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Monday, October 28, 2019

The Late Show: World Series games taking almost 4 hours

WASHINGTON (AP) — Snacking on chicken at a picnic table near section 402, decked out in his curly W cap and pullover, Bob Batwinis hoped to see a lot at Game 4 of the World Series.

Exciting plays.

A Washington win.

And maybe, just maybe, on this evening at Nationals Park, the final out sometime before midnight.

It’s a sign of something when the quick game takes around 3 hours and 19 minutes- then again, as a West Coast resident, certain aspects of this issue are moot to me….

 

QLE Posted: October 28, 2019 at 01:10 AM | 75 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pace of play, world series

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   1. Belfry Bob Posted: October 28, 2019 at 08:05 AM (#5895338)
Joe Ross in particular drove me nuts last night, but he's been far from the only offender. THROW THE $%*$# BALL!!!

I don't understand how MLB thinks it's ok to have their showcase event drag on endlessly like this. If I didn't have a dog in the hunt as an Astros enthusiast, I sincerely doubt I'd watch the Series - struggling to stay awake as sporting events move past 11:30 PM or so is just not that appealing to me...I'll just read about it in the morning.
   2. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: October 28, 2019 at 08:51 AM (#5895343)
Last night was the first game I managed to stay awake to the end, and I’m a Nationals fan. The playoffs are just so inaccessible to east coast fans who have to get up in the morning.
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 28, 2019 at 08:52 AM (#5895344)
It's as if they think the entire TV audience consists of people who don't have anything to do the next morning, or who live in the two westernmost time zones. Start the goddam games at 7:00 like they do in the regular season, and the problem of 4 hour games wouldn't be that much of a problem.
   4. bunyon Posted: October 28, 2019 at 09:34 AM (#5895353)
Throw the ball and stop granting time out.

During the hours long downtimes last night, I continued a hobby I share with many of you: imagining ways to speed the game.

I forget who was up - I want to say Springer - a pitch got away from Gomes. With no one on base, they watched the ball bound away and then the home plate umpire, still deciding whether or not it was a ball or strike, lugubriously handed a new ball to Gomes.

Here is my idea: the batter can't leave the box, for any reason. If he leaves the box, he can be tagged out. Also, if the ball gets away from the catcher, the batter can run. No waiting for a dropped third strike, the batter can run anytime he wants.

And, of course, a clock on the pitcher that is enforced. Failure to deliver a pitch within 12 seconds of receiving the ball counts as TWO balls.

Move this #### along.


/old man sleep rant
   5. spycake Posted: October 28, 2019 at 10:26 AM (#5895383)
Also, if the ball gets away from the catcher, the batter can run. No waiting for a dropped third strike, the batter can run anytime he wants.


Stealing first base? I worry that could just put more runners on base, which will slow the game down further.

I think if we just enforce the pitch clock, and not grant time, everything else would just fall into place.
   6. JL72 Posted: October 28, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5895386)
Not to dismiss the other reasons, but last night, one of the announcers noted that there had already been 63 full counts in the World Series (I think this was mentioned in the first or second inning). Add to that the number of foul balls with two strikes, and this another reason for the length of the game.
   7. bunyon Posted: October 28, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5895388)
Stealing first base? I worry that could just put more runners on base, which will slow the game down further.

I think if we just enforce the pitch clock, and not grant time, everything else would just fall into place.


Granted it wasn't a serious proposal but the idea is that as soon as you step to the plate, you're on base. So, if you leave the box, you're off base and could be tagged out. What can I say, I had a lot of time to kill.


@6: Yeah, this is affects game length but it also affects starting pitcher usage. Cole pitched really well last night. Maybe even great. And he was at 110 pitches in 7 innings.

The only way I see to change that is to call a bigger zone. The downside is if batters maintain their current strategy, you get more strikeouts. On the other hand, hopefully they'd adjust by swinging at harder to hit pitches - contact become more important and you get more balls in play.

As is, I'd like them swinging more but being more selective is the obviously better strategy.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 28, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5895393)
Also, if the ball gets away from the catcher, the batter can run. No waiting for a dropped third strike, the batter can run anytime he wants.
They started doing exactly this in the Atlantic League this year. In at least one instance, a batter refused to run to first and was roundly applauded by the other players, because...reasons?
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 28, 2019 at 10:48 AM (#5895394)
Not to dismiss the other reasons, but last night, one of the announcers noted that there had already been 63 full counts in the World Series (I think this was mentioned in the first or second inning). Add to that the number of foul balls with two strikes, and this another reason for the length of the game.

This and all of the other reasons cited for 4 hour games are spot on, but if you want to avoid midnight endings, it'd be a hundred times easier just to start the games at 7:00.
   10. JJ1986 Posted: October 28, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5895396)
This and all of the other reasons cited for 4 hour games are spot on, but if you want to avoid midnight endings, it'd be a hundred times easier just to start the games at 7:00.
What about the games in Houston?
   11. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: October 28, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5895406)
What about the games in Houston?


I get why maybe you have to keep the tuesday/wednesday games at 8 so everybody at least gets a shot, but for god's sake Saturday Sunday there is no excuse for starting that late. An 8:08 sunday first pitch is a travesty.

My sons have been super excited for this and they haven't been able to watch a game past the fifth. If baseball doesn't want the sport to die it absolutely has got to do something about this.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: October 28, 2019 at 11:29 AM (#5895411)
Is it all still dictating by the cost of ads on primetime television? That must be falling apart, right?
   13. Walt Davis Posted: October 28, 2019 at 08:43 PM (#5895567)
one of the announcers noted that there had already been 63 full counts in the World Series (I think this was mentioned in the first or second inning). Add to that the number of foul balls with two strikes, and this another reason for the length of the game.

For the season, it was about 3.92 pitches/PA and about 38.5 PA per team-game (or about 77 per game).

For the WS so far, it's 4.00 pitches/PA and 79.4 PA per game. So that's about 3 extra pitches due to increase p/pa and about 10 due to extra PA per game ... 13 pitches. If they're going to allow one minute per pitch then that does add substantial time. But given the small tick up in p/pa, it's not clear the issue is full counts and foul balls. And the extra PA per game is probably mostly due to the home team losing every game so always batting in the bottom of the 9th.

Two team-games stand out. In game 1, the Nats threw 186 pitches to 42 batters, nearly 4.5 each; in game 3, the Astros threw 183 pitches to 40 batters, just over 4.5 each. But in both those games, the other side was hacking more (or pitching more efficiently). For total pitches, games 2 (341 for 86) and 4 (335 for 82) had the most but no single game has been crazy in a p/pa sense.

47 runs in 5 games is basically spot on the ML average.
   14. puck Posted: October 28, 2019 at 09:25 PM (#5895575)
They should have a chess clock, a total amount of time for all pitches. If the starter is pokey, the relievers will really have to hustle.
   15. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 28, 2019 at 09:38 PM (#5895581)
From what I seen this year, it's mostly the pitchers just taking too much time. There seems to a lot times where the batsman is just standing there waiting in a half stance, then ends up calling for time because the pitcher has taken like 30 seconds doing whatever. I don't very often see a pitcher on the rubber ready to throw whilst the batsman is not in the box.
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: October 28, 2019 at 09:45 PM (#5895584)
the NFL has a new tradition being celebrated in the past couple of years - and on display tonight.

a DB for the 0-6 Dolphins gets an INT at his own 20 against the 2-5 Steelers and their backup QB, then jogs 80 yards plus end zone long after the whistle and finds a Dolphins fan (wtf) in the front row of the stands to mostly miss a high-five with. bonus points for the play being overturned minutes later because part of his right pinky toenail grazed the sideline. well, at least he got his jogging in.

Steelers, down 14-3 at home just before the half against the winless Dolphins, get an INT at midfield that bounced off a helmet. yep, this other guy who also will be watching the playoffs on TV runs all the way to the end zone along with some teammates so they can - and I swear I am not making this up - pretend-pose for a team photo of their glory (at times the real photogs get in on the action).

the NFL's defense would be that it takes an eternity to review turnovers anyway so why not - which is true, but that's a crime of a different sort.
:)
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 28, 2019 at 09:49 PM (#5895586)
If they're going to allow one minute per pitch then that
...is the problem right there.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: October 28, 2019 at 10:20 PM (#5895592)
don't see the NFL thread, but this one clearly is curmudgeon-friendly - so....

MIA 3rd and 10 from their own 44-yard line. long pass is not going to work out, so the PIT defender easily bats it down to set up a punt.

I'm just kidding. of course he caught the ball as he was falling down at his own 3-yard line.

the real shock was from the MNF announcer - who after acting all excited, hints that the INT "almost acts like a punt."

ooh, so close. this one "acts like a GREAT punt" - 53 yards, no return, to the 3? yeah, that would be great.

of course, the other guy in the booth - his name is Booger - has to defend the catch because "the defense feels better because they got the turnover." uh huh

so PIT loses some field position - quite possibly 15 yards on a punt touchback, for instance - but only old men who wave their fists at the cloud are trying to (ironically) improve "Win Probability" stats. (for relative youngsters who might think "it's too hard to think in the moment about batting the ball down" - well, watch replays of some 1970s NFL games and you'll find out differently. was just standard practice then.)

also, my lawn is private property so....
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 28, 2019 at 10:44 PM (#5895594)
This and all of the other reasons cited for 4 hour games are spot on, but if you want to avoid midnight endings, it'd be a hundred times easier just to start the games at 7:00.

What about the games in Houston?


I'd start all the games at 7:00 Eastern Time, which would mean 6:00 in Houston. DS and LCS games often start in the late afternoon in all 4 time zones without killing anyone or hurting attendance, but here's the main point: It's more important for everyone to have a reasonable shot at seeing the final innings of a game than it is for everyone to see the first few innings.** And until MLB starts changing the way the game is played today, with no effective pitch clock, extended postseason commercial breaks, and anywhere from 2 to 8 pitchers per side a game, the only way you'll ever consistently end the games at a semi-reasonable hour for 47% of the country is to start the games at 7:00. There's always going to be a tradeoff, but not everyone is so fortunate as many of us are as to be able to either sleep in on weekdays or keep getting by on little amounts of sleep. I'm 75 and I can easily live with the post-midnight finishes of close and exciting games, but then I also don't ever have to get up early for work or school.

** Yes, I know many games are effectively decided in the first few innings, but how many great World Series memories are made up of games like that, as compared to memories of games with memorable finishes?
   20. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 28, 2019 at 10:54 PM (#5895595)
Play the first 3-4 innings during the day. Charge a separate admission. Everyone leaves, nice dinner, everyone comes back at 8 for the rest of the game. Win-win.
   21. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 28, 2019 at 11:02 PM (#5895597)
Or make all postseason games 7 innings. Makes complete games more likely, concentrates the action, and nobody misses the last Metro train. Win-win-win.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: October 28, 2019 at 11:47 PM (#5895601)
It's more important for everyone to have a reasonable shot at seeing the final innings of a game than it is for everyone to see the first few innings.**

Says the man who didn't just pay millions for a national ad spot seen by nearly everybody who watches the game because it was aired early in the game at a reasonable time slot in all zones ... as opposed to hoping that it's a close game when the west coast audience gets home so they'll tune in for the 7th.

I'd imagine this WS is gonna do pretty badly in the ratings, at least by the standards of 6-7 game series. The only truly close game was G1. After the Nats 2 wins in Houston, it looked like it could be over in 4-5 which never helps. At least now the series is close again but after 3 not very exciting games (19-3 run differential, snooze).

But c'mon, when do you folks usually go to bed? G1 finished at 10 to midnight. G2 finished at 10 after midnight but was really over after the top of the 7th. G3 was also 10 after and I suppose gave enough reason to stay up. G4 was over 5 minutes before but was finished in the top 7th and G5 was over before 11:30 (or top 8 if you needed some Zs). You really have trouble staying up until midnight? (Yes, I'm sure some of you have to get up at 5 am, etc. Your life sucks all the time and nobody caters to your messed-up hours so why should MLB?)

I know it's hard to believe, but back in the days when your parents and grandparents were still conceiving children, many of them were staying up until 12:30 am on a fairly regular basis watching Carson. For you jazz freaks out there, give a listen sometime to Ellington Fargo 1940. Recorded on Nov 7 which was a Thursday. The radio announcer reminds the listeners they can still come down to the ballroom which is open until 1 am. In Fargo ND ... on a Thursday ... in 1940 ... and you pathetic wimps can't stay awake until midnight.
   23. manchestermets Posted: October 29, 2019 at 05:27 AM (#5895608)
Stealing first base? I worry that could just put more runners on base, which will slow the game down further.


That's conflating the pace of game vs length of game issue though. If a game takes longer because more baseball things are happening, fine (although it probably won't be a classic) but if the game takes longer because the pitcher spends 45 seconds between each pitch staring towards the plate, not fine.

Says the man who didn't just pay millions for a national ad spot


I don't give a damn about the advertisers. Their interests do not align with my interests. I (and other fans, presumably) am going to advocate for my interests, not theirs.

nobody caters to your messed-up hours so why should MLB?


Because it's in their interest for us to consume their product. If they make it less appealing, we're less likely to.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: October 29, 2019 at 08:37 AM (#5895621)
But c'mon, when do you folks usually go to bed?


10:30-11pm. I try to get 8 hours of sleep, and I need to be up by 7am at the latest to get the damn wiener kids off to school.

I don't mind staying up late to watch important games or events, but there are so many playoff games.

I would gladly stay awake until 1-2am to watch the occasional legendary extra-inning game (or to attend a Duke Ellington concert), but unfortunately we don't get advanced notice (and Duke Ellington is long dead).

I know it's hard to believe, but back in the days when your parents and grandparents were still conceiving children, many of them were staying up until 12:30 am on a fairly regular basis watching Carson.


School used to start later, for one thing.

But I was curious about this subject so googled it. Most people appear to believe that Americans get less sleep these days, not more. This review suggests that total sleep has remained more or less steady over the past 50 years and potentially even from time immemorial, although patterns have changed, and the goal of a single 8-hour block of uninterrupted sleep is fairly modern. It also notes that "it is beyond dispute that disrupted and inadequate sleep are highly prevalent and associated with significant risks."
   25. Greg Pope Posted: October 29, 2019 at 09:02 AM (#5895623)
get the damn wiener kids off to school.

I'm not sure what this means, but I'm curious.
   26. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: October 29, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5895624)
I'm not sure what this means, but I'm curious.


I assume that he's referencing this.
   27. Rusty Priske Posted: October 29, 2019 at 09:35 AM (#5895628)
"Make all games start at 7:00 eastern time, because it is all about me!"

As someone who used to live on the west coast and now lives in EST, I am constantly incensed by people who think it is perfectly okay for other people to have to miss the first third of every game, just so you can avoid staying up a little late.

(I agree, however, that it would make sense for weekend games to start a little earlier.)

Also, I find it odd that people complain that World Series games are too long. It is the WORLD SERIES. OF COURSE THEY ARE GOING TO BE LONG.

(Though I AM looking forward to the new pitcher usage rules. Extra commercial breaks are the worst. Now, for them to make some workable rules for starters to end this 'opener' nonsense. How about 'you can't remove a starter that hasn't given up a run'?)
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 29, 2019 at 10:42 AM (#5895650)
"Make all games start at 7:00 eastern time, because it is all about me!"

As someone who used to live on the west coast and now lives in EST, I am constantly incensed by people who think it is perfectly okay for other people to have to miss the first third of every game, just so you can avoid staying up a little late.

I'm not sure who you're replying to, since though I wrote the first part of that part you "quoted", the last part was purely an invention, since what I actually wrote was this:
There's always going to be a tradeoff, but not everyone is so fortunate as many of us are as to be able to either sleep in on weekdays or keep getting by on little amounts of sleep. I'm 75 and I can easily live with the post-midnight finishes of close and exciting games, but then I also don't ever have to get up early for work or school.

My point wasn't about "me" at all. It was about those who aren't so fortunate as to be able to sleep in on weekdays or not have to meet a school bus at 7:00 in the morning. What I think you're really trying to say is that it should be all about you and your convenience, and not people like that.

P.S. If you're like me, you liked to watch baseball at an early age. How many nights in a row would your parents have let you stay up to well after 11:00, going on midnight, to watch a baseball game, with school the next day?

   29. spycake Posted: October 29, 2019 at 10:48 AM (#5895653)
That's conflating the pace of game vs length of game issue though. If a game takes longer because more baseball things are happening, fine (although it probably won't be a classic) but if the game takes longer because the pitcher spends 45 seconds between each pitch staring towards the plate, not fine.


True, although the pitcher-batter matchup slows even further with men on base, even if the runner isn't trying to steal. But that's beside the point -- enforce a pitch clock, don't grant time, and we don't have to change any rules to notably improve both the pace and length of the game.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: October 29, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5895657)
Speaking strictly in terms of making the game available to most fans, rather than MLB's short-term finances, then an earlier start does make sense because of DVR. The West Coast fan can DVR the first 90 minutes, start the game when he arrives home and catch up in short order (sadly, probably by the top of the third).

That doesn't work as well for the East Coast fan. Even if he wakes up 45 minutes early to watch the remainder of the game, there's no guarantee he'll catch the end of the game given the undetermined length of a baseball game (particularly with the nature of extra innings). Sure, he could wake up even earlier, but that kind of defeats the purpose.
   31. spycake Posted: October 29, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5895660)
Also, I find it odd that people complain that World Series games are too long. It is the WORLD SERIES. OF COURSE THEY ARE GOING TO BE LONG.


I don't mind World Series games being longer than regular season games. But the regular season baseline time is out of whack, so even World Series games are longer (and slower) than they need to be.
   32. bunyon Posted: October 29, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5895671)
There is no solution other than faster pace of play. For a four hour game, either it starts with much of the country still at work or it ends after most people - and essentially every kid - has gone to bed.
   33. bunyon Posted: October 29, 2019 at 11:52 AM (#5895672)
Game 6 and 7 should be on Friday and Saturday and start at 6pm eastern time. Those should be like the super bowl. Especially game 7.
   34. PreservedFish Posted: October 29, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5895674)
My parents certainly did let me stay up late for special games, and I'd let my kids stay up late too, except they don't want sports really, because I'm a typical modern liberal parent that believes screens are evil even though I was raised on like 8 hours of screens per day and I spend every waking second of my life staring at a screen.
   35. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5895677)
Game 6 and 7 should be on Friday and Saturday and start at 6pm eastern time. Those should be like the super bowl. Especially game 7.

The NFL gets TV in so many ways that MLB doesn't. If MLB ran the Super Bowl we'd be lucky to see the kickoff before 8:30.

From 1969 through 1976, and again from 1991 through 2006, the World Series began on a Saturday. Before 1969 it began on a Wednesday, and since 2009 it began on Wednesday up through 2013, and on Tuesday since then. I guess the logic for starting on a Tuesday is that unless there's a sweep you're guaranteed three weekend games, whereas if you begin on a Saturday you're only guaranteed two.
   36. PreservedFish Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5895682)
The Super Bowl is like Thanksgiving dinner - it's the only important event of the day, you throw out all habits and schedules to accommodate it.
   37. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5895683)
My daughter’s bus comes at 7 eastern time. I usually go to bed around 9:30 or 10, which is maybe the fourth inning. It just doesn’t work, and unless they adjust school start times, it can’t work.
   38. pikepredator Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5895684)
My kids catch the bus at 6:50 am (there are already a dozen-plus kids on the bus when it stops at our house, so it's not like we're the first stop out in east nowhere), which means I have to be up by 6 to get the kids up, fed, and on the bus. No way can we all stay up until midnight (repeatedly!) and expect to be functioning human beings the next day.

I kind of resent myself for not watching the world series . . . but it's not worth the trade-off *unless* my team is in it, in which case I'll stay up until 3:30 for an 18-inning tilt.

So, "all about me" actually means "all about all the people in the eastern time zone who have young kids who ride a school bus, plus all the people who have jobs that might start before 8am . . ." And if MLB doesn't care about that demographic, I hope they are content with my 80-year old parents falling asleep in front of the tube while ads play during mid-inning pitching changes.

Throw. The. Damn. Ball.
Stay. In. The. Box.
   39. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:30 PM (#5895690)
By the way, the trend toward starting school at ever more ridiculously early hours, in spite of all the research piling up that kids (and especially teens) don't learn well early in the morning and don't get enough sleep, is just unconscionable.
   40. bunyon Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5895697)
Game 7, if treated right, would be like the Super Bowl. Not as big but for fans, it would be. Have it on a Saturday afternoon and it would compete with college football.

Having it near midnight on a Wednesday guarantees hardly anyone watches.
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 29, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5895700)
The Super Bowl is like Thanksgiving dinner - it's the only important event of the day, you throw out all habits and schedules to accommodate it

And believe it or not, the World Series was once like that, until several zillion things came along to knock it off its perch.
   42. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 29, 2019 at 01:19 PM (#5895703)
Game 7, if treated right, would be like the Super Bowl. Not as big but for fans, it would be. Have it on a Saturday afternoon and it would compete with college football.

I like that idea immensely, but from the marketers' POV it means not having any Sunday games, with no guarantee that there'd even be a game 7. The only way around that would be to revert to the pre-1957 schedule of no off days, and begin the Series on a Sunday. Which incidentally would give an enormous break to the team with the greater rotation depth and perhaps cause perennially contending teams to invest more in starting pitchers.
   43. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 29, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5895710)
By the way, the trend toward starting school at ever more ridiculously early hours,


Is this still the trend? Many of our districts (IN) are going the other way, pushing later, particularly middle and HS. Of course, that's creating other consequences for people who have to be at work by 8am or whatever. My wife is usually at work by 5:30- 6:30 am, so this is a Dad's problem at my house. I think of every consequential postseason baseball game during our marriage and she's been asleep for the conclusion of every single one of them. I might get the 'who won?' as I stumble to bed.
   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 29, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5895712)
I'd start all the games at 7:00 Eastern Time . . .
Inconveniencing the locals because some folks don’t want to stay up late for a few games a year is the height of arrogance - barely a step removed from saying all playoff games must be played in the Eastern Time Zone, or that all franchises must be located in the Eastern Time Zone. Home team fans of west coast teams deserve the same scheduling consideration that those in the east receive.
   45. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: October 29, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5895715)
Starting all the games at 7:00 Eastern Time is at least better than starting all the games at 8:00 Eastern Time when the sun went down at 6:00 Eastern Time.
   46. Jack Sommers Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5895718)
It's hard to get together with friends and/or family at a bar or someone else's house to watch the game if you plan to consume any adult beverages.

4 hours is just too long to hang out in a bar, and you definitely have arrange transportation home either way. In some parts of the country it's not an issue. You either take the subway, or there are more options to get home safe. But in a place like Maricopa county for example, people are so spread out you are looking at between 25-50 miles one way in an Uber or Lyft sometimes.

It's just too much time and money

   47. Rusty Priske Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5895719)
My 'quote' was an amalgam of what everyone who claims that games should start earlier is saying. You are saying that people who live in the west do not matter.

And I currently live in the east, so it isn't about ME being selfish. It is about recognizing that fans in the west still count. a 7:00 EST start time is 4pm in the west. That is incredibly unreasonable. As it is they are starting at 5, which is still too early, but it is a compromise - something that people who say 8 is too late seem unable to do.

And, honestly, if you can't stay up until midnight during the world series, that is on you.

And yes, I was allowed to stay up for games like that when I was young (back in the dark ages). It was a special occasion.
   48. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5895722)
You are saying that people who live in the west do not matter.

You are saying that it is more important for West coast residents to see the first few innings than for East cost residents to see the actual end of the game.

And, honestly, if you can't get out of work early during the world series, that is on you.

   49. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5895723)
I always get the least amount of sleep in October, combination of postseason baseball, college football PAC 12 after dark and other stuff. I don't mind it (Eastern time resident). I admit I'd like a 30 minute creep up in start time, but would rather force the pitchers to pitch the ####### ball.
   50. bunyon Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:19 PM (#5895725)
It's hard to get together with friends and/or family at a bar or someone else's house to watch the game if you plan to consume any adult beverages.

4 hours is just too long to hang out in a bar, and you definitely have arrange transportation home either way. In some parts of the country it's not an issue. You either take the subway, or there are more options to get home safe. But in a place like Maricopa county for example, people are so spread out you are looking at between 25-50 miles one way in an Uber or Lyft sometimes.

It's just too much time and money


People routinely do this for the Super Bowl, which is about four hours what with the 10 hour halftime show.

If Game 7 were on Saturday night and started at 6, it would be a huge event. It wouldn't be as huge as the Super Bowl because the NFL is bigger than MLB and games 7 don't happen every year so you can't plan for it. But it would be a big, big deal for people who even casually follow the game. Game 7 now is on a Wednesday and ends well after most kids' bedtimes*.

Yeah, you give up Sundays but game 5 of the World Series loses to the NFL anyway.


* Rusty says: And, honestly, if you can't stay up until midnight during the world series, that is on you.

Sure. Every choice is on you (except for children and then the choice is on their parents). The point is, people are pretty much choosing not to stay up. Is that good for MLB?


As stated above, if the game is 4 hours, someone either misses the beginning or the end. MLB would be well advised to get the game as close to 3 hours as possible for exactly this reason.
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5895727)
You are saying that it is more important for West coast residents to see the first few innings than for East cost residents to see the actual end of the game.

Right, that's the big thing. If I can tune in in the 3rd or even 4th, I'm going to watch 5 or 6 innings if it's a good game. If I know I'm going to have to turn it off in the 5th inning, I'm not going to both watching at all.
   52. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5895733)
Unless my memory is lying to me even more convincingly than usual, I was watching at home in my bedroom when Carlton Fisk hit the Game 6 home run. That would've been a few minutes after midnight Central time, & it was a school night (I was in 11th grade) -- pretty unusual for me, I'm sure.

These days, of course, such a contest would probably last, what, at least another 2 hours. (At 12 innings, it clocked in at 4:01 even then.)
   53. bunyon Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5895734)
In terms of watching the game, the DVR makes it easy for the west coasters to deal with an earlier start. Of course, that's a kick in the sack to the advertisers and MLB can't use it as an argument to move the time.
   54. Karl from NY Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:46 PM (#5895736)
You guys know Fox picks the timing, right? The 8 pm Eastern Sunday start is necessary so the 4:25 pm NFL games won't run into it.

It might conceivably go earlier on other days, but they choose to sacrifice the small part of Eastern sleepyheads to get all of the West coast closer to primetime, a completely rational tradeoff.

The whole WS schedule is set to work around the NFL as much as possible. It begins on a Tuesday, so that Thursday and Monday are the travel days, the days of primetime NFL games. And then games 6 and 7 go midweek to steer clear of all football.

Fox doesn't care about maximizing baseball, it cares about maximizing viewership of baseball *plus* football.
   55. bunyon Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5895737)
Karl, yes, I'm aware. Like most of our discussion here, we all know no one is going to act on it.
   56. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5895743)
You guys know Fox picks the timing, right?

So you have inside knowledge that FOX has complete control of game times? You've seen the contract that explicitly states this?
   57. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 29, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5895780)
My 'quote' was an amalgam of what everyone who claims that games should start earlier is saying.

IOW what you actually wrote was half truth and half fiction. Glad we can at least agree on that.

You are saying that people who live in the west do not matter.

I'm saying there are tradeoffs, and that maximizing the number of people who are able to watch the end of the game is more important than maximizing the number of people who can watch the first few innings.

47.1% of the country lives in the Eastern time zone. Only 16.6% live in the Pacific time zone. If you want to take it further, the two easternmost zones have a combined 76.1% of the U.S. population. Greater good for the greater number should be the rule, especially when neither team is from the western 23.9% of the country.

What you're saying is that people in the East should just suck it up for the benefit of a relatively small segment of the population, regardless of their age or work schedules, and regardless of the fact that they far outnumber those living in the West. I'm not seeing much merit in that from any angle.
   58. shoelesjoe Posted: October 29, 2019 at 05:20 PM (#5895785)
When I was a kid every World Series game was played in the afternoon, even in the middle of the week. By the time I got home on school days the game was over, and I wouldn’t find out who won until the sports report came on the local news around 6:20 PM. Same for a lot of adults who worked normal business hours. Whatever problems people might have these days with games running past midnight they at least have the option of watching the games if they want to. It may make for some hard choices (sleep or watch what may be the last baseball games you’ll see for five months), but at least the choice is there.
   59. Greg Pope Posted: October 29, 2019 at 05:42 PM (#5895788)
What you're saying is that people in the East should just suck it up for the benefit of a relatively small segment of the population, regardless of their age or work schedules, and regardless of the fact that they far outnumber those living in the West. I'm not seeing much merit in that from any angle.

And you have to add to that the fact that:

A) DVRs exist
B) There are other ways to consume the game (listen to the radio in the car, watch it on your phone on the train)
C) The end of the game is more important than the beginning
   60. JAHV Posted: October 29, 2019 at 05:57 PM (#5895791)
By the way, the trend toward starting school at ever more ridiculously early hours, in spite of all the research piling up that kids (and especially teens) don't learn well early in the morning and don't get enough sleep, is just unconscionable.


California just passed a law that both halts the creep of start times and actually pushes it back for most schools. High Schools will be required to start no earlier than 8:30 am. Honestly, I don't think this goes far enough. I just read a book by a sleep scientist named Matthew Walker who talked about how teenagers not only need more sleep, there is a weird shift in their circadian rhythm that moves their physiological desire to sleep back to later at night. So during these incredibly important years, kids are being forced to either forego sleep or try to sleep against their bodies' natural inclinations in order to meet school schedules.

He also talked in his book about how humans evolved so that adults have different circadian rhythms - his contention is that we are hardwired to be morning people or night people. This probably happened back when societies were forming in order to leave the least possible time in the middle of the night where everyone would be sleeping. But we pay for it now when we have standard 8 am start times for work. This kills me, a night owl, since I have a very difficult time getting to sleep before midnight. I'm fine on seven hours of sleep, but if I ever have to get up earlier to work out or to attend a morning meeting, it's a pain. And according to Walker, there are very serious long-term health issues with getting less than eight hours a sleep per night.

It does work well for staying up to watch the World Series, though.
   61. JAHV Posted: October 29, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5895793)
You are saying that it is more important for West coast residents to see the first few innings than for East cost residents to see the actual end of the game.

And, honestly, if you can't get out of work early during the world series, that is on you.


It's just as easy, and more reasonable, in my opinion, to say that if you can't forego a couple hours of sleep (and yes, I realize I just posted about how important eight hours of sleep per night is, but I almost never get it and will often forego sleep for worthwhile things like the World Series), that is on you. Or, if you absolutely need your sleep, work it out so that you come into work later the next morning.
   62. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 29, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5895794)
When I was a kid every World Series game was played in the afternoon, even in the middle of the week. By the time I got home on school days the game was over, and I wouldn’t find out who won until the sports report came on the local news around 6:20 PM. Same for a lot of adults who worked normal business hours. Whatever problems people might have these days with games running past midnight they at least have the option of watching the games if they want to. It may make for some hard choices (sleep or watch what may be the last baseball games you’ll see for five months), but at least the choice is there.

Well, in the schools I went to, we could bring in radios, and in some cases the teacher even set up a TV so we could follow the game. And since games in Milwaukee started at 3:00 in the East and games in L.A. started at 5:00,** in those cases we didn't even need the backup.

But that's neither here nor there, since the question is whether to start games at 7:00 in the East, not whether to start them in the early or mid-afternoon.

** Either Milwaukee and L. A. were on Standard time back them because of local option, or they just started at 2:00 local time, can't tell which. Games in the East started at 1:00.

------------------------

What you're saying is that people in the East should just suck it up for the benefit of a relatively small segment of the population, regardless of their age or work schedules, and regardless of the fact that they far outnumber those living in the West. I'm not seeing much merit in that from any angle.

And you have to add to that the fact that:

A) DVRs exist
B) There are other ways to consume the game (listen to the radio in the car, watch it on your phone on the train)


Bingo and bingo. I should have mentioned those myself.
   63. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 29, 2019 at 06:05 PM (#5895795)
When I was a kid every World Series game was played in the afternoon, even in the middle of the week.


Yep. I can remember listening to the Orioles, then A's on the radio during school hours. Teacher didn't mind to much though as the games only lasted about 2 hours!
   64. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 29, 2019 at 06:12 PM (#5895796)
High Schools will be required to start no earlier than 8:30 am. Honestly, I don't think this goes far enough.
Nowhere near. We have this ridiculous cultural thing in the U.S. that equates being a morning person with moral virtue, which is utter bull feces.
I just read a book by a sleep scientist named Matthew Walker who talked about how teenagers not only need more sleep, there is a weird shift in their circadian rhythm that moves their physiological desire to sleep back to later at night. So during these incredibly important years, kids are being forced to either forego sleep or try to sleep against their bodies' natural inclinations in order to meet school schedules.
Exactly. And, of course, it only gets worse in the workplace, where people go out of their way to make sure others know how super early they get to the office.
   65. JAHV Posted: October 29, 2019 at 06:12 PM (#5895797)
It seems odd that people are saying things like they "have to turn the game off in the 5th/6th/7th inning." I'm a night person, so maybe this is just different for me, but I can stay up late if I need to. I just live with five or six hours of sleep for a few nights. Are you morning people physically unable to stay awake, even drinking coffee or some other stimulant? I normally go to bed at midnight, but if you told me I had to stay up until 2 AM and get up at 7 AM the next morning to watch something really, really important, I'd have no problem doing it a few nights in a row. I thought most people would be capable of doing that, but maybe I'm wrong. And if that's the case, it's a bummer.

But if it's a choice ("I could choose to forego a couple hours of sleep tonight for the World Series, but I don't want to"), then I'm not as sympathetic to that. It's much easier for people in the east to choose to miss out on sleep than it is for people in the west to miss out on an hour or two of work.
   66. JAHV Posted: October 29, 2019 at 06:20 PM (#5895798)
Nowhere near. We have this ridiculous cultural thing in the U.S. that equates being a morning person with moral virtue, which is utter bull feces.


The guy who runs my company (we're in California) is big on that thought. My company does not have customers who ever come in the door, and the only thing that would bring people in early by necessity is if we have a scheduled call with a customer in a different time zone, although most of those calls can easily be scheduled for later in the day. In spite of that, the CEO insists that everyone be at their desk by 8 am sharp, and you're an inferior employee if you're not. I can very easily do my job (I'm the accountant) from 9 - 6 most days, but it would be severely frowned upon.
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 29, 2019 at 06:37 PM (#5895801)
It seems odd that people are saying things like they "have to turn the game off in the 5th/6th/7th inning." I'm a night person, so maybe this is just different for me, but I can stay up late if I need to. I just live with five or six hours of sleep for a few nights. Are you morning people physically unable to stay awake, even drinking coffee or some other stimulant?

If I go to bed at 2AM, and wake up at 7, I'll feel like crap, and be generally lethargic and unproductive all day. I'm not a morning person, my natural sleep cycle would probably be mid-night to 9 AM. But I'd much rather get to work at 8 than stay past 6 PM.
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 29, 2019 at 06:40 PM (#5895802)
The guy who runs my company (we're in California) is big on that thought. My company does not have customers who ever come in the door, and the only thing that would bring people in early by necessity is if we have a scheduled call with a customer in a different time zone, although most of those calls can easily be scheduled for later in the day. In spite of that, the CEO insists that everyone be at their desk by 8 am sharp, and you're an inferior employee if you're not. I can very easily do my job (I'm the accountant) from 9 - 6 most days, but it would be severely frowned upon.

I think the important thing is everyone needs to be there for common hours; at my company that's 9 to 5. If everyone is working all kinds of wacky shifts, you can't schedule meetings, or reach people in person when you need to. If you have one 7 to 3 person on a project, along with a 11 to 7, it's a huge PITA for everyone else who has to schedule around them.
   69. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 29, 2019 at 06:51 PM (#5895804)
In spite of that, the CEO insists that everyone be at their desk by 8 am sharp, and you're an inferior employee if you're not. I can very easily do my job (I'm the accountant) from 9 - 6 most days, but it would be severely frowned upon.
My sympathies. That's just horrible. I would never be able to work at a place that extreme.
   70. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 29, 2019 at 07:19 PM (#5895810)
I'm a morning guy and just love it when my wife and kids sleep in. The peacefulness of the sun rising early am is just magic before I head out for an early morning trail run or ocean swim.

Teenagers need sleep, lots and lots of sleep. Many studies have shown this to be a thing.

I survive on 5/6 hours of sleep. Have been that way since I was about 20. I know it's odd, but it is what it is so staying up late, or even more extreme here in Aus, staying up insanely late for EPL, Wimbledon or any sport from Europe is just a thing you do when you live here.

As pointed out above, the only real solution is

Just throw the darn ball. 10-15 seconds max(maybe 20?) once the pitcher receives the ball back.
   71. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 29, 2019 at 08:50 PM (#5895841)
Yep. I can remember listening to the Orioles, then A's on the radio during school hours. Teacher didn't mind to much though as the games only lasted about 2 hours!

Like this classic O's-A's LCS game from 1974 which lasted exactly an hour and 57 minutes. Made it back to D.C. in time for an early dinner.

And it wasn't only baseball. The Atlantic Ocean was really something back then. I was there, and I know.
   72. Jack Sommers Posted: October 29, 2019 at 09:17 PM (#5895847)
I spoke to my guy at Fox. Almost all of below is true. The time of game decision is a "collaboration", and Manfred could insist on a certain start time and that's when the game would start. But they work together on this and virtually of the considerations around the NFL listed below are verified correct from a very good source.

You guys know Fox picks the timing, right? The 8 pm Eastern Sunday start is necessary so the 4:25 pm NFL games won't run into it.

It might conceivably go earlier on other days, but they choose to sacrifice the small part of Eastern sleepyheads to get all of the West coast closer to primetime, a completely rational tradeoff.

The whole WS schedule is set to work around the NFL as much as possible. It begins on a Tuesday, so that Thursday and Monday are the travel days, the days of primetime NFL games. And then games 6 and 7 go midweek to steer clear of all football.

Fox doesn't care about maximizing baseball, it cares about maximizing viewership of baseball *plus* football.


   73. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: October 30, 2019 at 07:00 AM (#5896200)
And, of course, it only gets worse in the workplace, where people go out of their way to make sure others know how super early they get to the office.
It's the opposite in my office. The go-getters (who are inevitably young) brag about staying until 8 or 9 at night. The people who get there at 7 (who are inevitably old) brag about missing rush hour and getting to leave at 3.
   74. Rusty Priske Posted: October 30, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5896215)
I will back off on my position a bit due to PVR/DVRs. When I lived out west these did not yet exist.

For BIG games I prefer to watch live, but I admit that people out west wouldn't be FORCED to miss the start of the game.
   75. base ball chick Posted: October 30, 2019 at 11:39 PM (#5897118)
60. JAHV Posted: October 29, 2019 at 05:57 PM (#5895791)

By the way, the trend toward starting school at ever more ridiculously early hours, in spite of all the research piling up that kids (and especially teens) don't learn well early in the morning and don't get enough sleep, is just unconscionable.


- they are staying up late because they are on their phones



California just passed a law that both halts the creep of start times and actually pushes it back for most schools. High Schools will be required to start no earlier than 8:30 am. Honestly, I don't think this goes far enough. I just read a book by a sleep scientist named Matthew Walker who talked about how teenagers not only need more sleep, there is a weird shift in their circadian rhythm that moves their physiological desire to sleep back to later at night. So during these incredibly important years, kids are being forced to either forego sleep or try to sleep against their bodies' natural inclinations in order to meet school schedules.


- so this suddenly started about 20 years ago, when the In Tar Netz and cell phones started?
because teenagers always had to go to sleep early and get up for skool early. or BITGOD, farms, etc when there wasn't electronic entertainments

- and this rule means that parents are supposed to do WHAT in order to get their kidz to skool and get to work by 8?

- it's not like you are supposed to leave your kidz home alone after you go to work, so they are going to have to gret up early to either get the bus or gert dropped off for early day care

He also talked in his book about how humans evolved so that adults have different circadian rhythms - his contention is that we are hardwired to be morning people or night people. This probably happened back when societies were forming in order to leave the least possible time in the middle of the night where everyone would be sleeping. But we pay for it now when we have standard 8 am start times for work. This kills me, a night owl, since I have a very difficult time getting to sleep before midnight. I'm fine on seven hours of sleep, but if I ever have to get up earlier to work out or to attend a morning meeting, it's a pain. And according to Walker, there are very serious long-term health issues with getting less than eight hours a sleep per night.


- and what is it that people were all doing in the dark (besides sex) 4 hours after the sun set, before there was electricity?

what does this guy think people in, say, 1850, were doing that they needed all these folks up until after midnight?

cmon

some people need more than 8 hours, some need less. aren't real too many folks that can NOT get on a daily schedule

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