But chances are your leisure time is finite, and so is the patience of your family, and you might be forced to choose between watching a four-hour Sox-Yankees game or doing something that doesn’t take nearly as long, like writing She Loves You (as Lennon and McCartney did in three hours) or performing a kidney transplant (which can be done in two to three hours).
Yes, you and I are unlikely to save a life—or create an enduring work of art—in lieu of watching a baseball game. But we might just save a marriage. The singular beauty of baseball is that it has no clocks, but the singular deficiency of my house is that it has several, all in view of my wife and children, and those clocks tick louder during Hour Four of a Yankee-Red Sox games. (Ask not for whom the clock ticks: It ticks for thee.)
Which is why I’m grateful for “Sox in 2,” on NESN, the team’s cable channel, which reruns games in two hours, omitting the other two hours of scratching, tugging, dipping, spitting, staring, squinting and “conferring” on the mound as if it were the site of the G-8 Summit.
What becomes of that excised footage? I like to think that somewhere, in a parallel universe, viewers are getting another version of “Sox in 2,” in which the game is reduced to two hours of nothing but the scratching, tugging, dipping, spitting, staring, squinting and “conferring” on the mound. It could be strangely compelling TV, and a happy alternative to “Sox in 4.”