Olbermann Says MLB Can Speed Up Games Simply By Enforcing Current Rules
Keith Olbermann spent the first few minutes of his ESPN2 talk show Thursday on pace of play in MLB, and said Commissioner Bud Selig recently noted games “now take 17 maddening minutes longer than they did when he became commissioner.” Selig said the length of games “drives him crazy." Olbermann noted Selig "employs the umpires" but has "never said to them, 'Rule 8.04. Enforce it.'" That rule states with the bases empty, pitchers needs to make a pitch within 12 seconds. Another rule states batters need to stay in the batter’s box. Olbermann: "So you've got the rules in place to make the pitcher pitch and you've got the rules in place to make the batter bat and you've got practical, empirical evidence that you can cut 20 minutes out of every game as of tomorrow and none of this is being done. What's the only logical conclusion? … They don't really want to shorten the games.” He notes radio broadcasts are “driven nuts by all the sponsorships” and asked, “If the game moved briskly from pitch to pitch, when would those sponsorship pitches be read?" Olbermann: "Do you know how much money they are worth or how much their television equivalents are worth, the sponsored strike zones on the replays, the sponsored slow-mos?” He said it is "entertaining to watch Bud Selig wring his hands and it's amusing to hear him plea for improvements 21 years after he decreed those very same improvements, but the length of games ultimately is his fault because the rules are on the books and the evidence is in the vault and all he has to do to cut 20 minutes off tomorrow night's games is blast out an e-mail.” Olbermann: “And of course, return all the profits from those 20 extra minutes of baseball broadcasts" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 8/21).