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Jonathan Papelbon doesn't think Yankees-Red Sox games are too long. He's wrong.

Mar 26, 2010, 10:48 AM EDT

The Red Sox and Yankees average game times are the two longest in baseball, and when the two of them get together, forget it. Major League Baseball has asked the teams to try and move things along, but Jonathan Papelbon — asked about the issue by WEEI’s Rob Bradford — doesn’t understand why anyone thinks there’s a problem:

“Have you ever gone to watch a movie and thought, ‘Man, this movie is
so good I wish it would have never ended.’ That’s like a Red
Sox-Yankees game. Why would you want it to end?”

Asked about having to potentially watch a movie in 30-degree
temperatures, the closer offered a solution, simply saying, “Bundle up
and drink beer . . . If you don’t want to be there, don’t be there. Go home. Why are you
complaining.”

I’ll accept his point about bundling up and drinking beer, because that’s good advice regardless. I’ll also grant that, in the pantheon of complaints “this baseball game is too long” is not a major one. If it is really intolerable don’t watch. There’s more to life to baseball. Or so I’m told by people I don’t truly trust.

But really, just because it’s baseball doesn’t mean that we should overlook just how annoying these needlessly interminable Red Sox-Yankees games are for people who work for a living. Sure, go four hours if it’s an ugly slugfest, but there is no excuse for an otherwise clean 3-2 game to last that damn long.

As for Papelbon’s movie analogy, yes, I’d love it if the car chases, dance numbers and fight sequences in my favorite movies lasted forever, but I wouldn’t like it if my favorite movies were extended by scenes of guys looking for their car keys, tying their dancing shoes and stretching.

Which is basically what we get with these long Red Sox-Yankees games. Mound meetings, equipment adjustments, extra bullpen throws and long stares into the catcher before each pitch, often by closers like Papelbon and Mariano Rivera who only throw one damn pitch most of the time anyway.

Get in the box. Throw the pitch. Figure out your signs before the game. We’ll still love it. In fact, we’ll probably love it even more.

  1. bobri - Mar 26, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    So just start the games at a resonable time. this 8 pm national tv coverage is crap anyway.
    These games are too important to the clubs and the fans to rush them.
    If your complaining your not a fan. Go watch a nice Rockies vs Giants game and you won’t even have to visit the rest room before it’s over.
    Leave the great classic rivalry games alone and let the great classic rivalry fans enjoy it!
    ( Thanks Craig you finally made the Red Sox and Yankees fans agree on something – that your an idiot!)

  2. JudyJ - Mar 27, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Pimplebon doesn’t want the games to be shorter because by the time he gets into the game eveyone is so tired they want to go home, thus making his job much easier. He replaced Schilling as the mouth of the SAWKS and consistently puts his foot in it.

  3. Josh in DC - Mar 27, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    Sox fan here — Craig is absolutely right. What makes these games last so long isn’t the number of pitches, it’s everything BUT baseball.
    Anyone who isn’t complaining about how long these games are taking must either (a) not be watching them or (b) finding something to do between pitches, pitching changes, and mound visits.
    Ban the mound visit. Period.

  4. TLime in Portland - Mar 28, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    Building off of Ralph’s question . . . I wonder if Sox and Yanks games take longer on average partially because they’re nationally televised more often than a lot of other teams. The nation-wide followings for these two teams pull great ratings, and you know the TV corporations will want to milk as much advertising money out of them as you can. I would bet this would lead to more and longer commercial breaks for these games than if they weren’t being televised on a national stage.

  5. Longtime Ball Fan - Apr 7, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    The Yanks and Red Sox have played 2 9 inning games and they are average 3 hours and 45 + minutes. There was a 10 inning game yesterday that was done in 2 hours and 50 minutes. Baseball games aren’t too long just the way the Yankees and Red Sox play them are the problem.

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