Baseball is a game that is losing interest across America. It’s visible in Little League. There are more kids playing soccer and lacrosse and less kids playing baseball. The games with more constant action are winning out nowadays. This is also starting to become true from a viewing standpoint even in a city like Boston where the home team has an enormous following. The die-hard baseball fans will still sit down and watch a 3 1/2 Red Sox game. However, the Average Joe isn’t going to do that. The game continues to get longer and longer. Perhaps this point has been over analyzed a bit. Football games drag as well. Every time there ‘s a point scored, we get a long commercial break before the kickoff. Then after that play where nothing happens 99% of the time, we get to watch a 2nd round of commercials. Football has more action. That’s why the length of the game is not the focus.
In today’s post, we’re going to discuss four proposed rules that would speed up Major League Baseball games!
#1. Have a 20 second pitching clock and ENFORCE IT. The league is currently starting to track how many second go by in between pitches. This is certainly a step, but there’s a big problem with it. They don’t enforce anything! Here’s the rule. The pitcher gets 20 second to pitch the ball when he receives it from the catcher. The clock is kept on top of the backstop. If the clock hits 20, the third base umpire calls timeout and a BALL is awarded to the batter. This would be enforced throughout each at bat. The clock wouldn’t be reset on a new batter until the batter steps into the batters box. This would get pitchers to speed up the game and reduce a lot of minutes of waiting.
#2. Hitters need to stay in the box and be ready. So, we’re making the pitcher speed things up. This works both ways. The pitchers aren’t going to need to wait for the batter to get set up in the box. It’s up to the batter to be ready when the pitcher throws the ball. If the batter isn’t ready, too bad! The pitch counts. This will get pitchers to take advantage of hitters who aren’t ready by throwing strikes.
#3. ELIMINATE catcher mound visits. Ever watch Gary Sanchez catch for the Yankees? He adds at least ten minutes to the game with his constant mound visits…and there is nothing anyone can do about it. This is silly. No other sport allows players to just stop the game in the middle to talk to other players. Limiting it would help with the issue. Getting rid of it completely clearly would speed up the game.
#4. A limit of one pitching change per inning. We see it all the time. Late in games, managers are using specialists for one batter which adds at least an extra five minutes every time there’s a change. This proposal is to allow just one change. Once you make the change, that’s your pitcher until the inning is over. Some would argue that this may delay the game if the pitcher who comes in is wild. Managers would be conscious of this and using their weapons wisely. Even John Farrell…
Four simple rules that would change the perception of baseball being a long, dragged out game. These rules would not have a major impact on the strategy the game outside of the pitching changes. What it would do is get baseball players out of bad, lazy habits.