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Mark Teixeira calls pace of Yankees-Red Sox games “brutal”

Sep 1, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

Mark Teixeira

At least one player agrees with the fans and media members annoyed by the length and pace of Yankees-Red Sox games.

After playing in another marathon matchup last night–which was made even longer by Josh Beckett‘s involvement–Mark Teixeira told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that “it’s brutal” and “I can’t stand playing a nine-inning game in four hours.”

Here’s more from the Yankees first baseman:

It’s not baseball. I don’t even know how to describe it. If I was a fan, why would I want to come watch people sitting around and talking back and forth, going to the mound, 2-0 sliders in the dirt? Four-hour games can’t be fun for a fan, either.

Third baseman Eric Chavez agreed, saying: “I’m a part of it and I still don’t understand why it takes so long.”

If the players don’t like it and the fans don’t like it, who does that leave as happy with the four-hour games? Well, the networks broadcasting the matchups on television probably don’t mind the extra programming and based on MLB’s ongoing non-reaction to the issue they don’t seem to mind either.

  1. hasbeen5 - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Somebody should punch Beckett in the cup.

    • Ari Collins - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Stay classy, my friend.

      • phukyouk - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        P.S. ari i owe you a beer….

    • pkers - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:31 PM

      But that would only further slow him down, and thus the game.

  2. poprox13 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Awww, poor millionaire doesn’t want to play the game that made him a millionaire for 4 hours. I feel bad for him. /s

    • kopy - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      This is a good argument for signing with a team besides the Red Sox and Yankees. You could offer 75% of the money and claim that you’ll still make the same amount per hour!

  3. SmackSaw - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Damn near unwatchable.

    • professor59 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:47 PM

      But not totally, apparently. And that’s why it’s on TV every other damn weekend.

      With the commercials for it filling up the other days of the season.

  4. Ari Collins - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Truth is, the main culprit isn’t the slow pitchers but the patient batters. Every batter on both teams saw at least 11 pitches on the evening except for Jeter, with Ortiz seeing 20 and Granderson 21, and Teixeira was part of the “problem” himself, with 14 pitches seen.

    This is what happens when two incredibly patient teams face off. It may not be the fastest way to play, but it’s much more conducive to winning baseball games than the Yuniesky Betancourt Approach. Teixeira may complain, but he’s not going to start swinging at every pitch he sees, either.

    • paperlions - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:37 PM

      That is not the truth.

      Last night there were 75 batters and 266 pitches thrown in the Bos/NYY game for an average of 3.55 pitches/PA.

      In the StL/Mil game (which had a similar score and the same number of batters), 257 pitches were thrown for an average of 3.43 pitches/PA.

      One game took 45 minutes less and had 9 fewer pitches thrown. The culprit is time between pitches, a function of pitchers taking too long and hitters constantly stepping out of the box.

      • tacklemeelmo - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        Excellent post but you forgot to add in “the intangibles”

        The way I see an intangible adds approximately 35 seconds to each AB. Which if you multiply the number of AB’s (75) by 35 seconds you gain an extra 43 minutes and 45 seconds.

        The moral of the story is: Blame Derek Jeter.

  5. pellypell - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Whine one one, please send the waaaambulance.

  6. indaburg - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    On the plus side, these games are great for my insomnia. I’m usually asleep by the 4th inning, and I am not joking.

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:38 PM

      To continue in that vein…

      After glancing at this article quickly, I could’ve sworn the reporter’s name that Teixeira spoke with was ‘Tylenol’, as in ‘Tylenol PM’…

      The subconscious is indeed a powerful force.

      As a fellow insomnia sufferer, it’s times like this I wish I still had cable TV, but then, I’m a die-hard Sox fan, so I doubt I would’ve dozed off in the middle of the game.

  7. skids003 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    It would help if the umpires were instructed to enforce the 20 second rule between pitches. I watched Beckett last week, and he was routinely taking over 30 seconds to pitch. That time adds up to more than you think, I bet.

  8. 18thstreet - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    I think the people selling food and beer to the people in the stadium like it.

    Longer time between pitches offers no real advantage to the TV networks, does it?

  9. bobwheel - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    While it is one thing to be patient at the plate, it is unacceptable for a pitcher to take as much time between pitches as Beckett does. Not only does he stand on the mound staring into the catcher’s mitt for an eternity, he routinely steps off the rubber, shakes off signs, and gets out of sinc with his catcher on the signs. Batters will take a cue from this type of behavior, and step out of the box more often, causing further delays. It is reasonable to argue that pitching at a quicker pace will often cause a batter to have to be ready, and, once in a rythym, a pitcher typically finds his groove and throws more strikes, speeding up the game. The only way to move the game along is to begin to time both the batter and the pitcher. If not, these types of 9 inning marathons will continue.

    • mornelithe - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      That would be true, however, quite often when a pitcher ‘gets in his groove’, you have batters calling timeouts frequently to try and disturb said groove. This is a very very common practice, only meant to throw the pitcher off his game.

      What then? Penalize batters for calling timeouts?

    • shadows in bloom - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:38 PM

      the confusion on signs came when they have to change because the catcher catches the guy on second is stealing them and tipping the batter off like the yanks were doing. hence the the shake offs and double take stare downs to the runner on second. both sides slow play and then fast pitch the screw with each others rhythm. its the game. u don’t like it then change the channel or don’t buy a ticket but quit whining

  10. marshmallowsnake - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Mark should do his part to reduce the game time by swinging at the first 3 pitches of each at bat then.

  11. happster - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    It’s not all Beckett, you dolts. It’s both pitchers, pitching to dangerous hitter after dangerous hitter, and taking their time doing it. I agree- taking too much time. It’s the batters, on both teams, stepping out of the box, adjusting their gloves, calling time, walking off what they believe to be bad pitch calls, etc. Heck, Texiera’s part of the problem, with his arrogant shoulder shrugs and neck bends before stepping into the box and and constant adjusting of his shirt sleeves before every pitch.

  12. professor59 - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    I think batter problems started with, who was it – George Foster? Timeouts between every at-bat are the norm now, even if the pitcher wants to pitch.

    And it seriously jumped the shark with Nomar. The whole routine. Every pitch.

    But it comes down to enforcing the rules. And the umps grant nearly every timeout automatically, and allow pitchers to dawdle interminably. A manager has to actually ask an ump to put a pitcher on the clock, and then THAT’s a breach of etiquette.

    The announcers like to blame it on batters who take pitches. That’s just another lie. Whatever happened to Drysdale or Gibson putting one in your ear if you stepped out of the box on him? Again, umps not enforcing the rules, until the players try and enforce them themselves.

    And while I’m ranting (like I ever stop), does a pitching change always need to be at least 10 minutes?

    • kopy - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:34 PM

      Your last sentence brings up a quote I heard recently from somewhere I can’t remember…

      “…And then the reliever comes into the game and they give him time to practice throwing off of the mound. WHAT WAS HE JUST DOING IN THE BULLPEN!?!”

      • spudchukar - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        The mounds in the bullpen are not same as the real ones.

  13. phukyouk - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    The ONLY positive of the long games is getting to see that New Era “912″ commercial over and over.. it is literally the funniest commercial i have seen in a long long time. better than any Superbowl commercial i have seen.

    • cur68 - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:42 PM

      Agree. It now appears that John Krasinski and Alec Baldwin will be living together. Is this the making of one HELL of a sit com or what?

  14. Jonny 5 - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    I always liked Tex, even though he joined the dark side.

  15. littledill - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Coming from a Yankees fan, Texeira is spot on and that’s about the only interesting thing he has said this year.

  16. airedale1950 - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Have you ever noticed that each time an adult legitimate discussion starts here, all the sophomoric a-holes with nothing to contribute gather like flies… to offer nothing to of any substance the conversation?
    Perhaps a monitor like the one these children became so accustomed to during their 6 years in junior high school should keep watch over the proceedings here, or just forsake the comment section altogether.

    …just think some of these fools actually have the right to vote and worse yet…procreate. (That’s have children for all you guys who spent 7 years in middle school)

  17. patsandsox - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    The hitters step out too much. The pitchers take too long. I agree with the poster who said that with the lineups both teams have the pitchers are going to be extra careful. Face it, with the money spent fielding an all star team for both the Red Sox and the Yankees no one wants to be careless or get shown up.

    The umpires need to either enforce the rules, or since MLB doesnt seem to care, we all just need to accept it.

  18. smokehouse56 - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    I watched the Phillies-Reds game the other night and when it was over I went to the Yanks-Red Sox game and they were in the top of the 6th inning. Both started at the exact same time. I turned to the History Channel immediately. I thought no way am I goiung to sit there watching them re-strap their gloves after each pitch, kick dirt around the batters box, etc.

  19. royalsfaninfargo - Sep 1, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    Brutal is an understatement!

  20. MVQB7 - Sep 1, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Brutal= someone making 20 million dollars per year and batting .247

  21. mel47 - Sep 1, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Not that I want to interrupt your Beckett bash-a-thon (or challenge Texiera’s perceptions) with the facts, but here they are:
    Tuesday’s game, in which 7 runs were scored, was played in 3:59. The winning team’s pitchers (including CC) averaged 21.3 pitches per inning.
    Wednesday’s game, in which 14 runs were scored, was played in 3:16. The winning team’s pitchers (including Beckett) averaged 14.6 pitches per inning.
    The pace of a game is not dictated by the time pitchers take between pitches – it’s dictated by pitching efficiency. I’ll take Beckett’s efficiency any day.

  22. shadows in bloom - Sep 1, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    funny to note that espn reports that of the top 5 match-ups from team to team over the whole season since 2001 the yankees are in every single match-up. coincidence? the sox are involved in only one.

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