Every single year we go through this. “Baseball is dying because of pace of play. It’s too slow. They need to reinvent it and fix the game.” If you’ve got a problem with the length of the average baseball game then you just don’t like baseball, and that’s fine, but it’s like people are scared to admit that so they find other causes to blame it on.
If you don’t like baseball then just say it, because few other excuses hold water. The games are too long? Well the average baseball game is 2 hours and 52 minutes, a mere 20 minutes longer than a hockey game and 20 minutes shorter than a football game. There’s not enough action? A baseball game has about 18 minutes of action, a football game has 11. If the action isn’t action-y enough for you, then it’s not action-y enough for you and you just don’t like the sport, but there’s more of it in baseball than football.
I’m sure there are little tweaks that can be made and I won’t freak out about every little one, I’m not a “purist” who thinks the rules must remain untouched, but this pace of play shit has been going on for years now and it’s become insufferable. Getting rid of intentional walks and saving 11 seconds per game isn’t going to send fans running through the turnstiles or have them lunging for the clicker to catch first pitch. If you think quick games bring fans then ask the MLS how it’s doing, those things clock in at under two hours.
I know people will make the argument that it’s not fair to compare baseball and football because football is only 16 games where the MLB is 162, but that’s not a pace of play argument. That’s an amount of games argument.
Baseball’s biggest problem isn’t pace of play or amount of games or a perceived lack of action, it’s a disgusting lack of marketability. There are no superstars despite the fact that the game has more young, talented, and marketable stars than I can ever remember. The league does a horrible job making the game seem fun and exciting, players who do are shunned or labeled problems, that’s the league’s biggest issue that it should work on fixing. It’s too old, too stuffy, and too “white.”
Fix that, don’t worry about making sure a pitcher throws the ball in 20 seconds instead of 24.