Speeding up America's Pastime - Americas Pastime Tours

Posted by | April 02, 2014 | Blog |

I really do!! But with the start of the season I have been hearing  and reading that baseball is boring, that it is just too slow. Well, baseball is not boring but it is taking too long to play a game.

When I first started watching baseball the game usually lasted anywhere from 2:15 to 2:30. Now they take over 3 hours to play! Maybe if I recently just started watching baseball I might think it is boring too. In fact, the last couple of years I started thinking that the same thing is happening to the NFL.  With all the replay challenges the games are a good 20 minutes longer. Not a good trend IMHO.

I have heard all the  ideas on way to speed up the game.  From limiting infielders from going to the mound to, the worst idea I have heard yet, have a home run derby to decide extra inning games. (I always considered extra innings as a bonus anyway) Now, as I have said, I love baseball.  Have for over 50 years.  But it has become excruciatingly slow at times.  Three hours for nine innings is just too long! “Hey! I got to get up in the morning!”

Sitting on that "perfect" pitch!

Sitting on that “perfect” pitch!

So how do we speed up the game?  I believe that the solution is quite simple.  One that has been mentioned by many experts for years and that is enforcing the strike zone that is in the rule book.  Why hasn’t Major League Baseball figured this out I just don’t know.  According to the rules of MLB, the strike zone is from the batters armpits to the bottom the his knee.  I get so tired watching umpires squeeze pitchers to the point that he feels his has to make a perfect pitch every time.  I watch a lot of games, as I am sure most of you do, but the strike zone I see is from the top of the knee to the belt.  Very rarely do I see a strike called above the waist much less chest high.

Since this new smaller strike zone has become the norm, batters have started taking more pitches waiting for the inevitable pitch down the middle that they can drive. They call it working the count. That in itself makes the game longer.  But it also increases the time between pitches.  You look at some of these pitchers faces.  They just made a great pitch, oops, it’s called a ball.  Pitcher is thinking, “man, I got to make that perfect pitch.” So he takes more time looking at the catchers signs. He still hesitates.  The catcher comes out to go over what to throw.  He is still not sure.  The batter then gets impatient, he calls for time.  Next thing you know, you have a 3 hour and 30 minute 4-3 game!