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Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Japan Times: Graczyk: Speeding up long, slow games should be a priority

We’re not in Sarkhan anymore!

The March 7 decision by Japanese baseball’s executive committee to drop the 3½-hour time limit on extra-inning games came as welcome news. We have observed the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, the subsequent tsunami and nuclear power plant problems that led to a period of setsuden (power-conservation measures).

In spite of the passing of the two-year mark, however, normalcy has not returned in some places. For example, in my city of Musashino west of Tokyo, the time-and-temperature board in front of Japan Railways Kichijoji Station remains blank.

Also, at a branch of our city office, an escalator leading from the first to second floor of the building is still shut down. Most likely, it has just not occurred to the city officials to turn on the digital board and restart the escalator.

Also, many of the fluorescent lights in the JR train carriages have never been put back.

However, noting the fact 11 of the 12 Central and Pacific League teams played double-figure numbers of tie games last season, and the average length for games is still well over three hours, NPB is making the wise move to scrap the time limit. The 12-inning restriction remains in place.

...Another strange happening often seen in Japanese games but one I have not seen very much in the majors occurs when a guy gets hurt and goes into the clubhouse for examination and treatment.

Of course all care should be given when a man is injured, but all too often it seems his leaving the field is unnecessary. Sometimes the player goes off the diamond, acting as if he is at death’s door, and the plate umpire signals to the P.A. announcer to ask the fans to wait a few minutes while the injured party gets checked out.

Everyone waits 10 or 15 minutes, after which the player comes running out, having apparently made a miraculous recovery. I am not sure what can be done about it, but this is also one of the reasons games are often held up.

Repoz Posted: March 17, 2013 at 10:22 AM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japan, rules

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   1. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4389800)
Yeah, if you're hurt enough that you need to go to the clubhouse to get checked out, you should probably just be subbed for. Unless in Japan they routinely go to the clubhouse for what in the US would be a trainer coming out onto the field to check out the player. In which case they should probably not go to the clubhouse.

I think the real solution to long games is requiring pitchers to work more quickly. I mean, the real real solution is to reduce the length of commercial breaks, but that just ain't gonna happen.
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4389805)
baseball could enforce the rules already on the books and that would help greatly. that and prohibiting batters stepping out of the box during an at bat.

but that would be too difficult i guess
   3. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4389809)
Harveys,

Are those major issues in Japanese baseball?
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4389812)
baseball could enforce the rules already on the books and that would help greatly. that and prohibiting batters stepping out of the box during an at bat.

but that would be too difficult i guess


Way too difficult. MLB could face a hundred lawsuits for various constitutional violations.
   5. Tripon Posted: March 17, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4389914)
baseball could enforce the rules already on the books and that would help greatly. that and prohibiting batters stepping out of the box during an at bat.

but that would be too difficult i guess

Way too difficult. MLB could face a hundred lawsuits for various constitutional violations.


You'll have to stop catchers from calling unofficial timeouts as well, they pretty much have impunity to do it as will.

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