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Commercial Breaks, and Game Times

July 28, 2014

Shaggy asked in another thread if TV is what slows baseball games. Turns out the answer is yes, and no. Nice article in the Boston Globe:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/06/08/why-baseball-games-take-long/wikaeRMGatBDGDefpbFE1H/story.html

While 34 minutes for local games and 41 minutes for national games is bad, well… (emphasis mine):

“There are the commercial breaks, which account for at least 34 minutes on local broadcasts in a full nine-inning game (41 minutes for nationally televised games); that figure rises with pitching changes. Play doesn’t resume, of course, until the networks return from commercial breaks. Those allotments, though, have remained the same since 1990, according to baseball officials, and still game times have crept up by about 10 minutes.”

…which is bad news.

Vin Scully’s Velcro Theory, as explained in the article, is more to blame. I could be biased agreeing with that, watching Pedey and Big Papi readjust after every pitch every day, but in my comparatively short life I’ve learned that Vin Scully is usually right four times out of five.

I like the minor league rule discussed in the article: you can’t step out of the box if you didn’t swing at the preceding pitch.

There really is something to be said for soccer (ok, ok, and rugby, shut the fuck up) for just getting on with the game. Hockey too. The article makes another point, which I remember from high school fast-pitch: pitchers, at least, should want to keep the game moving to keep their fielders in the game. “Push, drag, repeat!” my ex-used to say (and yeah, she was talking about softball). 

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