Now I love to chill and watch sports, it’s pretty much part of my nightly routine. I’m all for the laid-back thrill of planting myself on a couch, cracking a nice cold one, and letting the wonderful world of sports take me away for a few short hours. Unfortunately, I haven’t been getting that warm and fuzzy feeling from baseball lately. In fact, it’s only making visible the back of my eyelids. In short, baseball is boring.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a lover of all sports and have a special respect for baseball’s history. Its tradition is enshrined in our nation’s history as it is in fact America’s pastime, and I do believe wholeheartedly that the integrity of the sport needs to be upheld. However, something needs to change and newly appointed commissioner Rob Manfred knows that. That’s why he’s making a push to evolve the game to fit into today’s rapid-paced society.
As hard-working Americans, we think fast, act fast, and move fast and it’s time for the speed of baseball to catch up to the rest of us. From my talks with good friend and sport’s “Numbah 1,” Mike Francesca (just kidding, takes me on average about 120 phone calls to get through to Mike on WFAN), he says the league is just about 50/50 on whether or not they should modify the rules to speed the game up. One specific name mentioned was Buck Showalter and that he is vehemently against changing the game.
Now, before all of you traditionalists, like Buck, get all excited and upset, this can be done while protecting the integrity of the game. Integrity is key for me and that’s why I’m opposed to most ideas to improve the game like making the strike zone smaller. That’s too much of a fundamental change for me that would alter the game, but I do think there are ideas that can achieve a happy medium.
These ideas, which I certainly do not call my own, have come from the likes of much better baseball minds than my own, I’m just the chill fan trying to watch a more excited game.
It’s a pretty simple 2 step process for me really: (1) enforce the pitch clock (12 seconds) a rule that you never hear about; and (2) don’t let the batter step out of the box. From doing some informal research I found out that the average time in between pitches is about 18 seconds. While 6 seconds doesn’t seem like much, just multiply that by the approximate 290 pitches thrown each game and you come up with 29 minutes.
Now for me, that is a huge 29 minutes, not that it is a significant time difference but it’s how that time difference changes the game, more specifically the battle between pitcher and batter. Just think about it, what makes other sports more exciting is the under pressure, no time to think split second decision-making. By taking away the players time to think and over-think, I think we will see a rapid-fire sequence of pitch after pitch that relies more so on player’s physical ability to react than their mental ability to outsmart his opponent.
In my opinion, these rules should lead to more mistakes by pitchers giving batters more opportunities to swing for the fences. Who wouldn’t love that? And if that theory doesn’t necessarily pan out, I still think it would be much more exciting to see a stud like Kershaw rolling through a game in a timely fashion that requires your attention at all times.
That is in fact the goal of a sporting event isn’t it, whether present or home, keeping your eyes glued to the game for the fear of missing something. I certainly do not think that is the current state of baseball but I do think it can be. It’s probably quite common that one’s attention is diverted after each pitch and your guess is as good as mine whether or not that fan decides to look back for the next. It’s your move baseball, but don’t take too long.