Thursday, April 15, 2010

Games late at night are MLB's fault, not players. Kids can't even watch the beginning of games, much less the end as celebrity Joe West cried.

If the issue was to shorten late night games they could do so immediately by eliminating late inning songs and anthems and fining pitchers for exceeding time limits already in place. Since they don't do this, the issue may be something else. Bud Selig is sensitive and would rather people not focus on tv deals he made for games that don't start until after 8pm. If more games started in the afternoon (as they did in the days when guys didn't 'step out of the box' as much), there would be no issue of kids not being able to see the end of the game (as Joe West said is the problem today). A young kid can't even see the beginning of late night games, forget about the end. It's impossible to have all sides of a story in a case like this because many are afraid to speak up except to say they agree with Selig and Joe West. As far as baseball media, I've heard tv commentators remind viewers of late night games that this is work for baseball reporters who can't help but be frustrated as later hours affect other matters on their agenda (which may also be professional). Selig should fine pitchers for taking too long, methods are already in place for him to do so. Stop teams from playing anthems or songs in late innings. Beyond that, the current splash about length of games only helps Selig and his media partners. Following are 7 related items, starting with recent Elias stats on taking pitches (not walking, just taking pitches): according to the Elias Sports Bureau....

The Yankees and Red Sox also put the most runners on base last season. The Los Angeles Angels were third and the Dodgers fourth.

  • Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said in an e-mail that the team wouldn’t comment on Watson’s directive. Red Sox spokeswoman Pam Ganley said the team would have no comment."...
from Bloomberg Business Week, 4/1/10, by Tom Moroney, "Yankees Top Red Sox in game length; Baseball tells both faster"***** Games start very late at night because television companies made deals with Bud Selig to do so. If they cared about kids they'd run games in the afternoon, but they don't. West's statements and focus on 'time of game' fail to acknowledge this. If West is really worried about kids as he says, he should lobby MLB to start more games in the afternoon.
  • The article also says of West:
Aside from being wrong, this shows the desperation of West and those motivating him. 3. Posnanski writes "yikes" after a long game time which grabs attention. Each such "yikes" deserves examination on game by game basis. For example, see 2006, 93 foul balls game played in Boston: The longest 9 inning game ever was Yankees-Red Sox, August 18, 2006 (4:45). There were 93 foul balls in the game, according to an article I posted on 9/14/06 (now inactive). According to Baseball Reference,
  • Are pitchers purposely wearing themselves out and shortening their careers? ed.
4. Dustin Pedroia comment that pitchers can take as long as they want. Methods are already in place to fine pitchers for taking too long. Why aren't more pitchers fined? (Unless they are but Selig is keeping it secret). It's a lot easier to control one pitcher than every player in the box. But if they did this, Selig would lose the publicity bashing teams for his own failings. 6. Who is there to stop Joe West or any umpire from harassing players? No one. Players are reluctant to say one word about such harassment for fear of further retaliation. There is no way to know the real extent of this because players are afraid to speak up.

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