Is America’s pastime, past its time? We, here in Philadelphia have dealt with a very up and down Phillies 2021 Campaign. Frankly speaking, most nights the game is unwatchable. But, is that relegated just for Phillies baseball?
Where They Went Wrong
Rule changes and the foray of Major League Baseball getting involved in social and political matters alienate a portion of their base. the portion that has watched the games to escape the very issues that baseball and the NFL for that matter embrace are turning off the television and are finding other outlets.
For this fan, the art of “analytics” has severely slowed down baseball. A recent Phillies game witnessed two teams combining to use 10 pitchers in a regulation nine innings. Years passed, pitchers such as Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, you pick. We monitored how many complete games your favorite pitcher had.
Fast forward, pitch counts and six innings are the high watermarks. So, the starter goes six then the parade of relievers. Most times do they throw more warm-up pitches than game pitches. The manager repeats the same diatribe regardless of league or team, “it’s a long season, I want to make sure he makes it.” So, a parade from the bullpen to mound to dugout picks up relentlessly.
Other factors are replay. more slowdown. Though suddenly extra innings is speed-up mode with a runner being placed at second base. Baseball can’t have it both ways. Speed it up or slow it down. To me, the reason is clear…$$$.
Baseball is financially supported by corporate advertisers. The longer the game, the more the products are on display. I doubt much revenue is invested in extra innings. It is the same as the NFL and the Super Bowl. How many overtime Super Bowls have you seen?
Those of a certain age will remember Jim Kaat and the previously mentioned Steve Carlton. When they pitched, games under two hours were commonplace. That will never happen again. Just my .02. Is America’s pastime, past its time?