There is a lot of talk, including some major rule changes to make Major League Baseball games shorter. For me, I don’t have a problem with the length of games. I will simply listen to them on the radio if I don’t feel like watching an entire game. I do have thoughts though.
First thing I would do is get rid of 4 balls for an intentional walk: It’s antiquated. It can go. Save 4 pitches for the current pitcher. Put up the sign from the Catcher or Manager and let the batter go to first. Run don’t walk! You are sitting or standing around all game. Get some blood flowing.
One pitching change per inning: I know this one might not go over so well, but seriously. Nothing bogs a game down like multiple pitching changes per inning. This would possibly save managers from themselves. It also might force a pitcher to start working on getting those other batters out, instead of only facing lefties or righties.
Stop the constant switching on defense: This is probably really minor, but when talking about shaving minutes off a game, every second counts right? The players can move around as they see fit, but no mound visit or pitcher stalling to accommodate instruction from the dugout. Players know where to be if playing for a double play or coming in to take away a scoring chance at the plate. Again, this probably isn’t a huge factor in saving real time.
No TV timeouts: None. There are enough timeouts between innings or during pitching changes. Ever watch a hockey game? There are a fraction of commercial timeouts. There already are a bunch of ads throughout the ball parks; MLB is not hurting for money, and neither are the networks. There are 2 commercial time outs every inning. That’s not enough?
Extra innings: I would leave this alone, but that’s not what we are talking about now is it? So in the spirit of this discussion here’s what I would do: I would allow between 1 and 3 extra innings. This is more to keep players fresh during a 162 game season than to keep games short. After they play their extra innings, Both teams are allowed to send 10-12 batters to the plate. They get 1 pitch. If it’s a called strike, they sit down, if it’s a ball, they get first base. If it’s a hit, they get whatever base they can get. Whoever scores the most runs at the end of this “inning” gets a team win. No stats count during this frame. I know, it’s extreme. “It’s not baseball”. The idea is to a) shorten the games and b) keep the players fresh for the post season.
Option 2 would be: each team can send X number of batters to the plate (somewhere between 3 and 10) to attempt hit home runs. Teams would self-pitch. Batters would get 2-3 pitches each. At the end of the frame the team with the most HRs would get a team win. It’s not baseball, but it might be a fun way to decide a game AFTER a number of extra innings is played.
Again, I would leave everything as-is. I don’t have a huge problem with the length of games. I would definitely get rid of the 4-ball intentional walk, and TV timeouts. I’d probably limit the amount of pitching changes, and maybe total extra innings during the regular season.
Like baseball the way it is, or would you make changes? Feel free to leave a comment in the space down below!