You’ve got to love March. Spring is less than three weeks away…and MLB Spring Training has begun.
As a die-hard baseball fan and one who loved to play the game, March couldn’t come fast enough for me, especially during my youth. And now, with a few years under my belt, I look forward to having something to watch every day. Hence, the reason baseball is America’s pastime – a way in which to pass time.
So, as I settled in to watch my Red Sox open their Grapefruit League season in Ft. Myers, FL, I looked forward to watching a game with no shifts. I’ve been anti infield shifts from the start. It was ruining the action and taking hits away from players. Some of my friends would argue with me saying, “Just hit ‘em where they ain’t.” My response would always be, “Not everyone is Rod Carew – it’s hard enough just hitting the damn ball.”
Every professional sports league has defensive rules to create more offense and make the game more fun to watch. Why not MLB?
So, while the shift rule is a no-brainer, the new clock rule is still open for debate. When it’s a tie game in the bottom of the 9th, with the bases loaded and a 3-2 count on the batter, and the game ends on a batter’s clock violation (there’s no extra innings in spring training games), this rule needs to be reviewed. And that’s exactly what happened in the Red Sox first spring training game. Not acceptable!
Many people have been complaining about the length of a baseball game. They say it has become too long. Well, in reality, it is less time than an average NFL game. In 2022, MLB games averaged 3-hours.
3-minutes, while an NFL game lasted 3-hours 12-minutes. Plus, the actual ‘action time’ when the ball is in play…the NFL is only 11-minutes, while MLB is about 18-minutes.
In my opinion, the problem with baseball wasn’t the length of the game, but the rhythm of the game. Between pitchers walking around the mound and batters constantly stepping out of the batter’s box, something had to be done. So, I’m in favor of a clock. However, I think 15-seconds for a pitcher and 8-seconds for a batter is too quick. I don’t want the game to be rushed. Adding a few seconds wouldn’t hurt and would create a better flow. Again, not much…maybe 20-seconds for the pitcher and 10-seconds for the batter.
Baseball is not as much a reaction sport like the others…it’s a cerebral game. There’s a thought process that occurs between pitches – especially for both the pitcher and batter. A few extra seconds would help players and still appease those who wanted the game to speed up.
But here’s another recommendation for those who don’t like the game. Don’t watch!
I’m not a fan of soccer, so I don’t watch. However, I don’t bitch about the game to those who like it. Nor do I try to change it.
Whether the game lasts 3-hours or 2.5 hours, it won’t change the fan demographic.
Leave us old guys alone…and go play games on your cell phone!