MLB's Rob Manfred Admits Baseball Has Work To Do In Terms Of Pace Of Play
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged the sport still has an uphill climb in terms of pace of play. This past weekend, Tigers-Red Sox on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" national telecast required more than four hours to complete, and the Blue Jays used six relief pitchers in the final three innings in a shutout win over the Mariners. "I try to not get frustrated game by game. It's a long season. There's 2,430 of them," Manfred said. "It was a long game, the Sunday night game. I struggled to stay awake to watch the end of it, but I did. You're going to have games like that. Overall, I remain committed to the idea that we have some work to do in that space, and that it's important for the sport to get that worked up" (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer). WEEI.com's John Tomase wrote "everything wrong with our once-great national pastime was on display" Sunday night. Red Sox P Drew Pomeranz "took forever between pitches" and "commercial breaks for ESPN stretched for what felt like six minutes." A two-out review of a "relatively innocuous play ... slowed the game to a halt." The game was four hours and six minutes of "dull, uninteresting baseball." MLB "needs to address this problem and quickly." Tomase: "Baseball is S-L-O-W. ... Baseball steams towards irrelevance like that white patch in the water ahead isn't an iceberg" (WEEI.com, 6/12). In Boston, Peter Abraham notes the Red Sox have already "played seven nine-inning games that have lasted 3:45 or longer." It is "fine to be a traditionalist," but to "suggest baseball doesn’t need radical changes to fix its product is to suggest you don’t care if there’s an audience for that product in 20 years" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/13).