Foster: Why is pace of play in baseball an issue?

By Kyle Foster

Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive

Pace of play in Major League Baseball has been a topic discussed for a few years now — my question is why does it matter?

The one thing that’s beautiful about the game of baseball is that there’s no clock on game like there is in football, basketball, soccer, and hockey.

In 2016 the average time of a game was three hours two minutes. I think that’s a perfect amount of time, but why would a fan want the game to go quicker? Whenever I visit one of Major League Baseball’s ballparks it’s a full on experience every time I go, but there’s only so much to do a ballpark as well.

Rob Manfred the commissioner of the MLB, and the MLB Players Association are moving closer to implementing a pitch clock when there’s nobody on base next season. It wouldn’t be to terribly fair to implement the clock when the pitcher is out of the stretch, since slowing the game down is a good way to keep baserunners close.

September baseball with a pitch clock would actually be very much welcome, since manages have more players on their bench, and in their bullpen. In the Dodgers-Giants game that was restarted at 10:50 p.m. — Bruce Bochy, and Dave Roberts were managing the game like it was an All-Star game — both managers were only letting their pitchers pitch a few innings apiece.

Currently in the majors there’s a clock for in between innings that is two minutes long that keeps the game going. In that time the pitcher throws his warmup pitches, outfielders play catch, and infielders take ground ball from the first baseman.

The thing that has slowed down games the most is replay reviews. These reviews are taking too long, sometimes up to five minutes. The only issue is the right call on the field is important, but is there a way to somehow speed the process up? I don’t think so.

We’re in the era of technology now — and have been for 20 years — so how far away are we from robot umpires? Although no exact timetable has been given, a robot ump has been tried in the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball clubs, which the Vallejo Admirals, and Sonoma Stompers play in. The newly formed Napa Silverados will join in the summer of 2018.

I don’t think the MLB should be worrying about the pace of its games, as much as it should about keeping the game clean. Major League Baseball has some very beautiful ballparks to visit, and there’s so much to do at them. Let’s not worry about the pace of play.



Kyle Foster

Hello I'm Kyle Foster. I'm the the main sportswriter for Napa Sports Association, you can reach me at with story ideas. Follow my Twitter @NapaKyle for game updates!

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