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Does Baseball Need to Be Sped Up? (Poll)

Does baseball need to be sped up? If so, just how do you accomplish that?

It’s been a frequent topic lately on Mike & Mike in the Morning. And now, I have to have my say.

Greeny and Golic have proposed several ways to speed up the game, including expanding the strike zone, which would force hitters to swing and reduce the number of pitches thrown.

You could also limit the amount of time between pitches with some clock positioned in the outfield, akin to a football play clock that forces both the hitter and the pitcher to be ready.

Bo Porter of the Astros signals to the bullpen. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Today, they even took on the idea of shortening the games to just seven innings, which would mean less relief pitchers and less stoppages for pitching changes.

As a former pitcher, I’d love to see the strike zone expanded, but the bottom line is this: Nothing needs to be changed about the game or its pace.

The pace of the game is slow, not because of the play itself, but because of the advertisements and commercials that are becoming a part of every sport. The only reason why the game feels like it takes forever is because the game doesn’t have a halftime to allow you to break up the action.

A baseball game takes about 2.5 hours to play, and with the commercial breaks it will get to three hours or more on most nights.

This is happening everywhere.

The NCAA championship game on Monday night between UConn and Kentucky required 40 minutes of game play. It started at 9:10 p.m. and ended at approximately 11:20. They really didn’t need 130 minutes to get through 40, but the 20 minute halftime allowed you to do other things, so you didn’t even realize how long it went.

NFL afternoon games used to begin at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Now the late NFL games are starting at 4:30 in most cases. So again, more advertisements and commercials are causing games to last even longer. You don’t need 3.5 hours to play 60 minutes worth of action. Monday Night Football games are even longer, sometimes even lasting four hours.

This expansion of the games we play is occurring in all sports. Advertising is hugely important. It’s part of what helps pay massive player contracts. It’s a very necessary thing. Just understand that your beef with the length of games is because of this, and not the pace of play.

I’ve never heard anyone complain about golf, or tennis, taking too long. Not having a clock is what makes these sports – and baseball – beautiful.

Leave it the way it is.

Do you agree?

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