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MLB says baseball games are too long – SportsUntapped.com
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Added September 29th, 2014 by Ian

MLB says baseball games are too long
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There used to be quite a few doubleheaders in Major League Baseball, but one of the reason’s fans don’t see them much anymore is because there just isn’t time for them. This is because the average MLB game takes three hours and two minutes to complete these days. In 1984 an average nine-inning contest was over in two hours and 40 minutes. While it might not seem too long to many fans, MLB isn’t really happy about the time it takes to play games. The stadiums themselves are probably happier with longer outings since it means more concession sales, but MLB wants to start speeding things up.

Since this is the first year the average length of baseball games has reached the three-hour mark, Commissioner Bud Selig has announced that he’s putting together a committee to help speed up the contests. This is Selig’s last year in charge as Rob Manfred is scheduled to take over the league next year, but Selig has already made this issue a priority.

The new MLB committee will study the pace of baseball games and then suggest ways to make them shorter. The chairman of the committee is John Schuerholz, who is the president of the Atlanta Braves. Other members of the group include a general manager, an MLB Players Association executive, a couple of club owners and MLB executives and Manfred. Selig said he believes that baseball’s the world’s greatest game, but he’s always looking for ways to make it better.

One reason the games took longer to play this year was due to the introduction of the league’s new video-replay system which allowed managers to have certain umpiring calls reviewed. Selig claimed that too many batters and pitchers are spending time adjusting their equipment and pitchers are taking too long between pitches. However, there are already rules in place to deal with this issue, but they just aren’t being enforced as strongly as they should be.

For example, rule 6.02 was introduced in 2008 which states that an umpire can call an automatic strike if a batter takes too long to come to the plate between pitches. In addition, rule 8.04 says that a pitcher has 12 seconds to throw a pitch and if he takes longer the umpire can call an automatic ball. The reason the games are now being extended is because these rules are basically never enforced. Therefore the new committee may want to tell the umpires to start enforcing the current rules or introduce some new ones.

In baseball’s Atlantic League, the games were completed eight minutes quicker this year after several new rules were brought in. These included the 12-second clock for pitchers, an expanded strike zone, automatic intentional walks, reducing defensive timeouts, and allowing relief pitchers just six warm up pitches instead of eight.

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