I’m going to stray away from my squad for a couple of minutes to discuss a more pressing matter: Rob Manfred just got elected to be the next commissioner of Major League Baseball. He’ll take over for Bud Selig in January.
Upon his selection, several sports media outlets exploded about what his first job in the office should be. Should it be banning all PED’s and controlling the A-Roid situation? Should it be perfecting instant replay? Should he try and change the pace of the game?
That is impossible. There is no way to control the pace of the game of baseball. What are they going to do now: dole out punishments for pitchers taking too long to throw the ball? “Oh, you didn’t throw a pitch in over a minute so we’re going to add a ball to the count.” Is anybody else realizing just how ridiculous this sounds?
It just can’t be done, but people are right. The game of baseball has slowed down considerably. Kids have transferred to sports like football and lacrosse because there is more action and they aren’t “boring” like baseball. And I can see why. If I hadn’t grown up watching the sport, I probably wouldn’t want to sit and watch a three hour game either.
Today’s society is obsessed with instant gratification. Everything needs to happen NOW. There is no time for boredom because there is always something going on. We can blame that on iPhones and technology, which provide updates and news right to your phone. You can talk to someone instantly, no matter how far away you are. You can share pictures and videos to numerous friends at the same time. THIS is instant gratification. If baseball doesn’t provide something happening at every moment, people will lose attention and not want to watch anymore. Its pretty simple.
And recently that’s what has been happening. Yankees-Red Sox games usually run close to or over three hours. Pitchers take forever between pitches, wiping off their brows, playing with the rosin bag and shaking off catcher’s signs. They throw to first base constantly, seeking to the hold the runner from breaking towards second base to get into scoring position. THEY seem to be the problem. The time between pitches is getting longer and longer, especially as the game goes on. The closer the game, the longer the pitcher and catcher take to decide what pitch to throw, as to not give up the game-winning hit.
As much of a problem as this is, there’s nothing that really can be done to speed up the game. If that is the case, how will younger generations fall into the habit of watching a full baseball game without complaining of boredom?
I went to a Yankees-Orioles game on July 12, we the Yanks were able to secure a tough 3-0 victory. And there was a group of kids I saw walk past me and my boyfriend during the fifth inning when it was 1-0 Yanks. “This is boring,” they said. WHAT? BORING? This was a pitching duel, where two rookie pitchers were facing off and throwing the games of their careers. The Yankees were holding off the AL East-leading Orioles in a close game that could be changed by one swing and the kids thought it was BORING?
To each their own, I guess. But I’ll never understand it. Anyone who grew up watching baseball will not understand it. But to these kids, the game just isn’t appealing when it is too slow.
So what should we do about it? We can’t do anything, really. Unless a genius idea comes up, there is no way to fix this issue. Manfred has his work cut out for him as people begin to question the pace of the game. The best method might be to keep it as it is and start to glorify our baseball stars. Then maybe we’ll get more people on the baseball bandwagon to stay.