Now, let’s get it out of the way right off the bat. There are any number of things that baseball can do to make the games shorter. They’re easy, and they’re not doing them. But, the real question is…
Should they have to?
People think baseball moves slow. They think people don’t watch it because of that. Who’s telling us this? Major League Baseball. I’ve never seen an organization tell everyone how badly their doing more than MLB. They can’t wait to tell people how low the ratings are for the World Series, while ignoring the fact that they’re higher than any number of other program options. They keep telling us that they need to schedule games for times people are already watching TV in order to get ratings, instead of just scheduling them when they work best and letting people find them. And, now they’re doing it again. Games are too long and slow so we need to institute new rules.
Maybe they can just stop telling people the games are slow.
Have you ever watched other sports? There’s quite a bit of dead time in those too. I think it’s football that really get to me. The NFL is wildly popular, and its games are just as long and slow as baseball is. After every play they stop the action and everyone gets together and talks the next play over for 20 to 30 seconds. Sometimes, they even get to the line, and stay there for five to ten seconds just sitting there. Peyton Manning is the king of this. He gets praised over and over for just standing and the line and calling out signals. Sometimes he steps back, and everyone sort of resets themselves. It’s lauded as outsmarting the defense. If a baseball catcher sat there giving signals for 15 seconds before the pitcher steps off and starts over, they’re both booed. Do it twice and the fans may riot.
What’s the difference?
The NFL doesn’t tell people how slow their games are. Their reporters don’t tell you how slow the game is. They tell everyone it’s strategy.
That’s exactly what David Ortiz tried to do the other day. He’s not just stalling when he steps out of the box. He’s thinking. He’s planning. He’s deciding. Because of that, he’s being called selfish. Thinking he’s above the game.
Peyton Manning is called a genius.
He has better PR