With games lasting nearly four hours, even baseball fans in the United States are struggling to stay awake during the World Series. Is it time for playground clock? ‘This would be a beneficial change,’ said Bob Manfred, CEO of MLB (Major League Baseball).
If you’re a Dutch baseball fan who wants to watch Game Six of the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves tonight (1:09am Dutch time), you should make the night. But also viewers on America’s East Coast, who can switch at 8.09pm local time, don’t see their bed until much later.
The first five matches of the World Championships lasted an average of 3 hours and 41 minutes. That’s four minutes longer than last year, when the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the baseball season finale. The opening match of this year’s World Championships lasted 4 hours 6 minutes and ended in the United States just after midnight.
Time to speed up the game? Experts believe that Major League Baseball, sooner or later, will set the court’s clock. With or without agreement with the players union. “I want to be very clear about this,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said before the start of the world championships. There will come a time when the pressure to make a change will be enough. I prefer to do it by reaching an agreement with the players.”
A pitch clock, which urges shooters to throw faster, can help. We tried this a few years ago. In the Minor League Low-A and Double-A, there has been a 20-second stadium clock since 2015. This season, a test was conducted in Minor League Low-A West, where the clock was set to 15 seconds with empty bases, and 17 seconds with the runners at the base and 30 seconds between hits. It was 21 minutes per game. “Very encouraging,” Manfred said. “It could be a beneficial change.”
Braves manager Brian Snitker and his Astros team have their reservations. They mainly see the long breaks between roles as the culprit. Those breaks during the World Championships simply last longer (2 minutes 55) than in the regular season (2.05) due to the many commercials.
“The commercials foot the bill and that’s the truth of it all,” Becker said. “You can shorten the trading time, but then you have to reduce the amount of money spent.”
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