HOUSTON (AP) — A late innings means a late night in the World Series, with many fans struggling to stay awake as the Braves and Astros play baseball’s most important games of the year.
The first five series games averaged 3 hours, 41 minutes, over 3:37 for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ six-game win over Tampa Bay last year. The opener took 4:06 and Game 5 went on for exactly 4 hours, both ending after midnight on the East Coast.
This year’s post-season average of 3:38 is higher than last year’s 3:32.
Sooner or later, Major League Baseball will establish a pitch clock—with or without an agreement with the players’ union.
“I want to be really clear about this,” commissioner Rob Manfred said before the series opener. “We have the right to do certain things under the agreement with a certain procedure that has been followed. There will come a time when the pressure to make changes will be enough. I like to do it by reaching an agreement with the players .
MLB reserves the right to unilaterally change the on-field rules with one year’s advance notice to the union. During the 2016–17 offseason, MLB proposed a 20-second timer in several situations, including a second violation that resulted in the umpire calling the ball.
As part of a March 2019 agreement that increased the active roster from 25 to 26 players and mandated a pitcher face three batsmen or finish an innings, MLB implemented the pitch clock through 2021. agreed not to.
Players are reluctant to consider the clock. Union head Tony Clark, a former All-Star first baseman, didn’t give a direct answer when asked if he’d like to see a crisp product on the field.
“I’m a former player. I give everything for the game. So do I watch it? Do I criticize it? Do I analyze it? Am I ready to talk about its good? ” He said, “Always is and will be. It’s not going to change. And I am sure that at the end of the World Series, the communication we have had so far will continue. “
When asked what he thought of MLB’s experiments at minor league levels, he replied: “The experience has been less than favorable in some instances.”
Nine-inning games during the regular season averaged 3:10:07, up from 3:07:46 for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and 3:05:35 in 2019. The average was 2:49 in 1991 and 2:33 in 1981.
A pitch clock eliminates the dead time that the hitters exit the batter’s box and the pitchers step back from the mound and take a deep breath on the infield grass.
MLB experimented with a 20-second pitch clock during spring training in 2019, with a cutout on the first pitch of each plate appearance.
Broadcaster Bob Costas said, “I’m absolutely in favor of it.” “It gets difficult with men on base, for obvious reasons.”
Minor league Triple-A and Double-A games have had a pitch clock of 20 seconds since 2015.
“It’s not that hard,” said Houston outfielder Kyle Tucker, who first reached the Major in 2018 and spent time in Triple-A in 2019. You just, I don’t know, speed it up a little bit, I guess.
This season a test was held in the minor league Low-A West, clocking 15 seconds with bases empty, 17 seconds with runners on, 30 seconds between batsmen and half-inning breaks and pitching changes. was set to 2:15.
He averaged 2:41 in 316 nine-inning games with the clock, down from 3:02 for 91 games without the clock.
“Definitely encouraging,” Manfred said. “Game time in the 2:40s, which is a really good number when you think about where we are at. I think what’s more important than that is that the people who go and watch the game are the gamers. feel like the pace, the action in the game is really improved, it really replaces the need to move forward with pitching, changes the game the way it’s played a little bit. And that’s one for us Will be a useful change.”
Brave manager Brian Snitker ignored the Triple-A clock, but is not in favor of some potential sanctions. He and Astros manager Dusty Baker both think the time between innings is the primary reason for longer games after the season. A break of 2 minutes, 55 seconds has been set for at least 20 years, with 2:25 for additional innings and pitching changes. This is higher than the 2:05 inning break during the regular season, except for 2:25 during nationally broadcast games.
“Business time pays the bills, and that’s the reality of it all,” Baker said. “You can deduct commercial time, and then you have to deduct the amount that’s passed.”
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