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World Series games were way shorter this year

Nov 5, 2010, 9:45 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 3 Getty Images

The USA Today reports that, on average, World Series games were 25 minutes shorter than last year’s games between the Phillies and the Yankees.

The story credits MLB’s efforts at speeding the game along, but does anyone really believe that was the biggest difference? Seems to me that the biggest difference was (a) good pitching and way fewer mid-inning calls to the pen; and (b) teams that, unlike the Yankees, don’t have catchers who make dozens of mound visits a game and hitters who don’t call time when the pitcher takes a fraction of a second longer than usual to start his delivery.  Indeed, in Game 5 we saw two or three instances of guys calling time late, and it was positively jarring because no one had been doing that.

I guess (b) could be chalked up to baseball’s focus on the pace-of-games, but I think it had way more to do with the teams involved than the policies. If New York makes the series again next year I have full faith that game times will creep back up.

  1. BC - Nov 5, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    I vote for (a), but to clarify it was good starting pitching. That, and Lee and Lincecum are both insanely fast workers.

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 5, 2010 at 11:22 AM

      Lincecum didn’t want his buzz to wear off. As fast as Lee works, he would be an incredibly poor fit in the greaseless wheels that is the Bronx—hell, he even runs to and from the mound every time.

      In a related story: For breakfast, I hear Lee had sourdough French toast, and a Starbucks mocha latte with Ghirardelli chocolate syrup while listening to Nirvana. Any idea what that means?

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 5, 2010 at 11:56 AM

        That he now likes men and is feeling suicidal about it?

      • JBerardi - Nov 5, 2010 at 8:47 PM

        “For breakfast, I hear Lee had sourdough French toast, and a Starbucks mocha latte with Ghirardelli chocolate syrup while listening to Nirvana. Any idea what that means?”

        Uhh, that he likes mediocre music and overpriced, horrible non-coffee?

  2. proudlycanadian - Nov 5, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    Some teams such as the Yankees like to take their time at the plate. Some pitchers such as Halladay and Buehrle work very quickly. Games between those two usually lasted 2 hours or less.

  3. Richard In Big D - Nov 5, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    Auto-refresh sucks.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Nov 5, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    I agre with Craig here. I don’t think it had as much to do with the new rules as it did with MUCH better pitching. Look at the games from last year and this year. The lowest pitch total last year had 277, followed by 281, 292, 296, 300 and 320. This year, after game 1’s 320 fiasco(which was 30 minutes longer than the series average), the pitch counts were 290, 238, 278, 230. Is it any wonder why the games were 25 minutes shorter? Plus, as Craig pointed out, Jorge Posada wasn’t catching for either of these teams 😉

    • yankeesfanlen - Nov 5, 2010 at 1:11 PM

      Can you imagine how long games will last next with, with Jorge turning 39? I can think of only once or twice a season when Yankees fame end before 10:00PM on a 7:00 start.
      Forty percent more baseball for only 60% more money…..Oh, wait, that doesn’t work.

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