Once again MLB is talking about making moves to shorten games and speed up play, but would any of the help the Phillies?
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before …
MLB wants to try to speed up the game of baseball in order to try to get younger fans (meaning Millennials) into the sport, whose fanbase is starting to grey at the temples. Those same older fans are already gripping about the changes that have been made already and will tell you at length at any opportunity how much they hate the manager’s challenge.
Now, no matter what side of the argument you fall on, I think we can all agree that the sport needs to be sped up a bit. The average game lasts almost three hours, which is a long time to watch some guys play catch. But with the rules for the Replay Review ridiculously long as it stands now, it may be best to leave that alone.
Some folks have already laid out the odds at what rules changes we may see down the road in an effort to speed up the game in the future. Will any of those changes come to pass? Tough to say, but if attendance and ratings continue to dip, anything would be on the table.
But the biggest question for Philadelphia Phillies fans may be would speeding up the sport help the team win some games.
After an all too brief four game winning streak, the Phillies’ bats have once again gone silent and they are mired in losing once again. To be honest, this is about what we all expected this season from the team, but that doesn’t make it any more fun to have to watch on an almost daily basis.
But would making the overall game faster help? Maybe, maybe not.
Adding a pitch-clock or limiting the number of times a catcher or coach can visit the mound won’t affect seasoned veterans, as they already have a firm grasp on their game. But for younger pitcher still learning the ins and outs of pitching in the big leagues, it could prove beneficial. Speeding up the pitches could rattle batters and help a struggling pitcher get a strike when he really needs it.
But on the other side of the coin, limiting the number of times a team can change pitchers would be disastrous for a Phillies team with the struggling bullpen the team currently has.
Odds are MLB will make moves to speed up the game at some point. It’s unavoidable as the rest of the world gets faster and faster and people expect more in less time.
But as to whether that would help or hinder the Phillies, it probably doesn’t matter. At least, not until we get some solid talent and winning becomes a more frequent occurrence.
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All that being said, I have to admit that I like baseball the way it is. There is something magical about sitting at the ball park, watching a game and enjoying the rhythm and pace of the sport. It’s something the three other major sports don’t have and it would be a real shame to see it disappear in the name of speed.