DOES FASTER BASEBALL = BETTER BASEBALL?

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BASEBALL IS FASTER WITH PITCH CLOCK, BUT IS THE GAME BETTER?

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]ESPN is reporting that pitch clocks have increased the pace of play and shortened games by an average of 20 minutes.

2021: In 335 games without a pitch clock, the average length of a nine inning game was 2 hours and 59 minutes.

2022: In the first 132 games with the pitch clock, the average game time was 2 hours and 39 minutes.

Fair enough. I am not surprised, are you?

I am not old school. I do not fear change — as long as change improves the game of baseball. So, it begs the question: Will faster games make baseball better? Will the game be more entertaining? Will increased pace of play generate greater interest and draw more fans?


The results of the study made me reflect on an Instagram post I read recently that quoted Theo Epstein. He said:

”When we grew up, you could watch a game and you’d see a ball in play every couple of minutes. And now a fan has to sit there well over four minutes just to see a ball put in play. So when I hear people say, ‘Don’t change the game, leave it exactly the same.’ I totally get where they are coming from. There are elements of the game I don’t ever want to touch, or I get uneasy when people start talking about changing it. But I think I fall into that trap — and maybe many of us do — where we’re focused on the change itself, we’re focused on the rule itself, when we should really be focusing on: What is this going to mean to the action on the field? What are the outcomes? What is the impact of the rule?”

Change is good as long as change improves the outcome. There is a laundry list of potential contributors to the current pace of play. Major League Baseball needs to critically think about what a pitch clock does and doesn’t do for baseball before implementing a change to the game. Let’s not jeopardize the integrity of a 125+ year process for the sake of change.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”7572″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=”https://johnstrubel.com/category/podcast/”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”7583″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=”https://johnstrubel.com/category/about-me/price-of-winning/”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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About the author

John Strubel

Hi. My name is John Strubel. Thanks for visiting my website. I write primarily about my passion: baseball. In addition, I occasionally publish posts and podcasts related to sports media, journalism and technology impacting the industry. You can also connect with me on social media @johnstrubel.

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