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If they really wanted to lop some time off they could shorten the time in between innings, but we all know why that’s never going to happen. And I know I’m a terrible American for saying so, but I’d love to see the singing of ‘God Bless America’ done away with. Oh, and one more thing: A basketball game theoretically could take forever as well, as could a postseason football game. But I know what you mean.
Fritz, Nice point out forever. Thanks
I’d want to keep “God Bless America” for my team.
Manfred isn’t interested in necessarily speeding up the game anyway; as you rightly set forth, the intermissions will remain.
It’s about money.
The rest is just “narratives” put around that singular issue. Manfred is tasked with “growing” the sport, which means gaining audiences and fans to add to the current revenue and macro-economics of baseball. His internals (publicly acknowledged) have left many baseball executives with the “impression” that a faster game would make baseball more attractive to foreigners (within and without the United States). These are people who don’t know even the most basic rules of “rounders”, let alone the intricacies or traditions surrounding the sport.
In short, Manfred and co are not interested in “improving” the national past-time. They’re mostly interested in selling to the lowest common denominator “globally”. If it takes a bastardization of the sport to do that, so be it. His only problem is in how much revenue he loses if he alienates baseball’s traditional market (especially in the United States).
The truth is this: baseball only really spreads as far as the American culture spreads. Baseball didn’t become popular in Japan, South Korea,Taiwan and Central America because it was fast or slow. It spread to these areas at a time when America culturally dominated these areas while they were in their developmental infancy. Japan became familiar with baseball during the Meiji era and its importance as a sport became paramount after the US conquered Japan.
For baseball to “grow” in any meaningful way, it would need a cultural epiphany on the order of a war like that which occurred at the fall of the Japanese empire. Even at the time of Germany’s conquest, baseball didn’t take full root as German parents continued to teach their kids soccer rather than to emulate the American troops, although the Occupation was fractured among the British, Russians, French, etc, as opposed to the unified structure of the US in the Orient.
“When it’s time for a change, think Speedy!!!”
With a pithy slogan, 8 warm up tosses becomes a two minute TV break.
Make the pitchers go whether TV is back or not…it’s maddening to sit in the stands knowing you can’t get on with the game because Comcast needs to run their Papa promo clips.
Batters can’t leave the box without an official timeout from the umpire.
We just cut 20 minutes from an average game and left the baseball rules intact.
Forget about shortening the game. Shorten the season. It will save countless hours of boredom.
If you watch Cueto or our new guy Matt Moore pitch, you know what speeds up the game. This kind of pitcher gets the ball back, sees any sign at all from the catcher, and then fires the ball toward the plate.
THAT style of pitching is what speeds up the game, and adds to fan interest.
Lowell Cohn has been covering Bay Area sports for more than 30 years and he’s never run out of things to say.