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COMMENTARY: The MLB Has a Pace Problem, Not a Time Problem


Austin Darrow


Let’s get one thing straight, the MLB doesn’t have a time problem, it has a pace problem. So when I see all these potential rule changes, it just makes me rip my hair out.

The MLB’s games last on average 3:08 and it’s not even the longest out of the major sports. NFL and college football games last longer than baseball games.

The only difference is that in the 3:08, you could watch four singles and three runs scored. I’ll be honest watching a baseball game on TV is by far the most boring thing out there.

No one cares about the game time. Everyone was glued to their TV’s during the MLB playoffs, and some of those games were four hours.

People didn’t want to leave their couches for Game 7 of the World Series. There have been three potential rule changes I’ve seen lately.

The intentional walk will no longer be an option for teams, they’ll just tell the umpires they want to walk that guy. The pitcher no longer needs to throw four pitches. That’s one that I don’t have a big problem with.

You can look up the worst intentional walks and everyone thinks of when Miguel Cabrera got a hit off of one, but those are a rarity.

The next rule change was moving the strike zone up. Instead of the strike zone going below the knee cap, it will be above the knee cap.

This rule is for everyone who wants to see hits. As a pitcher, I'm completely biased on this issue and saying that is a stupid rule to make. Pitchers make their millions by living at the bottom of the zone.

The game has turned into a pitchers game, so hitters should make the necessary adjustments, instead of making the pitchers serve up HR’s. People want action and yes games can get boring, but watching a pitcher’s duel is fun for avid baseball fans.

The new extra inning rule is absolutely blasphemous. The MLB will try to put a runner on second for every extra inning after the 10th.

I used this rule when I was 12 playing in tournaments. It’s needed for those, because of time limits. This is grown men playing, and you’re going to insert a runner on second to start the inning so games can end sooner?

The MLB doesn’t have a time problem, it has a pace problem. You could go six innings of two hits and several walks. You could sit through one inning and see three pitching changes.

Going from 3:08 to 3 hours isn’t going to mean much to the fans. The MLB should not even allow the extra-inning rule to happen. The strike zone change would not fair for the pitchers.