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Making Baseball Less Boring


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One thing I've always loved about baseball is that I could take a nice nap in the fresh air during play.

"Perhaps the most significant change is a new timer that will govern the time between each half-inning: breaks will last 2:45 minutes for nationally broadcast games and just 2:25 minutes for local broadcasts, even if a new pitcher takes the field.

Violators will receive warnings and eventually fines (up to $500), although spring training and the first month of the regular season will be a phase-in period for the new rules.

New MLB commissioner Rob Manfred touted the changes as “an effort to streamline the pace of play.” Baseball has been looking to “streamline” for a while: In 2010, veteran umpire Joe West called the dawdling pace of nearly four-hour marathon between the Yankees and Red Sox a “disgrace to baseball”; a few weeks later, then-commissioner Bud Selig told the AP he wanted to address the issue.

Major-league games have been getting longer for years. In 1984, the average game wrapped up in about two-and-a-half hours. By 2014, that average was more than three hours. These longer games are partly of a result of record-high strikeout totals in recent years, and more strikeouts mean longer at-bats—and MLB can’t do much about that.

But some of the damage is self-inflicted. Longer commercial breaks and flashy between-inning entertainment have stretched games out. Last season's introduction of an expanded video-review system (which allowed managers to challenge at least one play per game) overturned some bad calls, but managers also started strolling towards the diamond whenever they needed to buy some time for their video team to review the play. All in all, MLB has been demanding more patience from an audience that has less of it."

Shorter games and a faster pace would very much be appreciated. 

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