Why are baseball games so long nowadays?

Why are baseball games so long nowadays?

Aug, 1 2023 Caden Everhart

The Beauty in the Duration: Understanding The Length of Baseball Games

Now, I'm no Babe Ruth, and my Boxer dog Rusty can't quite catch a baseball like Air Bud (was that a different sport?), but growing up in Sydney certainly didn't hinder my appreciation for a good old-fashioned American baseball game. "Baseball game" and "long" pretty much come hand in hand in conversations these days and people often wonder why. Buckle up, lads and lasses; we're jumping right into the baseball diamond today.

Behind Every Great Game Lies A Little Extra Time

While watching baseball, whether it’s Major League Baseball, college baseball, or any other league, you must've noticed the game times have gradually been increasing. It's not unusual to see a game push beyond the three-hour mark or even run into extra innings, and that's just normal play time. I remember once, Rusty mysteriously disappeared for five innings straight. I found him snoozing under the TV stand. Apparently, the 5th inning wasn't thrilling enough for him.

Why has this phenomenon emerged, you might ask? Well, there are multiple reasons for the length of baseball. Time for plays, commercials, replays and strategies all factor into it. The game has transformed significantly over the years. But remember: more game time also means more snack time, so don't complain too much. I've developed an amazing skill to balance a hot dog, soda, and chips all while filled with the anticipation of the next pitch. Rusty tends to eye my food with a salivating tongue. Sorry mate, hot dogs and chocolates are 'No' for dogs.

Television Broadcasts: The Lengthy Love Affair

We all shudder at the reminder of those mid-inning commercial breaks, don't we? Does television really need to showcase thirty different car commercials and the latest insurance trend all during a single game? Television and baseball have a love-hate relationship. The broadcasts bring the sport to millions of fans, helping us all to stay updated even when we're oceans away. But they also cause frustrating interruptions and make games seem drawn-out.

However, let's not forget about instant replays either. Advances in technology have allowed referees to review plays for accuracy, but this feature also adds a significant amount of time to the game. However, remember that these are crucial aspects that ensure fairness. While they extend the game's duration, the increased accuracy and fairness are worth the wait. Well, Rusty doesn't always agree, but he's a dog. What does he know, right?

Game Tactics: The Art in the Pause

Ever noticed how the time between pitches can seem like, well, forever? It's a mix of strategy, performance, and a little bit of showmanship. The epic face-offs between pitchers and hitters, where each one is trying to outsmart the other, can sometimes be the most thrilling parts of the game. Every pause, every deliberate wipe of sweat - it's all part of the game.

The batter analyzing the pitcher's hand, the pitcher second-guessing himself - these moments are the ones that make baseball less of a game and more of a dramatic showdown. In a nutshell, the complexity of baseball tactics is a significant reason behind game length. Meanwhile, we humble viewers can't help emulating these epic stare-downs, mesmerizing Rusty with our poker faces.

Rules and Regulations: Adding Minutes With Each Season

Changes in baseball's official rules can also result in longer games. Just think about it - new regulations like creating a three-batter minimum for pitchers, allowing roving baserunners, and other added complexities mean that games naturally run longer.

Rules are a dynamic part of baseball. They continuously evolve, with adjustments being proposed every season. As the game evolves to factor in safety, fairness, and competitive parity, some of these changes may inadvertently lengthen game duration. But the bright side is, with every change, we always get to see a slightly different version of the sport we love.

Embracing the Game: More Time, More Baseball

Last but not least, folks. Yes, the lengths of baseball games have extended over the years, but should we really complain? When we sit down to watch a game, aren't we there to enjoy the thrilling pitches, the breathtaking catches, and those heart-stopping near-misses? So what if it takes a bit longer? More time means more baseball, and that's never a bad thing!

Besides, lengthy baseball games also mean more time spent with friends, family, or even pets, creating cherished memories together. I know Rusty treasures every moment, well mostly because he hopes to score a stray popcorn or two. So next time you see another 'long' baseball game coming up, folks, it's reason to celebrate! Throw those baseball themed parties and let’s celebrate more baseball!