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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Major League baseball tedium

     Like the old saying goes "watching a Major League baseball game is like watching paint dry."  The amount of actual action in an average game is less than 18 minutes of a 3 hour game.  Is it any wonder that NFL Football has overtaken baseball in fan appeal?  One of the worst parts of a baseball game is watching a batter step out of the batters box to adjust the Velcro on his batting gloves.  Watching Adam Jones do this after every pitch is one of the worse offenders.  When I played baseball in high school we rarely stepped out of the batters box but of course this was before batters started wearing gloves.
     Pitchers holding runners on first base is also boring to fans.  Maybe there should be a limit of 2 throw overs for each runner.  Watching 5, 6, or 7 throw overs is ridiculous except to maybe tire out the runner.   This year we have a new interruption with the video reviews of close plays.  This has caused managers to leave the dugout to dispute the call just to give their video reviewer time to determine if they want to make an appeal of the call.
     Finally changing multiple relief pitchers in an inning is a real time killer.  You often see managers bring in a relief pitcher for just one batter.  Watching 3 or 4 different pitchers in an inning often has me turning off the TV and going to bed.  Remember when there were just 2 types of pitchers?  Starting pitchers and a single reliever?  Elroy Face for the old Pittsburgh Pirates epitomized the old relief pitcher one year where he won 18 games all as a reliever.   Today you have a long reliever, a short reliever, a set up reliever and a closer.  It is very unusual for a starter to pitch a compete game.  Pitching a complete game disappeared back in the time of Warren Spahn in the 1960's. Now the only time you see this is when the pitcher is going for a shut out or a no hitter.  Cy Young's record of 749 complete games is one of those records that never will be broken.
     Baseball has always taken pride in being one of the few games not controlled by a clock.  Maybe that is something that has become one of its liabilities.  Games of 2 to 2 and a half hours would be more enjoyable to watch.

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