April 12, 2014

Minihane: "A Bold Idea" That Ignores Some Timely Facts

Kirk Minihane of WEEI has offered a bold idea to the chronic problem of overly-long baseball games. Shorten games to seven innings, instead of the traditional nine.
There are too many options on TV, iPad, and phone to expect a kid to be able to sit down and watch a 3½-hour baseball game 162 times a year. P.S.: It's not realistic to expect adults to do the same.

Raise your hand if you've watched a full Red Sox game this season, soup to nuts. My guess is 75 percent of you haven't. Again, that's not a criticism - I don't blame you. Watching a baseball game in 2014 is an investment, it can absolutely feel like work. And that's not how it should be.
If there are other options to watch on TV - and our stereotypical kid decides to watch one of them - then it doesn't matter if a baseball game lasts three innings or 15 innings. He's busy with something else. ... Also, most Red Sox games begin at 7 PM (or earlier). Do baseball-watching kids go to bed before 10:30 PM?

As bolded above, Minihane presents a 3½-hour game as the norm. The Red Sox - with their pitch-taking ways of running up the opposing starter's pitch count - are considered prime offenders of the let's-get-this-over-with-as-soon-as-possible crowd. But how often do Red Sox games go 3:30+?

In 2013, Boston played only 40 games longer than 3:30 - less than one-quarter of the regular season. And 12 of those 40 games went into extra innings. Therefore, the Red Sox played only 28 games during the 2013 season that exceeded Minihane's onerous benchmark of 3½ hours. (Add roughly 30 seconds to each half-inning - bumping the time to 3:40 - and the number of regular season nine-inning games drops to only 11, an average of one every two weeks.)

How many nine-inning games of 3:30+ have the Red Sox played this year? None.

1 comment:

allan said...

Rob Neyer: Does Baseball Need to Be Reinvented?

Shorter Rob: No.


Also, Mike Schmidt is pro-robots!