For those folks who want to shorten the length of MLB games and looking of where to place the blame...

Dec 8, 2010
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The #1 issue in the sport is the home plate umpire and oe they call balls and strikes.
The way the game is now, they give ever little inch of the strike zone to the pitcher. Most MLB pitchers (especially here in Pittsburgh) do not evn try to put the ball over the plate. They are constantly trying to get the hitters to chase pitches that are out of the hitting zone for most batters . Add to that, the fact that they stand over the inside part of the plate (instead of behind the middle of it) which allows them to call any outside pitch that is off the plate a strike and you have problem. MLB needs to remember that the game is played with 8 players on the field besides the pitcher, let them play the game as well. People go to MLB games to be entertained and watching players be called out on strikes is not the most exciting answer.
 

Joe the Panther Fan

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The number one issue with the length of games is most certainly not the strike zone that the umpires call. It's all the dawdling that the batters and the pitchers do between pitches. Which hopefully the pitch clock will mostly end next year. Minor league games with the pitch clock this season were almost a half hour shorter than the average game last season without one.
 
Mar 3, 2022
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If the Pirates were the least bit honest and competitive, we would tolerate all these things just fine. Nobody would care if the game was three hours or whatever, if the silly shifts occur, if there are seven pitching changes each game, etc IF the Pirates were winning 95 games, or at least had the potential to do so most seasons. But three plus hours games with all of those same mind numbing things, when losing 100+ of those games every season (and usually getting totally destroyed in those losses), makes a bad thing much worse.
 

perchance

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Dec 11, 2013
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The #1 issue in the sport is the home plate umpire and oe they call balls and strikes.
The way the game is now, they give ever little inch of the strike zone to the pitcher. Most MLB pitchers (especially here in Pittsburgh) do not evn try to put the ball over the plate. They are constantly trying to get the hitters to chase pitches that are out of the hitting zone for most batters . Add to that, the fact that they stand over the inside part of the plate (instead of behind the middle of it) which allows them to call any outside pitch that is off the plate a strike and you have problem. MLB needs to remember that the game is played with 8 players on the field besides the pitcher, let them play the game as well. People go to MLB games to be entertained and watching players be called out on strikes is not the most exciting answer.
 

perchance

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You are absolutely right! How dare the pitchers try to entice the batter to swing at pitches outside of the strike zone. And these cheating pitchers are allowed to pronate the ball to deceive the batter, e.g., curve balls, sliders, sinkers, screwballs, knuckle balls, etc.. this deceit is unfair. A four seam fastball is the only pitch that is righteous and only this pitcher should be permissible.
The only Umpire that I ever saw with a correct strike zone was Randy Marsh in the ninth inning of game 7 in the 1992 NL playoffs: 6 in x 6 in.
 

plcp

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May 29, 2001
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Mlb could learn from the little league. No wasted time adjusting crotches, rearranging shirts, tieing and retieing gloves, kissing neck ornaments, etc. throw the ball, get it back, throw it again.
 
May 21, 2010
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I have lost most interest in MLB but speeding up the time between pitches may have the reverse effect on the length of a game. The result may be more hits/walks and runs which will most likely increase the time of a game. I can't name 10 MLB players right now and do not see the return of BB as our pastime! I do not have the answer to speed the game up but maybe lower the number of innings.
 

recruitsreadtheseboards

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The number one issue with the length of games is most certainly not the strike zone that the umpires call. It's all the dawdling that the batters and the pitchers do between pitches. Which hopefully the pitch clock will mostly end next year. Minor league games with the pitch clock this season were almost a half hour shorter than the average game last season without one.
Again, I can't get over how a Game 7 of the World Series, one that ended 10-9, the Yankees used 5 pitchers. The Pirates used 4. (so 7 pitching changes). Each team had 2 PH's and even a PR, and the time it took to play the game was 2 hours and 36 minutes. Today, that same game would literally take 4 and 1/2 hours.

What is the difference? It has to be all of that staring at each other, stomping around the mound, gyrations and equipment adjustments by the batter, stepping off, stepping out, throwing over, etc......

Oh there was also only 5 walks total. Pitchers did throw strikes and batters put balls in play.
 
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Dointhatrag

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Mlb could learn from the little league. No wasted time adjusting crotches, rearranging shirts, tieing and retieing gloves, kissing neck ornaments, etc. throw the ball, get it back, throw it again.
I was going to say the exact same thing. Watching a lot of the LLWS it was striking how quick the pace of play was between pitches and batters.
 

Duneaux Harm

Sophomore
Nov 30, 2020
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The #1 issue in the sport is the home plate umpire and oe they call balls and strikes.
The way the game is now, they give ever little inch of the strike zone to the pitcher. Most MLB pitchers (especially here in Pittsburgh) do not evn try to put the ball over the plate. They are constantly trying to get the hitters to chase pitches that are out of the hitting zone for most batters . Add to that, the fact that they stand over the inside part of the plate (instead of behind the middle of it) which allows them to call any outside pitch that is off the plate a strike and you have problem. MLB needs to remember that the game is played with 8 players on the field besides the pitcher, let them play the game as well. People go to MLB games to be entertained and watching players be called out on strikes is not the most exciting answer.
I don‘t know about that. The strike zone graphics are very rarely wrong. So 99% of the calls the umps make are absolutely accurate. The Guardians were at the White Sox last night and in the top of the 11th the Sox pitcher was throwing the ball just outside the strike zone. The fans were booing because the umpire called them balls. The replay clearly showed the pitcher was out of the zone. So I think you are dead wrong on the umpires balls and strikes call being an actual issue.

Pretty clear with the new rule changes MLB are clearly pointing to the pitchers and the shifts as big reasons for problems and I would agree.

And honestly I totally disagree with you that a pitcher dueling with a batter isn‘t exciting. The most exciting Pirates moment in the last 29 years was when Johnny Cueto dropped the ball on the mound. Any stadium where it is two outs in the top of the ninth and the count has two strikes is absolutely fantastic. Every fan on their feet and just ready for that final pitch.
 
Dec 20, 2018
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The number one issue with the length of games is most certainly not the strike zone that the umpires call. It's all the dawdling that the batters and the pitchers do between pitches. Which hopefully the pitch clock will mostly end next year. Minor league games with the pitch clock this season were almost a half hour shorter than the average game last season without one.
Imagine an NFL game with no play clock, where the offense comes to the line and the defense shows blitz. The QB changes the play (assume Canada isn’t OC). The defense shifts their front. The QB steps away and looks to the sideline to signal something else in. Defense backs off to show cover-2, QB checks to a run…
 

upj87

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Nov 5, 2003
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Mlb could learn from the little league. No wasted time adjusting crotches, rearranging shirts, tieing and retieing gloves, kissing neck ornaments, etc. throw the ball, get it back, throw it again.
not to mention 6 innings...
 

upj87

Head Coach
Nov 5, 2003
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They lost everyone under 50. The sport is dead. It will be the NHL in 20 years.
what is the NHL? Same fan base as it has always had which outdraws the NBA for butts in the seats..

Went to see the Phillies and Pirates on a smoking hot Sunday afternoon in Philly in August...30k + and none too many senior citizens in attendance...
 

Ray-Ray

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Jun 6, 2003
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The #1 issue in the sport is the home plate umpire and oe they call balls and strikes.
The way the game is now, they give ever little inch of the strike zone to the pitcher. Most MLB pitchers (especially here in Pittsburgh) do not evn try to put the ball over the plate. They are constantly trying to get the hitters to chase pitches that are out of the hitting zone for most batters . Add to that, the fact that they stand over the inside part of the plate (instead of behind the middle of it) which allows them to call any outside pitch that is off the plate a strike and you have problem. MLB needs to remember that the game is played with 8 players on the field besides the pitcher, let them play the game as well. People go to MLB games to be entertained and watching players be called out on strikes is not the most exciting answer.
I would cut games to 6 innings. That would cut down on only needing maybe two relievers. Also, go back to having the pitchers batting. Those typically are a quick strikeout and would move the innings along faster. Also, it may get them more fans if they only had to watch 6 innings of drudgery.
 
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Pitt79

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I went to a AA baseball game Sunday. Pitching was awful but the pitch clock certainly kept things moving.
And make 2 strikes a strikeout, 5 balls a walk and expand the strike zone, to make it almost impossible to get anywhere without swinging the bat, making contact and/or putting the ball in play. Make it so drawing a walk is difficult and not something that analytics likes.
 

Schaef60

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Why does a major league pitcher have to warm up after every inning?that has to add at least 30 minutes to the game.
 
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Zeldas Open Roof

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not to mention 6 innings...
my little man plays baseball and his games are 2+ hours, 6 innings. that is no worse than a 3 1/2 hour MLB game that goes 9 innings..

its bearable mainly because i have a kid on the field and well i may have 6-8 beers in the cooler next to me while i sit far away from every other judgemental parent.
 
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pittdan77

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And make 2 strikes a strikeout, 5 balls a walk and expand the strike zone, to make it almost impossible to get anywhere without swinging the bat, making contact and/or putting the ball in play. Make it so drawing a walk is difficult and not something that analytics likes.
Wouldn't that just make it more desirable for the pitchers to pitch off the plate? There is almost zero incentive to be over the plate with the first pitch or two.
 
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Panther Parrothead

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And make 2 strikes a strikeout, 5 balls a walk and expand the strike zone, to make it almost impossible to get anywhere without swinging the bat, making contact and/or putting the ball in play. Make it so drawing a walk is difficult and not something that analytics likes.
This reminds me of a winter softball tournament that I played in, where it was “One Pitch” - each hitter was given just one pitch where they either swung or took the pitch. If it was a ball, then the batter was awarded a Walk. If they took a strike, they were out.

It put pressure on the pitcher to throw a strike, but it kept the games short, which is very desirable when playing tournament softball in February in Western PA.
 

Joe the Panther Fan

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Why does a major league pitcher have to warm up after every inning?that has to add at least 30 minutes to the game.


Would you rather everyone just stand around and wait until the commercial break is over? Because there is a better chance that you or I is going to be named king of the world than there is that team owners are going to give up all that advertising revenue. And since the lack of that revenue would absolutely cut into the amount of money that they players make, they'd be dead set against it as well.

They basically did all that they are going to do with the between innings stuff. It used to be that the pitcher got seven (if I remember the number correctly) warmup pitches every inning. If the pitcher was at bat or on base when the inning ended (back when that was actually a thing) so it took a lot longer for him to get to the mound to start his warmups, no matter, he still got his seven pitches. Now it's strictly timed. When the time is up, no more pitches. If a guy wants to hurry up and throw more, good for him. If a guy doesn't think he needs to throw and only throws a couple, good for him. When the time is up the game restarts.
 
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Joe the Panther Fan

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Wouldn't that just make it more desirable for the pitchers to pitch off the plate? There is almost zero incentive to be over the plate with the first pitch or two.


That's an example of someone not thinking through the consequences of what they are proposing.
 
Mar 3, 2022
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I think many of y’all consider game length in terms of TV viewers. Most of the people attending, many of whom actually pay some very good coin for the better seats, want to get their money’s worth with a substantial night on the town. They are not home watching the same Bud Light ads in between innings, they are seeing some of the goofy sideshows, like Pierogi Races and the like. They don’t want some wham - bam - thank -you - ma’am hour and a half six inning thing you folks are rhapsodizing about. Now, am I one of these folks? No most certainly I’m not. But I’m not the ones going to them.
 

Joe the Panther Fan

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I have lost most interest in MLB but speeding up the time between pitches may have the reverse effect on the length of a game. The result may be more hits/walks and runs which will most likely increase the time of a game.


They've been doing it all year in the minor leagues, where the pitchers are not nearly as good, and as I said, the average time of the games is around a half hour shorter this year than last year without the clock.
 

pittchagg

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what is the NHL? Same fan base as it has always had which outdraws the NBA for butts in the seats..

Went to see the Phillies and Pirates on a smoking hot Sunday afternoon in Philly in August...30k + and none too many senior citizens in attendance...
Are you suggesting that the NHL outdraws the NBA?
 

Joe the Panther Fan

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I think many of y’all consider game length in terms of TV viewers. Most of the people attending, many of whom actually pay some very good coin for the better seats, want to get their money’s worth with a substantial night on the town. They are not home watching the same Bud Light ads in between innings, they are seeing some of the goofy sideshows, like Pierogi Races and the like. They don’t want some wham - bam - thank -you - ma’am hour and a half six inning thing you folks are rhapsodizing about. Now, am I one of these folks? No most certainly I’m not. But I’m not the ones going to them.


I mostly agree, but the fans in the park also want the pace of the game picked up as well.

If you just look at this board we see the same thing with college football. People complain all the time, whether they actually attended or just watched on television, that the games take too long. That four hour plus game against the Hoopies was a great game, but good god, sitting there in the stands watching the refs huddle about every call and sitting there through replay breaks and the extra long commercial breaks and whatnot just leaves way too much down time.
 
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Joe the Panther Fan

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Are you suggesting that the NHL outdraws the NBA?


It's hard to get a recent comparison because of covid restrictions the last several years, but the last year pre-covid restrictions the average NBA game had around 400 more people in attendance than the average NHL game.

It would be interesting to see how it works out as a percentage of capacity rather than just the raw numbers.
 

PittPharm2002

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Again, I can't get over how a Game 7 of the World Series, one that ended 10-9, the Yankees used 5 pitchers. The Pirates used 4. (so 7 pitching changes). Each team had 2 PH's and even a PR, and the time it took to play the game was 2 hours and 36 minutes. Today, that same game would literally take 4 and 1/2 hours.

What is the difference? It has to be all of that staring at each other, stomping around the mound, gyrations and equipment adjustments by the batter, stepping off, stepping out, throwing over, etc......

Oh there was also only 5 walks total. Pitchers did throw strikes and batters put balls in play.
And tv time outs
 
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I mostly agree, but the fans in the park also want the pace of the game picked up as well.

If you just look at this board we see the same thing with college football. People complain all the time, whether they actually attended or just watched on television, that the games take too long. That four hour plus game against the Hoopies was a great game, but good god, sitting there in the stands watching the refs huddle about every call and sitting there through replay breaks and the extra long commercial breaks and whatnot just leaves way too much down time.
But do they really? Baseball fans who regularly attend seem a bit too leisurely, as Prince (not Bob, but His Royal Badness) might say, to get perturbed by the pace, like I said, there are constant amusements between the innings that amuse and distract the likes of baseball fans. Football, heck yes, the delays from constant huddling and reviews are indeed madness, and those having to wait for them to complete are captive; there’s really no alternative activity, the fans basically have to sit there and stew until the refs finally get their shat together. But also the fanbase of football is more on the impatient, aggressive side; baseball attendees take it in stride.
 
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Joe the Panther Fan

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But do they really? Baseball fans who regularly attend seem a bit too leisurely, as Prince (not Bob, but His Royal Badness) might say, to get perturbed by the pace, like I said, there are constant amusements between the innings that amuse and distract the likes of baseball fans. Football, heck yes, the delays but constant huddling and reviews are indeed madness, and those having to wait for them to complete are captive; there’s really no alternative activity, the fans basically have to sit there and stew until the refs finally get their shat together. But also the fanbase of football is more on the impatient, aggressive side; baseball attendees take it in stride.


Well look at some baseball games, and I'm not talking about blowouts, I talking about relatively close games, that by the time the game gets to the 9th inning a significant portion of the crowd has already gone home. They aren't leaving because they have no problem with the game lasting 3-1/2 hours.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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Why does a major league pitcher have to warm up after every inning?that has to add at least 30 minutes to the game.

It's hard to get a recent comparison because of covid restrictions the last several years, but the last year pre-covid restrictions the average NBA game had around 400 more people in attendance than the average NHL game.

It would be interesting to see how it works out as a percentage of capacity rather than just the raw numbers.
And MLS outdraws both. You cant really use attendance to guage overall fan interest. MLS and NHL have sizeable enough niche fan bases to fill arenas. But in most markets, very few who dont go to games truly care about the team. Pitt football is similar to this. Pitt's attendance really isnt that bad. It looks bad due to stadium size but its really not. But how many diehard local Pitt fans do you know that dont go to games? There's like 47 of those people. Pitt is a niche fanbase like NHL and MLS
 

jivecat

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MLB is still very big but it’s trajectory is fading according to the population demographics in the US. Sad but true.
 

PittPharm2002

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I’m only worried about shortening college football games .
I can not care about about baseball
 

Joe Magarac

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I think many of y’all consider game length in terms of TV viewers. Most of the people attending, many of whom actually pay some very good coin for the better seats, want to get their money’s worth with a substantial night on the town. They are not home watching the same Bud Light ads in between innings, they are seeing some of the goofy sideshows, like Pierogi Races and the like. They don’t want some wham - bam - thank -you - ma’am hour and a half six inning thing you folks are rhapsodizing about. Now, am I one of these folks? No most certainly I’m not. But I’m not the ones going to them.
There are 162 of these snooze fests every season. Each one is just one of a statistically insignificant event. An individual basebore game is not the Super Bowl. If you miss one game there are 161 left.
 
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Dec 8, 2010
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I don‘t know about that. The strike zone graphics are very rarely wrong. So 99% of the calls the umps make are absolutely accurate. The Guardians were at the White Sox last night and in the top of the 11th the Sox pitcher was throwing the ball just outside the strike zone. The fans were booing because the umpire called them balls. The replay clearly showed the pitcher was out of the zone. So I think you are dead wrong on the umpires balls and strikes call being an actual issue.

Pretty clear with the new rule changes MLB are clearly pointing to the pitchers and the shifts as big reasons for problems and I would agree.

And honestly I totally disagree with you that a pitcher dueling with a batter isn‘t exciting. The most exciting Pirates moment in the last 29 years was when Johnny Cueto dropped the ball on the mound. Any stadium where it is two outs in the top of the ninth and the count has two strikes is absolutely fantastic. Every fan on their feet and just ready for that final pitch.
I don't know which games you are watching that have the strike zone graphics that show the umpires are right 99% of the time. I've certainly not seen that in any games that I have watched this year. I'd say that a more realistic number is closer to 65-70% of the time.
The reality of it is, people attend sporting events to be entertained. They want to see "action". Think about it. If a pitcher throws balls that are out of the strike zone and they are being called strikes, they only players doing anything are the pitcher throwing the ball, the catcher catching the pitch and the batter who is standing there. When the ball is hit into play, just about every player on the field is doing something. The umpires are taking the game away from the hitters and giving it to the pitchers.Why throw the ball over the plate when you can pitch it "close" to the strike zone and be given the call.
 

Duneaux Harm

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I don't know which games you are watching that have the strike zone graphics that show the umpires are right 99% of the time. I've certainly not seen that in any games that I have watched this year. I'd say that a more realistic number is closer to 65-70% of the time.
The reality of it is, people attend sporting events to be entertained. They want to see "action". Think about it. If a pitcher throws balls that are out of the strike zone and they are being called strikes, they only players doing anything are the pitcher throwing the ball, the catcher catching the pitch and the batter who is standing there. When the ball is hit into play, just about every player on the field is doing something. The umpires are taking the game away from the hitters and giving it to the pitchers.Why throw the ball over the plate when you can pitch it "close" to the strike zone and be given the call.
Literally every game. It’s amazing that when people have an agenda they see what they want. I watch baseball late night to pass the time. Whatever is on MLB. I have no rooting interest and the strike zone calls are very accurate.