Saturday, May 21, 2016

On the Rush To Make Baseball Games As Fast As Possible

Let us follow the logic here:




  1. Owners want more fans.
  2. Fans, by and large, want more offense, because home runs are cool and so are close plays at the plate.
  3. More offense means more batters.
  4. More batters means more pitches, which take longer.
  5. More pitches means more pitching changes, as guys wear out/get clobbered/etc., which takes longer than just leaving one guy out there to get his bell rung.
  6. Therefore, the thing MLB wants (more offense, but with none of that messy PED stuff) and the thing MLB wants (shorter games) are linked and yet in complete opposition to one another.
  7. Side note: The point of playing is winning.
  8. Teams that are more patient often win more.
  9. Being more patient means taking more pitches, which takes longer. It also means tiring out good pitchers to get to weaker ones, which means pitching changes, which take longer.
  10. So the point of the game is winning, except there's a perfectly valid, proven tactic for winning that runs counter to baseball's stated intention. 

Now, I'm all for fewer moments when batters step out of the box to contemplate the infinite majesty of the universe for five minutes after each pitch, and I'm all for fewer moments when pitchers take the time to try to get their Super Saiyan levels about 9000 before each delivery. 

But.

The thing baseball wants leads to the thing baseball doesn't want. The thing you're supposed to do on the field - win - is optimized by doing the thing baseball doesn't want. 

Quite the dilemma, isn't it.
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