Friday, November 14, 2014

MLB Games Don't Need to be Sped Up

Major League Baseball is continuing their undying quest to speed up the game of baseball this offseason by putting together a committee whose sole job is to find ways to speed up the game. The reasoning for the change is that the average MLB game eclipsed the three hour mark in 2014 and I respond with a "so what?"

While I understand that MLB plays 162 games a season and plays almost every single night where as the NFL plays once a week and the NBA plays three to four times a week. If you look at the average times per game in the three major leagues you have 3:08 for MLB while scoring is down across the league. In the NFL we used the 2013 season as the 2014 season is incomplete and came up with 3:10 with a mere 11 minutes of "action" in the game. The NBA apparently doesn't have this problem or keep track because I could not find the stat anywhere but those fourth quarters, especially when close, are brutal with constant time outs and such.

Why should MLB increase their game speed while the NFL, who kills MLB in ratings, continues to pack more commercials and less action into their games and are doing it successfully? By the way in case you were wondering here are some of the rules that are being discussed and likely to be implemented in 2015:

  1. Batter's Box Rule: The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batter's box throughout his at-bat, unless one of a series of established exceptions occurs, in which case the batter may leave the batter's box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate. (Exceptions include a foul ball or a foul tip; a pitch forcing the batter out of the batter's box; “time” being requested and granted; a wild pitch or a passed ball; and several others.)
  2. No-Pitch Intentional Walks: In the event a team decides to intentionally walk a batter, no pitches shall be thrown. Instead, the manager shall signal to the home plate umpire with four fingers, and the batter should proceed to first base to become a runner.
  3. 20-Second Rule [AT 17 SALT RIVER FIELDS HOME GAMES ONLY]: A modified version of Rule 8.04, which discourages unnecessary delays by the pitcher, shall apply. Rule 8.04 requires the pitcher to deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball with the bases unoccupied. The penalty prescribed by Rule 8.04 for a pitcher's violation of the Rule is that the umpire shall call “Ball.”

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)