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Chip R
04-08-2010, 03:39 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5066650

KronoRed
04-08-2010, 04:08 PM
Contract em both.

Tom Servo
04-08-2010, 04:10 PM
I noticed that too when I wanted to watch the Mariners game on Extra Innings and it wasn't on because they were still showing the Yankees/Sox game that was going on 3+ hours and it was still the 8th inning.

Falls City Beer
04-08-2010, 04:17 PM
Regular season AL games: unwatchable.

SirFelixCat
04-08-2010, 04:33 PM
Good for Country Joe to tell it like it is. :thumbup:

NJReds
04-08-2010, 04:33 PM
Oddly enough, one reason the games go so long is that a lot of their players are very disciplined and take a lot of pitches. But as I watch a lot of the games, they do take forever to play. The umps were really rushing them last night. When the catcher walked out to the pitcher, he wasn't even getting to the mound before the ump was walking out behind him to break it up.

Chip R
04-08-2010, 04:44 PM
I think they could cut off a half hour from those games by only allowing a couple trips to the mound each inning by the catcher or other infielders.

KronoRed
04-08-2010, 04:47 PM
I'd say 1 trip, and throwing over to 1st counts as a ball.

redsmetz
04-08-2010, 04:49 PM
Good for Country Joe to tell it like it is. :thumbup:

Being the child of the 60's that I am, I automatically thought you were talking about "Country Joe" McDonald of "The Fish" fame ("give me an..."). I forgot Joe West went by Country Joe.

Roy Tucker
04-08-2010, 04:58 PM
Keeping batters in the batters box would go a long way to shortening the game as well.

But the Yanks and the Red Sox are peas out of the same pod when it comes to working the count. It is a good skill and they do it very well. Get them playing each other and there are going to be a lot of pitches thrown. Just wish they'd do it a little quicker.

George Anderson
04-08-2010, 04:59 PM
I don't know how you could fix it so games go quicker but believe me the plate ump is much, much more inclined to have a better game if he has a game that moves along quickly. It is a variety of things that account for this but for the most part an umpire is more likely to lose focus if he has to stand there for a longer period of time waiting for the batter to get in the box or the pitcher to get on the rubber. Our minds can and do wander so if you keep the game flowing we are much less likely to think where we are gonna go for dinner after the game or be looking for good looking scenery in the stands. ;)

Also our leg muscles tend to tighten up during times the game is stopped or slow so this also affects an umpire who needs to get down in his stance to call the pitch.

lollipopcurve
04-08-2010, 05:02 PM
TV ad revenue = elephant in the room

westofyou
04-08-2010, 05:11 PM
throwing over to 1st counts as a ball.

Throwing to 1st is done for a reason, take that away and prepare for a new game... how about we do this 4 strikes for an out; 5 balls for a walk;walks count as a hit.

bucksfan2
04-08-2010, 05:23 PM
The Yankees were awful to watch in last years world series. I think Posada would walk out to the mound just to call pitches.

blumj
04-08-2010, 06:27 PM
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, asked Thursday by the New York Post about West's comments, said: "It's incredible. If he has places to go, let him do something else. What does he want us to do, swing at balls?"

oneupper
04-08-2010, 10:35 PM
Kill the DH. NL games are shorter.

TheNext44
04-09-2010, 12:40 AM
Throwing to 1st is done for a reason, take that away and prepare for a new game... how about we do this 4 strikes for an out; 5 balls for a walk;walks count as a hit.

I know you kid, but I have always thought that the game would be better if there were 3 balls to a walk and two strikes to an out.

Think about it. It wouldn't change the strategy of pitching or hitting, but would greatly speed up the game. It would just mean that 2-1 is a full count. Counts 1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 2-0 and 2-1 are really just stop gaps in the journey to 0-2, 1-2, 2-2, 3-0, 3-1 and 3-2, which are the real decision making counts. You simply would be making the journey to a decision count shorter. It would cut out the "waste" pitch, which really is just that, a waste. It rarely accomplishes anything other than waste time.

The only thing it would change is that pitchers would have to be more pitch efficient, and hitters could only let one strike go by before having to protect the plate.

Think about it. Really think about it. I have and can't see how it would change the game greatly, other than shortening it. Maybe someone else can, but I can't.

OnBaseMachine
04-09-2010, 12:58 AM
I don't understand why people are so eager to speed up the games. Maybe it's just me, but the longer I'm at the ballpark the better. That's especially true when I'm at a night game in the summer- I hope the games last 3+ hours just because I enjoy being at the ballpark.

westofyou
04-09-2010, 01:01 AM
I know you kid, but I have always thought that the game would be better if there were 3 balls to a walk and two strikes to an out.

Think about it. It wouldn't change the strategy of pitching or hitting, but would greatly speed up the game. It would just mean that 2-1 is a full count. Counts 1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 2-0 and 2-1 are really just stop gaps in the journey to 0-2, 1-2, 2-2, 3-0, 3-1 and 3-2, which are the real decision making counts. You simply would be making the journey to a decision count shorter. It would cut out the "waste" pitch, which really is just that, a waste. It rarely accomplishes anything other than waste time.

The only thing it would change is that pitchers would have to be more pitch efficient, and hitters could only let one strike go by before having to protect the plate.

Think about it. Really think about it. I have and can't see how it would change the game greatly, other than shortening it. Maybe someone else can, but I can't.
Not kidding, that was a rule change for the 1887 season, it increased ba quite a bit

TheNext44
04-09-2010, 01:18 AM
I don't understand why people are so eager to speed up the games. Maybe it's just me, but the longer I'm at the ballpark the better. That's especially true when I'm at a night game in the summer- I hope the games last 3+ hours just because I enjoy being at the ballpark.

Excellent point. And extra innings are like finding a twenty in your jeans when doing laundry!

KronoRed
04-09-2010, 03:16 AM
I don't understand why people are so eager to speed up the games. Maybe it's just me, but the longer I'm at the ballpark the better. That's especially true when I'm at a night game in the summer- I hope the games last 3+ hours just because I enjoy being at the ballpark.

Watching real baseball, sure, all for it.

Watching a pitcher throw to 1st 10 times for a guy with 5 career steals while the catcher walks out every other pitcher to tell him to throw low? dull as a brick wall.

Ron Madden
04-09-2010, 04:15 AM
I know you kid, but I have always thought that the game would be better if there were 3 balls to a walk and two strikes to an out.

Think about it. It wouldn't change the strategy of pitching or hitting, but would greatly speed up the game. It would just mean that 2-1 is a full count. Counts 1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 2-0 and 2-1 are really just stop gaps in the journey to 0-2, 1-2, 2-2, 3-0, 3-1 and 3-2, which are the real decision making counts. You simply would be making the journey to a decision count shorter. It would cut out the "waste" pitch, which really is just that, a waste. It rarely accomplishes anything other than waste time.

The only thing it would change is that pitchers would have to be more pitch efficient, and hitters could only let one strike go by before having to protect the plate.

Think about it. Really think about it. I have and can't see how it would change the game greatly, other than shortening it. Maybe someone else can, but I can't.


No offense to you 44 but I just can't go along with this idea.

Ron Madden
04-09-2010, 04:20 AM
I love that comment from Mariano Rivera. :thumbup:

Jpup
04-09-2010, 05:22 AM
Joe West needs to keep his mouth shut. He has no business talking about this.

redsfandan
04-09-2010, 08:34 AM
Kill the DH. NL games are shorter.
Nah. Keep the status quo. I like the contrast.

Joe West needs to keep his mouth shut. He has no business talking about this.
Why? Because he's an ump he's not allowed to voice his opinion? I'd value his opinion just as much as anyone elses.

Throwing to 1st is done for a reason, take that away and prepare for a new game... how about we do this 4 strikes for an out; 5 balls for a walk;walks count as a hit.


Not kidding, that was a rule change for the 1887 season, it increased ba quite a bit
The fact that walks counted as a hit alone would help batting averages. The other changes would make games longer than they already are.

redsfandan
04-09-2010, 08:40 AM
I don't understand why people are so eager to speed up the games. Maybe it's just me, but the longer I'm at the ballpark the better. That's especially true when I'm at a night game in the summer- I hope the games last 3+ hours just because I enjoy being at the ballpark.
I can understand to a point. But if a fan is sitting in his seat to watch a game and the game drraaaggggss on I can't blame MLB at all for looking at ways to speed things up. Better than having that fan decide to spend less nap time at the ballpark.

Excellent point. And extra innings are like finding a twenty in your jeans when doing laundry!
Unless those extra innings put you to sleep. :sleep:

Watching real baseball, sure, all for it.

Watching a pitcher throw to 1st 10 times for a guy with 5 career steals while the catcher walks out every other pitcher to tell him to throw low? dull as a brick wall.
Yep. :thumbup:

TV ad revenue = elephant in the room
And that's a valid point. But for a different reason.

I bet MLB knows that baseball isn't thought of as the most exciting sport. This is a debatable point to be sure. But, I bet basketball and football are ahead of baseball in interest by people under 30 with a sport like golf even further behind just because of the pace of the sport involved. The point made by KronoRed is what I'm thinking of as well. I don't care if a batter works his way into a deep count. But prolonging the game for no valid reason like excessive time outs for any reason? C'mon.

If the general public thinks that the sport is boring what's the point in having a long game just to squeeze in a few more ads?

Here's one thing they could change:

One trip to the mound is allowed per inning -- by a manager or coach -- before a pitcher must be pulled. There is no limit, however, on players-only meetings.
Maybe a hard limit on how many times a batter leaves the batter's box would help too. If the batter leaves the box too many times he gets an automatic strike. Something like that. It's at least worth considering those kind of ideas.

Falls City Beer
04-09-2010, 09:00 AM
Watching real baseball, sure, all for it.

Watching a pitcher throw to 1st 10 times for a guy with 5 career steals while the catcher walks out every other pitcher to tell him to throw low? dull as a brick wall.

100% agree. I'll watch a 4 hour extra inning NL game because it's a contest, not an exhibition. It's not the length, it's the pace.

UKFlounder
04-09-2010, 09:27 AM
It's not the length, it's the pace.

That's what she said. :eek:

Seriously, I agree completely with this point.

919191
04-09-2010, 09:32 AM
100% agree. I'll watch a 4 hour extra inning NL game because it's a contest, not an exhibition. It's not the length, it's the pace.

I agree, too. If I am enjoying a game, why would I want it to end sooner? It's like going to a concert and hoping for a short quick show.

It would be like seeing a Leo Sayer show and hoping he would omit I Know I Can Dance.

bucksfan2
04-09-2010, 09:39 AM
100% agree. I'll watch a 4 hour extra inning NL game because it's a contest, not an exhibition. It's not the length, it's the pace.

Its all about the pace of the game. When you watch the Yankees play, especially in a big game, Posada takes quite a few trips out to the mound to call pitches. It was unbearable to watch in the post season.

I thought it was good that Angel Hernandez wasn't allowing players time outs in the batters box. The trips out to the mound and TO's in the box add unnecessary time to a baseball game.

blumj
04-09-2010, 09:55 AM
Its all about the pace of the game. When you watch the Yankees play, especially in a big game, Posada takes quite a few trips out to the mound to call pitches. It was unbearable to watch in the post season.

I thought it was good that Angel Hernandez wasn't allowing players time outs in the batters box. The trips out to the mound and TO's in the box add unnecessary time to a baseball game.

Yeah, I had no problem with that at all, although it got a bit comical when the batter and catcher both asked for TO at the same time and they basically took it anyway. But there's definitely some pot calling kettle black in this, Joe West's strike zone is especially prone to shrinkage.

Eric_the_Red
04-09-2010, 10:10 AM
The beauty of baseball is the fact that there is no clock. It is a double-edged sword however, when post-season games are ending so late at night on the east coast. Kids growing up won't have the memories of great World Series games because they are in bed. Play more afternoon or early evening games, and let them take as long as they take to play.

membengal
04-09-2010, 10:14 AM
The problem with the point that Joe West is making is that it is Joe West making the point. He's perhaps the ultimate I-am-bigger-than-the-game player-baiter umpire still on the field, and hauls a small strike zone with him to boot.

None of which helps with pace of play.

redsfandan
04-09-2010, 10:18 AM
The problem with the point that Joe West is making is that it is Joe West making the point. He's perhaps the ultimate I-am-bigger-than-the-game player-baiter umpire still on the field, and hauls a small strike zone with him to boot.

None of which helps with pace of play.
I don't think those two things have anything to do with the pace of play.

Say what you want about West but I think he makes some legit points. And whether an ump has a small strike zone doesn't matter as much to me as whether his strike zone is consistent.

blumj
04-09-2010, 10:37 AM
I don't think those two things have anything to do with the pace of play.

Say what you want about West but I think he makes some legit points. And whether an ump has a small strike zone doesn't matter as much to me as whether his strike zone is consistent.
It may not matter to you, but it does add to the length of games to have a smaller zone. I don't think his is really all that consistent, either, but it's not like I've done a study on it so I suppose it could be more consistent than the average umpire's.

Chip R
04-09-2010, 10:40 AM
100% agree. I'll watch a 4 hour extra inning NL game because it's a contest, not an exhibition. It's not the length, it's the pace.


Absolutely. If the pace is quick, you don't even notice how long the game goes.


The problem with the point that Joe West is making is that it is Joe West making the point. He's perhaps the ultimate I-am-bigger-than-the-game player-baiter umpire still on the field, and hauls a small strike zone with him to boot.

None of which helps with pace of play.

That's also true. But even a broken clock is right twice a day.

membengal
04-09-2010, 10:43 AM
I don't think those two things have anything to do with the pace of play.

Say what you want about West but I think he makes some legit points. And whether an ump has a small strike zone doesn't matter as much to me as whether his strike zone is consistent.

Small strike zones, ie, calling pitches balls that are called strikes by other umps, most certainly does impact the pace of play and length of games. Add in West's tendency to bait players, do that thing where he takes off his mask and takes steps toward dugouts, and any of a number of other grandiose look-at-me Joe West moves, and no, he is the WRONG ump to levy these charges against these two teams. Joe West umpire crew games always feel longer to me, particularly when he is behind the dish.

I have no problem with the message, per se, but do think it came from the wrong messenger.

blumj
04-09-2010, 11:03 AM
I'm not familiar with this writer, but, what?



And the GMs of both the Yankees and Red Sox should assume some of the blame for the excessive length of their games, since both specifically and carefully shop for hitters who like to work deep into the counts in an attempt to get the right pitch to hit and in the process wear down pitchers.

http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/news/story?id=5068453

RANDY IN INDY
04-09-2010, 11:04 AM
Joe West needs to keep his mouth shut. He has no business talking about this.

Why? He has as much right to an opinion and the right to voice it as anyone else.

redsfandan
04-09-2010, 12:11 PM
Small strike zones, ie, calling pitches balls that are called strikes by other umps, most certainly does impact the pace of play and length of games. Add in West's tendency to bait players, do that thing where he takes off his mask and takes steps toward dugouts, and any of a number of other grandiose look-at-me Joe West moves, and no, he is the WRONG ump to levy these charges against these two teams. Joe West umpire crew games always feel longer to me, particularly when he is behind the dish.

I have no problem with the message, per se, but do think it came from the wrong messenger.
I didn't say that how small a strike zone is won't affect anything. I just think that having a consistent strike zone is more important.

And I wasn't trying to imply that West is a model ump. But, just like Chip said, even a guy like him can be right from time to time.

membengal
04-09-2010, 12:18 PM
I didn't say he was wrong. I am of the opinion he was the wrong messenger.

blumj
04-09-2010, 12:26 PM
I didn't say that how small a strike zone is won't affect anything. I just think that having a consistent strike zone is more important.

And I wasn't trying to imply that West is a model ump. But, just like Chip said, even a guy like him can be right from time to time.

Of course, he's not wrong, in that, if you believe the length and/or pace of games are a problem, the Red Sox and Yankees are prime offenders, who didn't know that? It's just that he has some ability to help alleviate the problem in the course of doing his own job, and he chooses to make it a bit worse, then point fingers at others instead.

Obviously, the umpires are taking some heat from MLB for not moving these games along, because Bud is taking some heat from the networks because the games are taking too long, but that's not stopping the networks from going out of their way to air the games of the slowest teams in MLB. The players and coaches are trying to win games, that's their responsibility, and if they think it helps them to be deliberate, then they're going to push the limits just like with anything else. If the umpires need more rules or stronger penalties, then it's up to MLB to provide them. If the umpires simply are not enforcing the rules that already exist, then they have no right to deflect blame to the players and coaches.

vaticanplum
04-09-2010, 12:35 PM
The average MLB game length last year was 2:52. Average for Red Sox and Yankees was 3:04 and 3:08 respectively. That's a whopping 10-15 minute difference. Good hitting can account for most of that. I have no problem with that.

Everybody's dumping on Posada here but some of these pitchers are just slower than others. Papelbon is a notoriously slow pitcher. I feel like Sabathia is no speed demon either. Some of the other guys move along more quickly. That's just any team. For whatever reason, I do think the televised games are longer as well, and these two teams are strong enough that it increases the time when they play each other. You see the Yankees or Red Sox in person and it feels just like any other game.

Tony Cloninger
04-09-2010, 12:39 PM
Expand the strike zone like in 1963....see what happens? The umps who started this strike zone shrinkage are basically gone. Get the young guys to broaden their zone a little here and there....especially the letter high strike.

April is a great time to experiment...like that one year when the balk rule was heavily enforced.

IowaRed
04-09-2010, 01:16 PM
Thank god we get to hear Joe West's opinion on this. He certainly has baseball's best interests at heart and not his own and has never tried to take center stage in the games he is involved in.

Roy Tucker
04-09-2010, 01:29 PM
The average MLB game length last year was 2:52. Average for Red Sox and Yankees was 3:04 and 3:08 respectively. That's a whopping 10-15 minute difference. Good hitting can account for most of that. I have no problem with that.



I wonder what was the average length of a Yankees-Red Sox game was?

I have no problem with good hitting and working the count. I wish the Reds did it better.

I just wish the batters would stay in the box more and pitchers wouldn't wander around the mound so much. But I can't think of a good way to make this happen without everyone getting bent out of shape about it.

Bumstead
04-09-2010, 01:36 PM
Uh...baseball takes however long it takes. There is no time limit. It's the most traditional of sports that we have left. Anyway, Joe West resigned from umpiring several years ago and I think it is pathetic and embarrassing that instead of walking away like a man, he came back, got a group of lawyers and demanded that he be GIVEN his job back that he quit on his own....so, I don't care what Joe West has to say. Rivera should watch what he says, cause Mr. West can hold a grudge...

ESPN only shows the Yankees/Red Sox anyway, so I just don't watch ESPN baseball... :p:

Bum

membengal
04-09-2010, 01:40 PM
Thank god we get to hear Joe West's opinion on this. He certainly has baseball's best interests at heart and not his own and has never tried to take center stage in the games he is involved in.

This.

Once again, someone brighter than me boils down the point I was trying to make and makes it so much clearer.

Cedric
04-09-2010, 01:53 PM
I couldn't care less who made the point. I think it's an accurate one. It's not good for the sport that the biggest games of the year take close to 4 hours. It's disrespectful to the game what Posada and CC did last year, IMO.

blumj
04-09-2010, 01:55 PM
I wonder what was the average length of a Yankees-Red Sox game was?

I have no problem with good hitting and working the count. I wish the Reds did it better.

I just wish the batters would stay in the box more and pitchers wouldn't wander around the mound so much. But I can't think of a good way to make this happen without everyone getting bent out of shape about it.
Because the reason the pitchers are wandering around more is because they're stressed and overthinking, and the reason the hitters are stepping out more is because the pitchers are taking so long. The best offensive teams aren't just put together to score runs, they're put together to beat entire pitching staffs into submission by game 3 of a series.

Bumstead
04-09-2010, 02:11 PM
I couldn't care less who made the point. I think it's an accurate one. It's not good for the sport that the biggest games of the year take close to 4 hours. It's disrespectful to the game what Posada and CC did last year, IMO.

How are games 1,2 and 3 of the season between the Yankees and Red Sox the biggest games of the year? There is the old saying, pull the plank out of your own eye before you point out the splinter in somebody else's eye. Joe West has a tree growing out of his eye...

blumj
04-09-2010, 02:18 PM
How are games 1,2 and 3 of the season between the Yankees and Red Sox the biggest games of the year? There is the old saying, pull the plank out of your own eye before you point out the splinter in somebody else's eye. Joe West has a tree growing out of his eye...

I think he was talking about the World Series, right?

Bumstead
04-09-2010, 02:21 PM
I think he was talking about the World Series, right?

I don't know...could be...I didn't watch it....

RFS62
04-09-2010, 02:34 PM
Eliminate the DH and make Joe West a greeter at WalMart.

Two problems solved.

vaticanplum
04-09-2010, 02:44 PM
I wonder what was the average length of a Yankees-Red Sox game was?

Like, 14 hours.

I'm a Yankees fan, and Sunday was the first game of the year, so all day I felt essentially like an innocent man freed from jail. I was asleep by the sixth.

Orenda
04-09-2010, 04:11 PM
I'm not familiar with this writer, but, what?




http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/news/story?id=5068453

:beerme:

This writer has a solid point, there is nothing worse than well played winning baseball. Personally as a fan, what could be better than watching a player on the team you root for pop out on the first pitch swinging. Also, when players succeed that makes them less likely to do something that will drive ads, like punching a water cooler.

These GM's should know better.

blumj
04-09-2010, 04:15 PM
Like, 14 hours.

I'm a Yankees fan, and Sunday was the first game of the year, so all day I felt essentially like an innocent man freed from jail. I was asleep by the sixth.
I wish I could do that.

blumj
04-09-2010, 08:34 PM
According to Pedroia, home plate umpire Angel Hernandez yelled at Derek Jeter about asking for time during the game on Tuesday.

"That's embarrassing," Pedroia said. "Here's a guy, a Hall of Fame player, being yelled at for something we all do. That's not right."

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/

Jpup
04-10-2010, 01:02 AM
Why? He has as much right to an opinion and the right to voice it as anyone else.

Joe West has 1 job. He is to umpire the game. Make sure the rules are followed, etc. He has no business commenting on any team and how they play. Could be viewed as being biased against teams that play slow. He's a horrible umpire so I guess he's got that.

Jpup
04-10-2010, 01:03 AM
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/

Exactly. It's Derek Jeter. If the man calls time, give it to him. I was watching the game when this happened and Hernandez looked like a horse's end.

traderumor
04-10-2010, 10:13 AM
Joe West has 1 job. He is to umpire the game. Make sure the rules are followed, etc. He has no business commenting on any team and how they play. Could be viewed as being biased against teams that play slow. He's a horrible umpire so I guess he's got that.MLB has also given the umpires a charge to keep the pace of the game, which includes taking too long between pitches and excessive timeout requests. An umpire does not have to grant time out to a batter, even if its DEREK JETER (talk about bias, he's just a player).

If the long games are the result of "working the count," so be it. But if it is because the catcher has a conference with the pitcher very frequently, then it is a legit gripe. I have wondered if baseball needs to consider a catcher time out rule like they limit trips to the mound for coaches.

BTW, games are now typically 3 hours because of TV and pitching changes. The commercial breaks are longer than in the days of "radio only" games. I don't think Rivera has a good point, watching a ballgame from beginning to end shouldn't turn into Lord of the Rings.

Eric_the_Red
04-10-2010, 12:59 PM
NFL games are all about 3 hours long, maybe 2h 45m. I don't recall Ed Hochuli blasting the length of Colts/Patriots games. (Or fans complaining either.)

dsmith421
04-10-2010, 01:34 PM
Everybody's dumping on Posada here

And rightfully so. His actions in the playoffs last year made a mockery of the game.

RedsManRick
04-10-2010, 01:56 PM
NFL games are all about 3 hours long, maybe 2h 45m. I don't recall Ed Hochuli blasting the length of Colts/Patriots games. (Or fans complaining either.)

They also play just once a week and not during weekdays. I'd love to see more done to speed up the game between pitches. That's the most frustrating part of the for me as a fan.

westofyou
04-10-2010, 02:08 PM
Ump should be praised, not punished (http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/news/story?id=5068453)



As a unionized employee of Major League Baseball, West was only verbalizing a policy his bosses have been trying to implement for years, a policy spelled out in a memo sent out to all 30 teams before each season and reinforced in a personal visit to every big league clubhouse by Bob Watson, baseball's dean of discipline, during spring training.

To that end, baseball instituted a rule that requires a pitcher to deliver within 12 seconds of when he is set on the mound and the batter is set in the box. It issued stopwatches to the second base umpires to makes sure the rule was being observed. They authorized the umps to issue warnings and even fines -- Boston's Jonathan Papelbon is said to have paid a couple -- and even assessed balls to Indians pitcher Rafael Betancourt for violating the 12-second window twice in a 2007 game.

So everyone on the MLB side of the equation seems to be on the same page, substantively at least, with Joe West. What they might have taken issue with was with his choice of words -- substitute, perhaps, "tedious and interminable" for "pathetic and embarrassing" -- and most certainly his choice of venue.


http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hFHDgq4ahhVUxRWuGhLKNuX_RfpwD9EV6V7G2



The biggest annoyance is the length of games.

"It bothers me one inning can last, I don't know, 25 minutes or 30 minutes, when they keep bringing relief pitchers out and the catchers keep going out talking. That bothers me more than anything."

Stepping out is another pet peeve.

"They're supposed to be in the batters' box and be ready to hit," he said. "And the pitchers ought to be ready to pitch."

blumj
04-10-2010, 02:39 PM
The hitters step out because the pitchers are taking too long, and the pitchers are taking too long because there are runners on base, and they're trying to pitch to a guy with a .420 OBP, and Joe West is refusing to call anything a strike over either outside corner or anywhere below mid-thigh. That's why Joe West is the wrong messenger.

RedsManRick
04-10-2010, 04:15 PM
Interesting Woy. I'm guessing that the fine was minimal and wasn't much of a motivating factor. I'd prefer to see them call a ball if the bases are empty or a balk if there are runners on base. That would motivate the pitchers.

On the flip side, you just stop issuing time out to batters without cause. After a few times watching strikes fly by when they were standing out of the box, they'll get the idea.

blumj
04-10-2010, 06:10 PM
Pitchers are supposed to get 12 seconds when the bases are empty, there isn't a time limit when there are runners on. And I believe Papelbon got fined for taking too long to go onto the field from the pen, not for taking too long between pitches.

Tony Cloninger
04-10-2010, 08:37 PM
Been saying since 2000 at least.... You cannot umps calling balls and strikes. Get a machine to call it for them and they can make the other calls.

This would bring an end to umps calling balls/strikes one way in the early innings and then either squeeze or widen in the end. Or they give the stars the call...or even teams...like these 2 teams being discussed.

IF NOT...then make them widen the zone....especially the high strike.

Agree ....Joe West is the wrong messenger. Arrogant is being kind with him.

George Anderson
04-10-2010, 09:22 PM
Get a machine to call it for them and they can make the other calls.

.

Great idea...now wheres the machine at??

Tony Cloninger
04-10-2010, 09:27 PM
It's around here somewhere....I think I have it near my machine that keeps you from ever losing your hair or going gray...or it's by my Grow Taller Now! machine.

Roy Tucker
04-13-2010, 01:11 PM
Good article at SI on this topic by Tom Verducci....

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/04/13/selig.pace/index.html?eref=sihp

A key point:


What does it mean? The Yankees and Red Sox see 15.9 percent more pitches than the average AL game, but they take 28 percent longer. If the Yankees and Red Sox just played at the same pace as an average AL game -- with their same 46 extra pitches per game -- they would instantly cut 21 minutes from their games. And that's not 21 minutes of action, folks. That's 21 minutes of pure down time.

westofyou
04-13-2010, 01:15 PM
http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2010/04/12/time-of-game/



First, the average length of all divisional games in the American League was 2:56. So that’s a good starting point: You can expect roughly a three-hour game when you have two teams from the same division playing.

Only … that’s not exactly true. Look here at the average game time, by division:

American League East: 3:06
American League Central: 2:53
American League West: 2:46

So, in other words, the more (Joe) West you go, the faster the games — and that’s a not-insubstantial difference between West and East. I mean, on average, a 20-minute difference seems to me quite a bit deal.

Why the difference? Well, you already know. But to get to the point, look at the teams. Here are the five fastest playing teams in the league in 2009:

1. Chicago White Sox, 2:42
2. Seattle Mariners, 2:43
3. Texas Rangers, 2:44
4. Oakland Athletics, 2:46
5. California Angels, 2:48

Those are the teams that, in their divisional games, averaged less than two hours and 50 minutes. No real surprises there — maybe the Rangers. But the Rangers really weren’t the same no-pitching, lots-of-runs team in 2009, and anyway American League West games are just played at a faster clip than games throughout the rest of the American League.

There will be zero surprises in the five slowest playing teams in the American League:

1. New York Yankees, 3:16
2. Boston Red Sox, 3:12
3. Tampa Bay Rays, 3:03
4. Toronto Blue Jays, 3:01
5. Baltimore Orioles, 2:57

Yep, it’s the American League East — and more or less in the order of how they finished. Of course, that is pretty much how it has to be if the Yankees and Red Sox really are, as Joe West says, the slowest playing teams around. It takes two to do a slow tango.

So, now, finally, we get to the games. I’ll give the average time for every divisional game on the bottom of this post but it’s probably worth breaking it down. Here were the 10 slowest match-ups in the American League in 2009:

1. Yankees-Red Sox, 3:39 (yikes!)
2. Yankees-Blue Jays, 3:19
3. Red Sox-Rays, 3:13
4. Tigers-Twins, 3:10
5. Yankees-Rays, 3:09
6. Red Sox-Orioles, 3:05
(tie) Royals-Twins, 3:05
8. Rays-Blue Jays, 3:03
9. Indians-Royals, 3:01
10. Orioles-Yankees, 3:00
(tie) Indians-Tigers, 3:00

Chip R
04-13-2010, 01:37 PM
These series of articles were overshadowed by Torii Hunter's comments about race but the first one raised the issue of slow play and Joe West wasn't even there.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2010-03-07-baseball-roundtable_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip


SPEED OF PLAY

The commissioner's office has been trying to reduce the amount of time needed to play a game, but with the average game time going up last season, new measures are needed:

Major League Baseball officials have been trying to quicken the game, umpire supervisor Steve Palermo says, but the average game time went from 2 hours, 50 minutes in 2008 to 2:52 last year.

"When you got a 15-13 game, it's going to take 3 hours," Palermo says. "But I don't think it should take 3 hours, 5 minutes to play a 2-1 game. You're putting everybody in a deep freeze by doing that. You might as well have (former North Carolina basketball coach) Dean Smith come out and do Four Corners."

The trouble, Palermo says, is there are certain teams and individuals who continually ignore baseball's directives.

"This is a hot button with the commissioner," Palermo says. "We've got a couple teams — I'm not going to name names, but I think everybody knows who they are — and they're arrogant. They don't think this pertains to them. I had a president of one of those ballclubs tell me the system is flawed. I told him, 'Then how did the 28 other teams conform to what we're asking except for you and your next-door neighbor that you have a rivalry with?' "

Says Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, realizing along with the other panelists that Palermo is alluding to the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, "Everybody else gets screwed but those two teams."

Palermo was particularly annoyed with Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, who was fined last season for throwing excessive pitches in the bullpen after being summoned, then tore up the letter of discipline in front of sports reporters.

"You know what?" Palermo says. "If somebody acts up, whack them. I'm talking about $50,000. And then $100,000. And then $200,000. You usually get the attention after the $100,000 mark."

There also was talk about constant trips to the pitcher's mound by catchers and infielders. So why not limit how many times players can visit the mound?

"That would be the greatest way to shorten the game," agent Scott Boras says. "The extra eight to 10 minutes is because of the young pitchers. They're still going through the drill, and the catcher is coming out every couple of pitches."

Or perhaps, as Boras and Reds manager Dusty Baker say, increase the roster to 26 to provide another pitcher; if teams can keep pitchers fresher, they say, it might reduce the need for so many changes.

RedsManRick
04-13-2010, 01:49 PM
I've said it before and will again, we should differentiate between the length of the game and the pace of the game. The latter is much more the issue than the former. The problem with the Yankees/Sox games is not that they play more baseball. The problem is that they take longer to plate the same amount of baseball.

Getting rid of manager trips to the mound except when removing the pitcher or in the event of an injury and catcher trips in the middle of plate appearances would be a great place to start.

Watching Leake pitch Sunday or any Mark Buehrle game is so much more enjoyable than your standard Josh Beckett vs. Andy Pettite marathon.

Brutus
04-13-2010, 01:56 PM
I wonder what was the average length of a Yankees-Red Sox game was?

I have no problem with good hitting and working the count. I wish the Reds did it better.

I just wish the batters would stay in the box more and pitchers wouldn't wander around the mound so much. But I can't think of a good way to make this happen without everyone getting bent out of shape about it.

According to ESPN, the average Yankees-Red Sox game was 40 minutes longer than the average MLB game last season.

Eric_the_Red
04-13-2010, 02:17 PM
Is there a limit to the number of pitches a pitcher gets when taking the field after their team bats? Sometimes it seems like they are taking forever.

But, I suppose that is tv commercial time which makes money, so MLB doesn't care about that.

How about letting relievers fully warm up in the bullpen? No warm up pitches on the mound. Let the bullpen be for the purpose of getting warm, and make the manager wait to bring in the reliever until he is warm.

bucksfan2
04-13-2010, 02:36 PM
Pitches Per Minute
Game Time Pitches PitchesPer Min.
Yankees vs. Red Sox 3:40 336 1.53
All other AL games 2:52 290 1.69

This is a graph from Verducci on si.com. You can find the whole article here http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/04/13/selig.pace/index.html?eref=sihp

He mentions its not exactly that they are the most patient hitters and see more pitches that drives the game in length. Rather its their antics before they step into the box. Also I knew the Posada C.C. combo was bad in the playoffs but Posada went to the mound 8 times in one inning. That is unacceptable.

mbgrayson
04-13-2010, 02:44 PM
The other thing that nobody has factored into the average length of game times is nationally televised games. The commercial breaks on national TV games is longer than other games. And as we all know, the Yankees and Red Sox are on national TV games more than other teams. I think there is at least an extra 30 seconds between each half inning, and this would add about 9 or 10 minutes to the game by itself.

Also, as has already been mentioned, you have to look at something likes the average number of pitches per plate appearance.

Still, I'm all for cutting down on this down time during the games.

Ron Madden
04-13-2010, 02:48 PM
Call me an Old Foggie but I don't believe Baseball needs a time clock.

blumj
04-13-2010, 02:50 PM
Pitches Per Minute
Game Time Pitches PitchesPer Min.
Yankees vs. Red Sox 3:40 336 1.53
All other AL games 2:52 290 1.69

This is a graph from Verducci on si.com. You can find the whole article here http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/04/13/selig.pace/index.html?eref=sihp

He mentions its not exactly that they are the most patient hitters and see more pitches that drives the game in length. Rather its their antics before they step into the box. Also I knew the Posada C.C. combo was bad in the playoffs but Posada went to the mound 8 times in one inning. That is unacceptable.
Red Sox-Yankees games are way longer than they should be based on the time of a typical Red Sox game and the time of a typical Yankees game. Both teams are slower than average, but not to the point where putting them together should add 40 minutes. The "every pitch is life or death" mentality that causes Posada to make 8 trips to the mound during a playoff game? Well, it is a playoff game, if participants are acting like every pitch is life or death, there's some reason even if fans don't like it. Red Sox-Yankees in April? Not so much.

Brutus
04-13-2010, 02:55 PM
The other thing that nobody has factored into the average length of game times is nationally televised games. The commercial breaks on national TV games is longer than other games. And as we all know, the Yankees and Red Sox are on national TV games more than other teams. I think there is at least an extra 30 seconds between each half inning, and this would add about 9 or 10 minutes to the game by itself.

Also, as has already been mentioned, you have to look at something likes the average number of pitches per plate appearance.

Still, I'm all for cutting down on this down time during the games.

About 90% of regular season games are televised now. That doesn't really make much of a difference.

bucksfan2
04-13-2010, 02:57 PM
About 90% of regular season games are televised now. That doesn't really make much of a difference.

I thought all inning breaks were standardized. It has as much to do with radio as it does TV.

Brutus
04-13-2010, 02:58 PM
I thought all inning breaks were standardized. It has as much to do with radio as it does TV.

I can't remember for certain, but that sounds right.

Rojo
04-13-2010, 03:16 PM
I've said it before and will again, we should differentiate between the length of the game and the pace of the game. The latter is much more the issue than the former. The problem with the Yankees/Sox games is not that they play more baseball. The problem is that they take longer to plate the same amount of baseball.

Well put. Treasure of the Sierra Madre is one of my favorite movies. Adding extraneous footage of Humphrey Bogart brushing his teeth or eating beans would make it worse not better.

Bill James' "The Perfect Machine" essay is the final word on this. He also recommends calling a ball on pick-offs (after two free ones); giving managers only one in-inning pitching change per game unless said pitcher is getting his ass handed to him; wider-handled bats; no leaving the batting box; moving the batter's box away from the plate; and cut the time between innings.

I'd do them all.

Chip R
04-13-2010, 03:21 PM
Call me an Old Foggie but I don't believe Baseball needs a time clock.


Baseball is a leisurely game played without a clock and that's a good thing. However, that doesn't mean it should be played at a snail's pace.

KronoRed
04-13-2010, 04:17 PM
Baseball is a leisurely game played without a clock and that's a good thing. However, that doesn't mean it should be played at a snail's pace.

Indeed, it doesn't mean we need or even want to watch 20 minutes a game of the catcher BS'ing on the mound.

How bout forfeited games for lollygagging? :D

Brutus
04-13-2010, 04:20 PM
Umpires could help some of this with strict enforcement of the 12-second rule. Pitchers have a 12-second time limit from the time they receive the ball (with no one on base) to the time they deliver the pitch. I can't count how many times through the course of the game this is probably abused.

blumj
04-13-2010, 04:43 PM
Umpires could help some of this with strict enforcement of the 12-second rule. Pitchers have a 12-second time limit from the time they receive the ball (with no one on base) to the time they deliver the pitch. I can't count how many times through the course of the game this is probably abused.

You're probably right, but, for the most part, I don't see that many pitchers taking a ton of time when there's no one on base, but lots who turn into huge snails when there is.

Brutus
04-13-2010, 04:44 PM
You're probably right, but, for the most part, I don't see that many pitchers taking a ton of time when there's no one on base, but lots who turn into huge snails when there is.

I agree that's where the bulk of the games are slowed down. If they want to start somewhere, though, they should merely enforce the rules that are already in place.

westofyou
04-13-2010, 05:08 PM
You're probably right, but, for the most part, I don't see that many pitchers taking a ton of time when there's no one on base, but lots who turn into huge snails when there is.

And in a nutshell that's why the game is accused of being slow these days, most who complain point to games in the past (Like Tommy Johns 59 pitch 1 hour and 34 minute start 46 years ago (http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1964/B05032BAL1964.htm)) But the fact is when no one is on base then the game motors along. So the whole on base revolution plus power hitting adds to the massive pitching changes, stall tatics and so forth add to the time of the game a tams let attrition become a larger and larger part of the offensive landscape and to do battle with it the defense spends as much time delaying the ineviable (the pitch).

mbgrayson
04-13-2010, 05:30 PM
I thought all inning breaks were standardized. It has as much to do with radio as it does TV.


HERE (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100409&content_id=9178374&notebook_id=9184430&vkey=notebook_bos&fext=.jsp&c_id=bos) is where I saw that national TV games have longer breaks:




The way Francona and Boston players look at it, the lengthy games have much to do with the way hitters on both sides work counts, not to mention the fact that the commercial breaks are two minutes and 25 seconds for national television games, which is 20 seconds longer than a game that is only on local television outlets. The first and third game of the Yankees series were both televised by ESPN and the middle game was on the MLB Network.
"Leading off a game, I don't know how many times I've had to wait," said Sox left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury said. "The pitcher is ready, I'm ready."


And as we know, the breaks are even longer for playoff games (http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2009/11/03/playoff-pulse-its-in-the-manuel/).


The Yankees naturally defended all the meetings, with Jorge Posada (http://mlb.fanhouse.com/players/jorge-posada/5502) pointing out the gravity of every at-bat in the playoffs and pitching coach Dave Eiland pointing out MLB's hypocrisy on the matter.

"Don't take three minutes between innings," he said, referring to the extended commercial breaks that come with baseball in primetime on network television. "You know how many times a pitcher is standing on the mound waiting for an umpire's call to throw the first pitch?"

Brutus
04-13-2010, 05:43 PM
HERE (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100409&content_id=9178374&notebook_id=9184430&vkey=notebook_bos&fext=.jsp&c_id=bos) is where I saw that national TV games have longer breaks:



And as we know, the breaks are even longer for playoff games (http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2009/11/03/playoff-pulse-its-in-the-manuel/).

Even with the extra 20 seconds per commercial, that's still only 6 minutes per game. There's nearly 44 minutes accounted from other factors.

The playoffs have nothing to do with the numbers because only regular season was counted in the averages that have been thrown around.

Chip R
04-13-2010, 05:49 PM
HERE (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100409&content_id=9178374&notebook_id=9184430&vkey=notebook_bos&fext=.jsp&c_id=bos) is where I saw that national TV games have longer breaks:

Unless my math is off, that's only 5 minutes 40 seconds of extra time for a full 9 inning game. It's nine minutes more for a playoff game. Does anyone really notice the difference between a 3 hour game and a 3 hour and 5 minute game? Or a 3 hour game and a 3 hour 9 minute game?


And as we know, the breaks are even longer for playoff games (http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2009/11/03/playoff-pulse-its-in-the-manuel/).

Well, MLB would sooner cut off their right arms than lose any more money from commercials. It does make them sound hypocritical but there is something to be said for picking up the pace of play.

mbgrayson
04-13-2010, 06:23 PM
Unless my math is off, that's only 5 minutes 40 seconds of extra time for a full 9 inning game. It's nine minutes more for a playoff game. Does anyone really notice the difference between a 3 hour game and a 3 hour and 5 minute game? Or a 3 hour game and a 3 hour 9 minute game?

Well, MLB would sooner cut off their right arms than lose any more money from commercials. It does make them sound hypocritical but there is something to be said for picking up the pace of play.

No, I agree that its only around 6 to 9 minutes per game extra during the regular season. But those 3 minute breaks happen TWICE every inning in the playoffs, so that is an extra 18 minutes compared to regular season non-network games.

Yes, those 6 minutes do matter. But I certainly agree that it is not the main factor.

The problem is that there is no one factor that causes these long games. It is partly too many trips to the mound by the catcher, pitching coach, infielders, or manager. It is partly the batter calling time out and stepping out to adjust his equipment. It is partly the pitcher going slowly and shaking off too many signs, or repeatedly throwing to first base to keep a runner close. It is partly more pitching changes in a game. It is partly a higher number of pitches per plate appearance by better hitters, with more foul balls. It is partly more runs being scored and more batters reaching base with better hitting. And it is partly longer commercial breaks.

All of these things add up to the 30-45 extra minutes per game that the Yankees and Red Sox games seem to take. MLB should look at all of these causes before making any decisions.

jmcclain19
04-14-2010, 05:10 AM
Indeed, it doesn't mean we need or even want to watch 20 minutes a game of the catcher BS'ing on the mound.

How bout forfeited games for lollygagging? :D

I had the unfortunate chance to watch Jon Garland pitch in person the other day, and it was like watching paint dry. One of the slowest workers I've ever seen. Matched up with a quick worker like Dan Haren didn't help things either.


And props to West for speaking out about something bothering him - honestly I think Umpires are some of the most knowledgeable baseball people on the planet and for 99% of the time, they are completely silent on every major issue.

And to me, they have a passion that is hard to match - they are willing to play the arbiter on the road, 160+ games a year, watching every pitch in every AB - with no friends anywhere they go. That's some serious love of the game.

klw
04-14-2010, 07:55 AM
And in a nutshell that's why the game is accused of being slow these days, most who complain point to games in the past (Like Tommy Johns 59 pitch 1 hour and 34 minute start 46 years ago (http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1964/B05032BAL1964.htm)) ).
59 pitches is Hochevar-esque!! I think the only people complaining about the pace are the people watching at home or the tv stations whoe schedule gets so messed up. Back when I occasionally got to go to games they always seemed to end too quickly. If I drove 3 hours, park, get tickets,and wait for the game to start, I wanted to be at teh game for awhile and stuff to happen. It seemed like I would end up at Pedro v Colon circa 2000 when the game would fly and no drama until the 8th. a 2-1 pitcher's duel may have drama but not usually until the 7th or later.

now this was a fun game to be at.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MON/MON200108260.shtml