MLB Says They Will Speed Up Game, But We Don't Believe Them
According to an MLB press release, Bud Selig has formed a committee with the purpose of putting together and implementing rules that would speed up the game. FINALLY.
Back in July of 2013, I broke down how much bang for your buck you get in each major American sport, breaking down analyses of actual action time in the average game.
The Wall Street Journal found that the average three-hour, nine-inning game of baseball has just 17 minutes and 58 seconds of actual gameplay. The other two hours, 42 minutes, and two seconds are spent staring at guys standing around on the field and pitchers licking their hands and batters practicing swings.
The new committee will be chaired by Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz and will include New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark, Boston Red Sox partner Michael Gordon, commissioner-elect Rob Mandfred, league VP Joe Torre, and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.
"We have the greatest game in the world, but we are always looking for ways to improve it," Selig said. "The game is at its highest levels of popularity and we will continue to strive to identify ways that can build on its stature well into the future.
"With the cooperation of all appropriate parties, we can make progress on improving the pace of play, and we will have recommendations in the very near future for the 2015 season. I believe that this group has the experience and the perspective to be mindful of our game's traditions while being creative about our approach in the future."
And therein lies the issue. Maybe they shave a couple seconds off of the time spent between pitches and between batters and between innings, but in the end, it's impossible to force any real change into a game so tied up in "being mindful of traditions."
It took the MLB much longer than any other league to implement modern technology like instant replay despite human error ruining games over the years. The second that pitchers begin to feel the slightest bit rushed on the mound, there will be backlash and heads will be called for, which is why the league likely won't implement any major, sweeping changes involving the speed of the world's slowest game.
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