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Lengthy Pitcher, Batter Routines Increasing Duration Of MLB Games
Published June 4, 2014
PICK UP THE PACE! SI.com's Tom Verducci wrote “length of game is a bigger problem with the media than it is with the fans.” The “bigger problem is the pace of game.” The pace of the action during MLB games in ’14 “never has been worse in baseball history.” The two biggest causes have been “marked improvement in run prevention methodologies (detailed scouting information, defensive shifts, increased velocity, increased use of specialized bullpens, etc.)” and the “utter disregard players have for pace of play.” The “health of the business of the game is robust,” but the worry for the next commissioner “is that these customers are not engaged enough and not young enough.” The task “is to keep the game attractive to the casual and young fans while honoring the expectations of the core fan.” Verducci: “Adding 29 minutes of dead time and less action doesn't help.” Players’ behavior toward pace of play also “has changed because the umpires, the union and MLB have allowed it to change.” For “more than a hundred years players never needed all this time between pitches to ‘prepare,’ but it has became the style of the day because it has gone unchecked” (SI.com, 5/27).