You’ve run out of peanuts, you’re sick of Cracker Jack, all you care about is getting back to your air-conditioned home…. If those thoughts ever crossed your mind while attending a marathon baseball game, then MLB has some good news for you — the league is creating a committee to speed up the pace of games. Via MLB.com:
Major League Baseball announced that Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has conducted a conference call with a new committee that will study the issue of pace of game. The goals of the committee will focus on decreasing time of game and improving the overall pace of play in the 2015 regular season and beyond.
“We have the greatest game in the world, but we are always looking for ways to improve it,” Selig said in the release. “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.”
The committee consists of seven members, including its chair, Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz as well as New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson, MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark, Boston Red Sox partner Michael Gordon, MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred, MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre and Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner.
It’s unclear by how much the committee hopes to speed up the game, but considering the game increased from an average of 2 hours 30 minutes 40 years ago, to nearly three hours today, it’s likely the committee will look to shave off 15 minutes.
How? Who knows. There are plenty of options there, starting with regulating how long players can adjust their velcro gloves or dig their feet into the dirt. Perhaps they could cap the length of walk-up songs even. Maybe walk-up notes are the future.
But while one may wonder how the Yankees and Red Sox (they’re the slowest teams) will deal with the news, it’s important to note that the idea of wanting to speed up baseball games isn’t new. Per the Boston Globe:
Five years ago, Major League Baseball sought to address its pace-of-game problem, issuing a directive to players, coaches, and umpires to — so to speak — make it snappy. From 2008 to 2011, games averaged around 2 hours and 51 minutes.
Obviously, the changes didn’t stick.
(H/t: Yahoo! Sports)