I sat down to watch the TCU-Florida game last night while attempting to stay out of the 95 degree heat in Houston. I sat down a little after 7 and decided that I would do my due diligence as a sports fan and enjoy a little summer baseball. Almost 4 hours later and a 9 to 2 win by the horn frogs win, I was wondering how in the heck this game could have lasted so long. I am not the biggest baseball fan, but here were my biggest complaints about last nights game that could have sped everything up.
The Length of Commercials
I am the first one to say that everyone deserves to make money. If the NCAA has that many sponsors to put down the money and bring in a 30 second commercial, the good for them, but it ruins the speed and length of the entire game. We are talking about a 3 minute break every half an inning, which equates to 51 minutes of commercial breaks. All of that does not include any pitching changes, which adds yet another commercial. This is too long and to cut that in half would shave half an hour off of that.
Twice during the game, the umpire called off a pitch claiming that he was talking to someone about the count. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the pitchers if the games wasn’t already about to run over on time and the conversation didn’t seem to matter one bit. I am not going to get on the challenges because baseball has needed this for many years, but the umpires need to speed up the games in any way they can.
The Beach Balls
Yes this is a Omaha tradition, yes it is cute and funny for the second or third inning, but do not hinder a two run game in the 7th inning. Things like this are a privilege, not a right to the fans. You don’t want to ruin something fun because a few bad apples decide to take things too far. The water balloons were a nice touch though
At a minimum, pitchers will throw 10 full speed pitches in the bullpen. They do not need 10 pitches on the mound once they step onto the field. Coming back from a commercial break and watching a pitcher warm up for another two minutes does nothing but bore your casual fan.
Baseball has several options to test out strategies to make the game faster. Sponsors are not going to leave if they get one fewer commercial spot but have a million extra viewers for the slots they still have. If they could get a baseball game down to a two-hour forty-five to two-hour fifty minute affair, more viewers will tune in and baseball will see a rise in interest. Baseball is America’s pastime, but it needs a serious kick in the butt to get back to its glory days.