A report came out earlier in the week that an MLB executive has said they would be in favor of shortening baseball games from the traditional 9 inning games down to 7 innings.
According to one MLB exec:
The games are often played too slowly, he noted. The audience of Major League Baseball is aging, with polls indicating that the youngest generation expects faster and fastest in what it consumes.As you can imagine this news upset all of the traditionalist baseball fans. Changing the length of baseball games is like changing the constitution. There is nothing more american than baseball! How could you change America?!
Here is why, games would go faster, pitchers would work better, you won’t be stuck in a ballpark for 3-4 hours on a Tuesday. Does any of that appeal to you? It should.
Going to the ballpark is a religious experience when you truly love baseball. Sitting in a ballpark for 3.5 hours is not a fun time. There is a reason why ballparks have had to come up with other “experiences” and gimmicks to keep the fans entertained. Instead of a 3.5 hour game fans could see 2-2.5 hour games. Thus making your time at the ballpark much more enjoyable. You would also stay more engaged in the game.
Everyone loves to complain about quality pitching. The role of a starting pitcher these days is to go 7-8 innings to hand off to a reliever, not many pitchers can do that though. If there were only 7 innings a starting pitcher would be much more likely to pitch a complete game. Making the need for relievers less, in return allowing for better relievers and less pitchers on staff. If a pitcher can go a complete game the need for a reliever is down.
The main complain is younger baseball fans don’t like the length of games. That is not entirely true, my friends and I in our 20′s don’t mind the length, my complaint comes with the ball park. Enhance your wifi or provide cell boosters for better mobile phone use.
There is nothing wrong with baseball in terms of how many innings. The problem lies with pitchers like Josh Beckett who take 2 minutes in between each pitch, install a pitch clock like a shot clock in order to speed the game up or at least keep it consistent.
Baseball would have a bigger problem on their hands trying to convince owners to shorten games. A shortened game would mean cheaper tickets. If you want to do something to cut costs look at the length of the season.
Some people think 7 innings is a great idea. Leave it at 9, not everything has to change because the children of the future are boring, self absorbed, bores. Baseball is great and will always be.