Lately there has been a lot of chatter about how to best speed up the game. Baseball critics are arguing that the former National Past-time is just too slow for the millennials. The average game time of a baseball game has increased from 2.78 hours in 2005 to 3.13 in 2024. Thats about 21 minutes extra per game across the board. I’ve read some of the strangest recommendations for shortening the game.
The new commissioner coming in has a lot of mouths pointing at him to do something about the length of the game. For the instant gratification generation the baseball games are taking too long and they needs to be fixed.
Here are my 5 ways to speed up baseball.
1. Let’s move to a simple 3-0-1 point system for wins / loss / tie. If after 9 innings the game is tied, we’ll play the game 8 on 8 for 2 more innings. and if still tied well it’s a draw and we get 3 points for win, 0 points for loss and 1 point for tie. No more 18, 20 inning marathons. In the playoffs, if still tied after the 2 extra innings, we goto homerun derby.
2. Changing pitchers takes so much time. Lets adapt the rules of the most famous game in the world, Soccer ( or Football), which has a max of 3 substitutes. Each team can only substitute their pitchers up to 3 times max. Choose your lefty righty match-ups wisely.
3. Eliminate stealing bases. There is an old adage, speed slows down the game. If we eliminate the stolen base, we eliminate needing speed thus not slowing down the game. This also has the benefit of eliminating stealing so the kids that are watching the game can have a wholesome family environment. Parents don’t have to worry about answering questions like, is stealing good ?
4. No more trotting after homeruns. It’s just showboating. Follow the NFL lead, they have pretty much eliminated end zone celebrations, it only leads to boosting the hitters egos and hurting the other team’s pride. This will stop showboating that hitters do, that get them hit by pitchers in subsequent at bats, and will reduce bench clearing brawls which take up a lot of time. A win win for all.
5. Simply change the number of innings to 7. That’s a reduction of 22% of a regular game. This also has the benefit of more complete games which are all but extinct in baseball. Quality starts can now be 4 innings and 3 runs benefitting all starting pitchers across the game. This will also address the issue about Tommy John surgeries for starting pitchers. With less innings, less injuries. Voila. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone. ( Not literally for PETA fans )
Well, there you have it. My 5 simple rules for speeding up baseball. If the new commissioner, Rob Manfred, wants to take these suggestions and run with it, I give him full permission. No credit needed. I just want to see baseball prosper. The attendance is plummeting as the game times are rising. Back in 2005 the attendance was at a brisk 2.78 hours per game and the avg attendance was 30,817. That’s a whopping 472 more fans per game than the avg attendance of 30,345 in 2014.
Please. Save baseball. Lets shorten the game so the masses can get back to more important things like update their facebook status or argue on twitter about everything.
Baiju Thakkar ( A Mets fan living in Texas. )