Often proposed solutions to make baseball more "exciting" that could unintentionally backfire

I think that would unfairly target only the outfielders though.

Gee, I think there are simpler ways to discourage the shift.

get rid of the 2 min commercial time out.
I’ve been to many ball games at different parks across the country. And by far the this biggest time waster and #1 thing that brings the action to a halt. Often literally nothing happens on the field during commercials: the fielders don’t take their positions, the pitchers don’t warm up, the batters don’t take practice swings. . .the action on the field stops.

Now I realize this is how everyone gets paid, so I’m not suggesting getting rid of commercials, but it’s an additional work stoppage and a pretty poor use of the downtime that naturally occurs. The commercials should be fitted into the game, or, if that is not acceptable, the teams should be required to be “ready to play” as soon as the time out expires.

the number of mound conferences could be limited as well, and pitchers should be switched in a more time efficient manner. Either requiring pitchers to finish the inning or having the relief pitchers in the dugout ready to go before the decision is made.


Why do games need to be shortened?

Right or wrong, I think the reason most stated is that people have shorter attention spans now. And shorter games are easier for young kids ,especially night games where they have to stay up late for games .

A DH in the NL.

During extra innings, each half inning starts with a runner on second base. I think this is being tried in the minors.

The length of games has been increasing for decades. Right now it’s about 3 hours. 40 years ago it was 2.5 hours and 80 years ago it was 2 hours.

There isn’t more actual game play, mind you, just more time doing nothing inbetween the times things happen.

like other pro sports a lot of the extra time is there just to show TV commercials.

Also each batter starts with a 3-0 count and the fielders wear leg irons.

Last time this came up, or one of the last few times this came up, I remember reading that commercials actually contribute minimally to the increase length of baseball games. Like only five or ten minutes, so that’s not really it.

Exactly. It’s only the TV people who care about the length of the game since it gives them heartburn not to know what time they can start the next program. Or worse yet have to preempt programming.

As for the notion that younger people have shorter attention spans, how come then so many of them are watching soccer?

Yes, there is. There are about ten percent more pitches per game since 2000 (due mostly to more strikeouts), and more time between pitches. The number and length of between-inning commercials, for regular-season games, has been virtually unchanged since the 1980’s, and yet games continue to get longer and longer.

Because people have jobs and families, and don’t have 3.5 to 4 hours per night to be watching baseball.

Than they really need to re-examine their priorities.


It’s not the length, it’s the pace.

The length of games is a symptom. The PACE has slowed down, due to a number of factors, and it’s the pace of a game that makes it boring or exciting. A 3.5 hour game can be thrilling if the pace is kept up; a 2.5 hour game can be a snoozer if the pace is bad.

The average game has been three hours and change since 2012. There is simply no good reason for this; the number of batters coming to the plate is not even remotely close to an unusually high number. Games are ten minutes longer than they were in 1999, when there were 292 pitches thrown to 78 batters per game, than in 2017, when there were 297 pitches thrown to 76 batters per game. You simply can’t attribute ten minutes to five pitches. The delays are entirely boring things like batters stepping out and readjusting after every pitch, replay delays, pitching changes, pitchers taking forever, etc.
As it happens, if you improve the pace, the length of games will go down a little.

the NFL has been pretty good at keeping games around 3 hours , but the actual amount of time in play is 11 minutes. They no longer stop the clock as much as they did. and the NFL is all about TV since every game is on a national network - CBS, Fox ,ESPN and NBC. Most games on CBS and Fox are regional but Sunday and Mon nights are national games.

On the other hand, college FB does not seem to care about game time. They have way too many replays as 1 example. Their games can go 3.5 hours and longer even without overtime.

When I first started going to baseball games (1946, I was 9), games averaged under 2:15 and games under 2 hours were not unknown. I listened to one that was 1:35. In those days, most games were complete games even for the losing team and the main reason for changing pitchers was to have a pinch hitter. Pitchers were constantly being told they must pace themselves and threw all out only when the other team was threatening.

But the thing that irritates me most about baseball is the randomness of the ball//strike calls. Since computer calling is now entirely possible, I would like to see it instituted. I saw a full nine inning game 8 days ago that no walks and a lot of strikeouts. This is not really plausible since there were 6 pitchers used. I couldn’t really tell, but I bet the strike zone was extra wide that night.

Being picky I have to point out that complete games were less than half of games in those days - a hell of a lot more than today, but not most, and far from most for the losing team.

Amen, but…

That is plausible; strikeouts are incredibly numerous now, completely beyond any level they have ever been before. There are about twice as many strikeouts as there were when you were a kid, and a good 50% more than thirty years ago.

A team using three pitchers in one game is hardly an indictment of how those pitchers were doing that day. Pitchers are often yanked now long before they really get into trouble.

Still… Robot umps tomorrow please.

It is very plausible, but on top of that we have pitch location data for every pitch now. What game was it? Who was playing? What date?

This is a testable hypothesis.

There’s no reason why in 2018 balls and strikes can’t be called electronically. Simply place sensors at each corner of the home plate; then place sensors on the batters knees and on their jerseys between their belly button and sternum. Finally, place a sensor in the ball and VIOLA---- some dorkazoid in front of a computer indicates a strike or ball.

All the home plate ump has to determine are check swings, throw outs at the plate, and and other business at home plate.

ENOUGH with “this umpires strike zone is bigger than another’s”. Baseball is a billion dollar business lets start acting like it.
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