With four games left in the regular season, the tough road of a 162-game schedule is winding down. On top of the already grueling baseball schedule, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been no strangers to extra-inning games, rain delays and double headers.
While some matters that affect the length of a game are out of the player’s hands, the Dodgers were issued a warning by MLB in June, citing “pace of game” issues..
No disciplinary action was levied against the Dodgers, at least it’s not known publicly if that did take place. Jamey Wright was recently asked about the warning and offered an alternative for those bothered by the length of games, via J.P. Hoornstra of LA Daily News:
You can always get out of your seat and go to the car. Turn on Jimmy Fallon, I don’t know. If you’re a fan of the game, you don’t have a problem with watching the games even though it takes a little longer.”
Including the 13-inning series opener on Monday, the Dodgers average time of game is at three hours and 14 minutes; that leads the NL and ranks fourth in all of baseball. Darwin Barney is another player who shrugged the notion of it coming across a player’s mind:
It’s not really something we talk about… A lot of guys care more about feeling comfortable in the box than they do about speeding up the game. Pitchers care more about their routines. This is what we do. We’re not worried about what we have after the game, where we’re going, stuff like that. Most guys are just used to a three-hour game right now. That’s part of it.”
Baseball is a sport in that most players have their own process and routine in between each pitch. Some of course are more complex than others and it can lead to a small delay in the action. While Wright doesn’t believe baseball fans take issue with how long a game may run, he did offer a suggestions as a means to expedite games:
Raise the mound five inches, that’ll shorten the games. It’d make the games shorter but are you going to see as many home runs, as many scores, as exciting games? Probably not.”
MLB showed a willingness to modify a rule mid-season so as to provide clarity heading into the postseason and while the pace of game may not get the same treatment, it could be a prevalent topic heading into next season.