Baseball games are long sometimes. This is not news.
It’s a game played at a leisurely pace without a clock and with the defense in possession of the ball and able to control the pace of the game, for the most part. There are breaks and pitching changes and music is played between batters and then there are commercials and when Joe Girardi breaks out his giant binder, forget it. Baseball games are long. Some are longer than others.
So it’s up to the good people of Major League Baseball to speed things up, presumably. And as is the case all too often, it’s the people in charge of baseball who need to be kept from baseball at all costs.
This is probably not going to come to fruition, but the fact that an executive within MLB told a reporter that “they ought to change the game to seven innings” is frightening. That person makes money to work within the highest level of the game, and he has that opinion.
And even with the obvious admission that too many games are too long, thinking that that’s the way to go is absurd, especially when there are so many ways to shorten the game, such as:
- Shortening commercial breaks.
- Keeping batters in the batter’s box.
- Enforcing the rule that says pitchers must throw the ball within 12 seconds with no one on base.
- Call strikes when there are actually strikes.
- Shorten manager visits to the mound.
- Eliminate instant replay challenges.
I came up with that list in about the 30 seconds it took to type it out. There are probably a lot of things that can be done to shorten the game that I didn’t think of. It wasn’t long ago that nine-inning games that went over three hours were a true rarity. Now it’s about average.
All this is to say that the pace of the game is something that can certainly be improved. The game itself, however, is not and hasn’t been an issue. So let’s keep the last two innings and perhaps get rid of the brilliant mind that wants to cut it down.
But advocating for anyone to be fired seems harsh. At the very least, we could get him or her a job in football — now there’s a sport with almost no action.