game it is.

TDog
04-17-2014, 11:03 PM
But the ending comes when the clock is up. There's a theoretical time limit. Baseball has no time regulation, which it desperately needs.

I'm really sick of people who lack the attention span to appreciate the nuances of baseball advocating ruining the game. If you think it needs a time regulation, you are missing what makes baseball such a brilliant game. If you want to impose your own time limit and ignore it.

As long as I've been seriously following baseball, people have been saying it's too slow and the game needs to be speeded up, as if I would want to watch a sport where I can expect a team to run out the clock to win a close game. And as long as I've been seriously following baseball, the changes that have been made, many demanded by fans to make it a better game, have made it longer.

Offense takes longer than defense. Lower the mound, shrink the strike zone, designate a hitter to hit for the pitcher, expand so that the pitchers who can effectively get hitters out with a smaller strike zone. Baserunners slow down the game, especially the ones with speed. Instant replay takes time. I could go one.

There are things you could do to make the game move along faster, but it's only going to happen with less offense. Around 1970, Charlie Finley proposed the three-ball wal, reasoning that pitchers would waste fewer pitchers, and it was tried out in a long, long Cactus League game. Mess with the checks and balances of dininishes it. W.P. Kinsella captured what is special about baseball, probably more in The Iowa Baseball Confederacy more than Shoeless Joe. It has nothing to do with giveing a team an opportunity to run out the clock.

chisox59
04-18-2014, 12:52 AM
I think that any time shaved off of the actual game would just extend the commercial time in between innings..

If I recall correctly from my youth there was no such thing as an umpire getting a signal that the network was back and it was okay to go ahead and begin play again. Many times the action had already started when the game was rejoined after a commercial. I'm assuming that they were expected to keep their commercials to whatever the norm was between innings rather than have the game held up. The advent of paying way too much money for advertising rights definitely changed that concept.

kufram
04-18-2014, 04:36 AM
Did you suggest more utility infielders should be pitching?

I think you know that wasn't the suggestion.

A couple less pitchers, a couple more roster spots for position players. I think rosters are a bench player or two short anyway. I know it's undo-able but so is every other idea on here. Some innings are like the last minute of a basketball game caused by guys coming in to throw to one batter, sometimes 2 or 3 in an inning. If we're going to have a maximum pitch count for most pitchers maybe there should be a minimum pitch count also. The idea of a pitcher having to pitch an entire inning isn't as crazy as it sounds.

I'm also one of those old guys that think tv should fit the game... not the other way around. also undo-able when money decides everything. If playing a game takes 3 and a half hours, that's baseball. If all of the stuff woven in between the playing causes it, change it.

Shoeless
04-18-2014, 09:04 AM
No No No No. The lack of a clock is one of the beautiful things about the game. You can always come back from a deficit regardless of how late in the game it is.

I was replying to why baseball specifically is perceived as being slow. There is no time limit. It's one of the few teams sports like that. Time management and a running clock are not the same thing. Things like limiting the number of times a batter can step out of the batters box. Now it's "Can I can time?" umpire usually says "yes" and they do and the game slows down even more. Stop with that. Smart time management. Nick Swisher does not need to go for coffee between each and every swing.

I'm really sick of people who lack the attention span to appreciate the nuances of baseball advocating ruining the game. If you think it needs a time regulation, you are missing what makes baseball such a brilliant game. If you want to impose your own time limit and ignore it.
I'm sick and tired of people who don't seem to understand that baseball is an evolving game. I'm not saying we need a time limit, I'm saying the reason people feel that games take too long is because there's no guaranteed time limit. I am advocating time management. Hard and fast limits on how many times a player can break the action to take practice swings, etc.


Offense takes longer than defense. Lower the mound, shrink the strike zone, designate a hitter to hit for the pitcher, expand so that the pitchers who can effectively get hitters out with a smaller strike zone. Baserunners slow down the game, especially the ones with speed. Instant replay takes time. I could go one.
We're obviously on the same page. I apparently mislead you.

There are things you could do to make the game move along faster, but it's only going to happen with less offense. Around 1970, Charlie Finley proposed the three-ball wal, reasoning that pitchers would waste fewer pitchers, and it was tried out in a long, long Cactus League game. Mess with the checks and balances of dininishes it. W.P. Kinsella captured what is special about baseball, probably more in The Iowa Baseball Confederacy more than Shoeless Joe. It has nothing to do with giveing a team an opportunity to run out the clock.

Again, i'm not suggesting that we change major rules of the game, I suggest we make the game as efficient as possible. Right now, that's not happening.

Milw
04-18-2014, 09:26 AM
I think you know that wasn't the suggestion.

A couple less pitchers, a couple more roster spots for position players. I think rosters are a bench player or two short anyway. I know it's undo-able but so is every other idea on here. Some innings are like the last minute of a basketball game caused by guys coming in to throw to one batter, sometimes 2 or 3 in an inning. If we're going to have a maximum pitch count for most pitchers maybe there should be a minimum pitch count also. The idea of a pitcher having to pitch an entire inning isn't as crazy as it sounds.

I'm also one of those old guys that think tv should fit the game... not the other way around. also undo-able when money decides everything. If playing a game takes 3 and a half hours, that's baseball. If all of the stuff woven in between the playing causes it, change it.
Are you of the impression that there are designated roster spots for "pitchers" and "hitters?" That's the only way your idea makes any sense. A team could carry 24 position players and a single pitcher if it wanted, because players are not actually defined as pitchers or hitters in any official sense.

So yeah, in order for the number of pitchers to decrease, you'd necessarily have to reduce roster size.

TDog
04-18-2014, 11:30 AM
...
I'm sick and tired of people who don't seem to understand that baseball is an evolving game. I'm not saying we need a time limit, I'm saying the reason people feel that games take too long is because there's no guaranteed time limit. I am advocating time management. Hard and fast limits on how many times a player can break the action to take practice swings, etc. ...

Baseball has evolved into a longer game for many reasons. Umpires waiting for commercials to be over rather than television trying to get through with the commercials before the game resumes has more to do with the length of the game than the time between pitches. The increased emphasis on working pitchers because of reliance on pitch counts, the small strike zone and the game shutting down after they walk hitters has more to do with the time between pitches than batters stepping out of the batter's box. If you limit the time a pitcher has to pitch with runners on base or limit the throws, the advantage it gives the runner will increase make the game last longer by increasing the offense. The game is about getting outs to finish an inning. Everything you do to help the offense will make the game last longer. The things teams do to try to negate advantages given the offense will make the game last longer.

The Giants right now are carrying 13 pitchers and 12 position players, two of whom are catchers. Do the math and figure out what kind of moves Bruce Bochy can make. That's how the game has evolved. And every time you change pitchers during an inning, you have to wait for the commercials.

It's the evolution of the game that is making it longer. Pitch counts, a smaller strike zone, the designated hitter, increasing relief specialization have more to do with the increased time of games than hitters stepping out of the box. Short of the time between innings and mid-inning pitching changes necessary for commercials, time regulation, short of playing the game against a clock, wouldn't mean anything. Finishing an inning is the responsibility of the defense. It's about outs and not about time. Enforce a bigger strike zone, and you would speed up the game.

SBSoxFan
04-18-2014, 11:35 AM
Baseball has evolved into a longer game for many reasons. Umpires waiting for commercials to be over rather than television trying to get through with the commercials before the game resumes has more to do with the length of the game than the time between pitches. The increased emphasis on working pitchers because of reliance on pitch counts, the small strike zone and the game shutting down after they walk hitters has more to do with the time between pitches than batters stepping out of the batter's box. If you limit the time a pitcher has to pitch with runners on base or limit the throws, the advantage it gives the runner will increase make the game last longer by increasing the offense. The game is about getting outs to finish an inning. Everything you do to help the offense will make the game last longer. The things teams do to try to negate advantages given the offense will make the game last longer.

The Giants right now are carrying 13 pitchers and 12 position players, two of whom are catchers. Do the math and figure out what kind of moves Bruce Bochy can make. That's how the game has evolved. And every time you change pitchers during an inning, you have to wait for the commercials.

It's the evolution of the game that is making it longer. Pitch counts, a smaller strike zone, the designated hitter, increasing relief specialization have more to do with the increased time of games than hitters stepping out of the box. Short of the time between innings and mid-inning pitching changes necessary for commercials, time regulation, short of playing the game against a clock, wouldn't mean anything. Finishing an inning is the responsibility of the defense. It's about outs and not about time. Enforce a bigger strike zone, and you would speed up the game.

They should have started doing this with an autonomous system that would standardize the strike zone long before they allowed managers to challenge a call.

kufram
04-18-2014, 12:04 PM
Are you of the impression that there are designated roster spots for "pitchers" and "hitters?" That's the only way your idea makes any sense. A team could carry 24 position players and a single pitcher if it wanted, because players are not actually defined as pitchers or hitters in any official sense.

So yeah, in order for the number of pitchers to decrease, you'd necessarily have to reduce roster size.

I'm just trying to use my imagination here a little bit. There are things that are not official in baseball but that we all know are "playing by the rules". There are official things in baseball that have a fairly casual relationship with reality... the strike zone, for example.

One would not have to necessarily reduce roster size, but it would be necessary to come up with a designation for pitchers and position players, I suppose. That would not shake the foundation of the game in my opinion. I think we all know who they are. The rules of baseball have been changed before. But, you know what? It was just an idea.

I like the idea of the game not waiting for commercials, but then I also like the idea of outfielders being able to run to the ball and catch it without diving for show.

TDog
04-18-2014, 02:44 PM
I'm just trying to use my imagination here a little bit. There are things that are not official in baseball but that we all know are "playing by the rules". There are official things in baseball that have a fairly casual relationship with reality... the strike zone, for example.

One would not have to necessarily reduce roster size, but it would be necessary to come up with a designation for pitchers and position players, I suppose. That would not shake the foundation of the game in my opinion. I think we all know who they are. The rules of baseball have been changed before. But, you know what? It was just an idea. ...

The problem is that even that would resisted by the union. Try to eliminate the designated hitter, keep rosters at the current size, and you would get resistance from the union. Limit the people on the roster who are allowed to pitch -- limit pitchers -- and you would get resistance from the union. As it is, your pitchers on the Giants roster aren't just pitchers but potential pinch-hitters and pinch-runners. Hopefully they won't have to go in on defense behind the mound. And I get the feeling that the Giants situation is only temporary.

You don't limit pitcher by limiting the people on the roster who can pitch. You would have to limit the number of pitching changes a team is allowed in an inning. And if it doesn't lead to quicker outs, it won't shorten the game.

Milw
04-18-2014, 04:29 PM
The problem is that even that would resisted by the union. Try to eliminate the designated hitter, keep rosters at the current size, and you would get resistance from the union. Limit the people on the roster who are allowed to pitch -- limit pitchers -- and you would get resistance from the union. As it is, your pitchers on the Giants roster aren't just pitchers but potential pinch-hitters and pinch-runners. Hopefully they won't have to go in on defense behind the mound. And I get the feeling that the Giants situation is only temporary.

You don't limit pitcher by limiting the people on the roster who can pitch. You would have to limit the number of pitching changes a team is allowed in an inning. And if it doesn't lead to quicker outs, it won't shorten the game.
That's a great point that people overlook. Tony LaRussa aside pitching changes don't happen just because the manager gets off on making them; pitching changes happen because it increases the likelihood of getting the next batter out and stopping the offense. When you limit pitching changes, you make it less likely that the offense will make outs. So while you might save 5 minutes of the actual pitching change, if the lack of pitching change means the offense hits for 5 minutes longer than it would have... what have you actually gained?

Madvora
04-18-2014, 05:10 PM
I think that any time shaved off of the actual game would just extend the commercial time in between innings..
I'd be all for baseball doing something like soccer and have advertising all over the place if the could completely take out the commercials.

There are four 30 second commercials between half innings. Take away the bottom of the 9th and that comes out to about 34 minutes. It takes close to another 30 seconds before they pitch, so that's 42:30. It takes about 10, 15 or more seconds between pitches and about 30 for every foul ball or passed ball and there's about 300 total pitches in a game. Then there's mound visits, pitching changes too.
I'm so glad the DVR was invented.

Milw
04-21-2014, 02:46 PM
I'd be all for baseball doing something like soccer and have advertising all over the place if the could completely take out the commercials.

There are four 30 second commercials between half innings. Take away the bottom of the 9th and that comes out to about 34 minutes. It takes close to another 30 seconds before they pitch, so that's 42:30. It takes about 10, 15 or more seconds between pitches and about 30 for every foul ball or passed ball and there's about 300 total pitches in a game. Then there's mound visits, pitching changes too.
I'm so glad the DVR was invented.
It's not like if you got rid of between-inning commercials that you'd get those 34 minutes back. The players still would have to go their positions, the pitcher still needs warmup tosses, the groundscrew still needs to drag the infield a couple times, and the umpires need water/bathroom breaks. At best you might shave off 10 or 12 minutes, and that's being optimistic.