I just don’t think I’m going to like some of the changes that are being tossed around and tested for shortening game times in baseball.

Why Baseball Games Are Too Long – an article from About.com/Sports

MLB will be trying out some new rules in the Arizona Fall League to speed things up. Good idea. Baseball set a record this year for longest games averaging over 3 hours.

Roughly 30 years ago games took about half an hour less. Not all of that time is the extra commercials and promos. So in the Arizona League they’ll be limiting visits to the mound by catchers, managers and coaches to three per game, other than pitching changes. No more pitching on intentional walks. Hey, just take your base buddy. And hitters have to stay in the batter’s box. That’s key. They can’t step out to unfasten and then refasten their batting gloves on each hand after EVERY pitch.

Nope. I just don’t think I’m going to like this. They’re not just attempting to shorten games; they’re changing the game of baseball altogether. No intentional walks? Limited mound conferences? Nah… this ain’t gonna’ fly, I don’t think.

The MLB really stirred the nest up with its institution of the instant replay this season. I wasn’t for that, either. However, I must admit, it’s been used/handled very well so far. It may need a few more refinements, though, before its working optimally.

I’m a traditionalist. I’ve been a baseball fan for nearly 50 years. I just don’t like some of the things they’re considering these days. If you want to shorten games, get rid of the commercials. Yeah, I know… good luck with that. It’s always all about the $$$, ain’t it?

Well, we’ll just have to sit back and see how this all turns out. In the meantime, enjoy the World Series this coming week!





About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

14 responses »

  1. Can you read “Dynasty vs Destiny” on personalfoul247.com and let me know what you think.

  2. PsiCop says:

    Eric, some 9 inning games are going on for 4 hours and more. That didn’t used to happen when we were kids. While intentional walks aren’t really the reason, two things are: Batters stepping out of the box all the time, going through their asinine little rituals, and pitchers arguing (via signals) with their catchers over pitches and, overall, taking forever to get set and then pitch.

    Time for these guys just to get in the box, or on the mound, and play already. Stop with all the juvenile little antics they think will “psych out” the other guy, but don’t really do so.

    In fact, there’s another reform I’d like to see which, AFAIK, isn’t part of this plan: Limiting pitching changes. Too many times I’ve seen managers send guys out to the mound just to pitch to one batter. Then they change pitchers again. That’s a delay-of-game tactic that has to stop, too. Baseball doesn’t need “lefty specialists” whose entire careers consist of pitching to one batter per game.

  3. PsiCop says:

    Oh, and one more thing: All baseball fans are, to one extent or another, “traditionalists.” It’s an old game which has been played nearly the same way for decades. You can’t grow up watching it, and spend your life following it (as both of us have) without getting attached to how it works.

    But with that said, not all changes to baseball are inherently bad. Take the designated-hitter rule, which (I hope you’ll admit) is a lot more consequential a change than e.g. making intentional walks instant. 50 years ago there was no such thing, aside from some talk about it and the occasional lone game here or there where it was used, as a kind of test. It didn’t become official in the AL until 1973. It was castigated at the time, but did it “ruin” baseball? I don’t think so. I don’t watch MLB games so I can see pitchers step up to the plate and whiff or hit pop-ups or soft grounders. Do you?

    Now, I know there are a lot of purists out there who still scream and wail about the DH rule, but at this point no one listens to them any more. The AL has kept the DH since, and it’s also the rule in all other levels of professional baseball in the US. Only the NL doesn’t use it. Put bluntly, it’s ubiquitous. It’s not going away. And it makes baseball (AFAIC) fun.

    If baseball can deal with that big of a change … and flourish, no less, after it … then it can handle making intentional walks instant and limiting mound conferences. “Tradition” has value, but it shouldn’t be used to resist every possible change that anyone proposes. Because not every change one might make to baseball must automatically be detrimental.

    • I don’t know about that DH thing so much. I mean… it hasn’t destroyed the game, of course, but it has changed pitching and pitchers and manager strategy quite a bit. I actually like to see a pitcher get out there with a bat and make a contribution to the team’s offense by hitting a single, double, or just bunting efficiently to get a runner in scoring position. I think that’s a good thing.

      On the other side of that coin, pitchers in the AL these days are little princesses. They never bat, catch, or do shit. They just hone their ability to keep that batter from hitting their pitches. This alone has drastically changed how NL and AL baseball is played.

      It is what is it, though. Nothing can remain static. Everything changes. I’m sure baseball will be changing, too. It has quite a bit just in our lifetimes. Fans of baseball who were crouched in foxholes in France in 1944 wouldn’t really recognize the game they loved so much back then if they had not witnessed all the changes gradually over the past 60+ years.

      They’d really have to screw baseball up for me to stop loving it, so I guess I’ll just sit back and see how things turn out. I plan to still be around in another 50 years to see what’s what at that time. I’ll only be 103 then. 😉

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