Skip to content

Oh, no! Baseball has wrecked Rick Reilly’s dinner reservations!

Jul 3, 2012, 3:03 PM EDT

Rick Reilly

Hey guys! Baseball games can be long sometimes and Rick Reilly is ON IT!

Reilly talks about the pace of the game and makes the current, cutting-edge observation that players step out of the batter’s box a lot, commercials are long and so forth.  The game that raised his ire:

Cincinnati at San Francisco was a three-hour-and-14-minute can-somebody-please-stick-two-forks-in-my-eyes snore-a-palooza. Like a Swedish movie, it might have been decent if somebody had cut 90 minutes out of it. I’d rather have watched eyebrows grow. And I should have known better …

Buster Posey of the Giants, The Man Who Wrecked Your Dinner Reservations, has this habit of coming to the box, stopping outside it and unfastening and refastening his gloves before his FIRST SWING! What exactly was he doing in the on-deck circle? His cuticles?

Sorry you’d rather be out to eat than covering a baseball game, Rick. Coverage which is costing your employer a reported $1.5 million a year. It must be a chore.

Seriously, though, Reilly has a core of a point here about umpires not enforcing the rule which requires pitchers to throw the ball within 12 seconds of receiving it. But then he completely undermines his point by (a) complaining about baseball rules which have been on the book for 150 years such as pickoff throws; and (b) making  jokes in which the punchline is merely “Obamacare!”

And of course he finishes undermining his point when he says:

Three hours and 14 minutes, 170 step-outs, and three double-shot macchiatos for that?

Please, I beg of you, bring on the NFL.

Oh, you mean the NFL which just moved back kickoff times of its late games to accommodate even longer games with even longer commercial interruptions? So that now an early game is given 3:25 to be done? That’s what will save you from the 3:14 baseball hell? The wall-to-wall action of the NFL?

Why doesn’t Reilly just admit he doesn’t much care for baseball so he decided to write a column complaining about things that would have been stale on Bill Cosby’s early comedy albums?

UPDATE: Shocker: this is not the first time Reilly has beaten this horse. Except when he did it 12 years ago, he claimed he’d never watch baseball on TV again.

(thanks to Kopy for the heads up)

  1. Stacey - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Nothing annoys me more than baseball writers complaining about how long games are when I can name at least 50 people who would kill for their job.

    • Mike, the Mad Beard - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      Similar to writers/talking heads who complain about the Super Bowl being in Jersey.

      “Waaaaaah! Waaaaaah! It’s too cold for the sports writers! It should be in Miami every year! Waaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

      Get over yourselves.

      • Kevin Gillman - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:42 PM

        Can you imagine the Super Bowl playing in every single of the franchise’s cities? Imagine the economy boost those cities would have every single year. Bad weather, or not. But I guess the sports writers don’t want to be cold.

    • hasbeen5 - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      You’re implying that Reilly is a baseball writer.

    • natstowngreg - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:59 PM


      *heads for gun store*

  2. gwhempel - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Rick Reilly can suck a big fat frickin lemon.

  3. Suss-- - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    “Buster Posey of the Giants, The Man Who Wrecked Your Dinner Reservations”

    I hear most ballparks now serve food or “concessions.”

    • natstowngreg - Jul 3, 2012 at 5:05 PM

      They even have special buffets reserved for folks with the proper credentials as part of “the media.”

      Reilly is probably ticked off at being late for dinner at some really expensive restaurant, paid for out of his employer’s generous expense account.

  4. sknut - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Has there been a guy who has made a worse career move in the media then Riley. I used to love him with SI but at the 4 letter leader he is lost among the other 500 writers they have and doesn’t seem relevant anymore.

    And quit bagging on baseball, its never been more popular and no one wants to hear you whine about your dinner.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      Eh, it worked out OK for him. He reportedly signed a five-year, $7.5 million deal with ESPN. How he justifies that financially I have no idea, but it’ll make for a nice retirement.

      • sknut - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:41 PM

        I guess from my perspective I look forward to his stuff in SI because there was a style to it, he once wrote an article about kids games being blocked by schools and it was so funny I had to walk out of the doctors office I was in. And with ESPN I just never was that invested in his stuff for whatever reason.

    • foreverchipper10 - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      I know exactly what you mean. I liked his SI column but I don’t like him at all on ESPN. It’s sad really.

  5. mybrunoblog - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Two points from me.
    1. Rick Reilly used to be a terrific sports writer but in recent years all he seems to do is complain and go negative. Has he became an old curmudgeon before he is even age 60?
    2. To be fair Reilly raises a couple of good points the main one being the pace of games does seem a bit slow. I’ d like to see the umpires keep the batters in the box more. The stepping during an AB has become a joke.

    • Kevin Gillman - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      The best thing about baseball is every game is different. One game will go 2 and a half hours, the next day, it’s 3 hours and 15 minutes. With Football and Basketball, it’s timed to the point you know what time you are leaving. Baseball, you never know, you’re just in the game.

    • highump - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:50 PM

      Umpires have no authority within the rules to keep the batter in the box. This would have to be a rule change from mlb and they don’t seem to be too worried about it.

  6. groundruledoublebourbon - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    This coming from the guys who spends a fortnight covering a single golf tournament?

    • madhatternalice - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:34 PM

      +1 for bringing fortnight back into the lexicon. Well done!

      • groundruledoublebourbon - Jul 4, 2012 at 12:28 AM

        It just happened all on its own. Must be reading too many @OldHossRadbourn tweets.

  7. rcali - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I don’t mind long games. The time, effort, and cost to go to a game is an event and I want my money’s worth. Actually, after they stop beer sales, I support a quick finish.

    • dowhatifeellike - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      There are only 2 times in which I’d prefer a game to finish quickly:

      1) I have something scheduled before the the normal 3-hour mark and I can’t put it off
      2) When my team is playing a night game on the west coast.

      Outside of that, I don’t care how long it takes.

    • deepflakes - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      I solved the end of beer sales dilemma by simply paying more for seats — get to the club level, where the brew flows freely 30 minutes after game time, then take a cab or a train home!

  8. Sullivan - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Is this a “new” column or one from 2000 that an intern swapped player names and locales before republication?

  9. hep3 - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Sports on TV and the Time it takes has become like the weather:

    “Everybody complains, but nothing is ever done about it.”

  10. hasbeen5 - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    I read like 2 of his columns at ESPN and couldn’t take it anymore.

  11. cur68 - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Rick Reilly: dude, STFU. You aren’t missing any meals, you get paid a gajillion for essentially talking in an entertaining fashion, and you don’t really have to be funny, so where’s the stress exactly?

    Guy wants to “bring on the NFL”? Fine. Get your overpaid ass over to NFL broadcasts, count the concussions on air and leave MLB commentary for people who actually like baseball, then. You really want the pace of play to step it up? Fine. I love the idea, but don’t talk the kind of smack that puts down the sport that overpays your ass especially when you cite the NFL: the sports league that dicks around like no other.

    Now, with that off my chest, I don’t suppose Bud will do anything about the lack of enforcement of the “12 second” rule, eh? After all, his argument will be “attendance is up”. Lord knows I love me some baseball, but that dicking around between pitches is not a “human element”: its a pain in the butt and an often cited reason for people NOT watching baseball.

  12. nategearhart - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    “Like a Swedish movie, it might have been decent if somebody had cut 90 minutes out of it.”
    I don’t remember ever watching any Scandinavian films over 2 hours long, save those “Girl With The…” movies. You know what are ALWAYS way too long these days? Comic book movies. And football games.

  13. headbeeguy - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    I call BS.

    Anyone that has read his columns knows that he hasn’t actually gone to a non-golf sporting event in two decades.

  14. protectthishouse54 - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    A lot of his points are annoying. Some of them are true.

    My final conclusion: football is a game best enjoyed at home on your couch in front of a sweet ass flatscreen. Baseball is best enjoyed by heading out to the ballpark on a glorious summer day.

  15. soundsofsuccess7 - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    I really like Reilly as a writer but some of his points are a little too on the pessimistic and gloomy side.. from time to time I enjoy a column by him.

  16. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    But seriously what happened to batters not being able to step out of the box between pitches?

    In case you didn’t watch any ESPN the Saturday morning of the US Open you missed a riveting piece on about the 17-year old Beau Hosler. We learned Hosler has braces and he only brought 4 pairs of pants to the tournament, but found out you get free next-day dry cleaning… This from the guy talking about a boring baseball game!

  17. Sign Ahead - Jul 3, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Wait…that guy’s sill around?

  18. skerney - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    I do not particularly care for the pace of soccer, so I don’t watch it. I certainly don’t spend time complaining about it because I am not a moron.

    Once and for all, if sports writers or football fans do not like the pace of baseball, DO NOT WATCH AND/OR COMPLAIN ABOUT IT! Rick Reilly if you don’t appreciate the leisurely pace of baseball, find yourself another line of work.

    At least he has the balls to call out Ingmar Bergman and Buster Posey for being the amateurs that they are. Those guys never entertained anyone or won anything.

    • chumthumper - Jul 4, 2012 at 9:35 AM

      I suspect Reilly likes the leisurely pace of a 3 1/2 hour golf game. Doesn’t get any more exciting than that.

  19. alexb64 - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    No one paid, especially one paid as much as Relly, to cover sports should be complaining about how long games take to conclude. Most people have to spend 8-10 hours for their job to end & for far less than what Reilly makes to fail at being funny & poignant for the last decade+ of his career.

    As a sports fan that does work a full-time job & has other things they’d like to do with their free time? Oh yeah baseball is a killer. NFL, NHL, NBA because of the shorter schedules that are more convenient for maximum game watching & presence of game clocks at least see an ordinary game end in a decent amount of time. As a fan you want to watch every game you can, but MLB is very hard to do that for fans. Some effort, without rushing the game too much, to speed up the pace of how a MLB game plays out would probably allow someone like myself, who has other things they’d like to get to before they have to hit the hay the ability to watch more baseball games.

  20. annaalamode - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    How awful to have to watch more baseball! My deepest sympathies!

  21. contraryguy - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    As someone who is supposed to know sports for a living, Reilly should know what most fans already do: if there’s somewhere you really have to be, you pull up the stakes and move the bleeping tent. Get in the car, turn on the radio, finish the game on your way to the next place. It’s not that hard.

    Or maybe this latest Reilly column is just a deft troll job in a slow news week. In which case I’d say “mission accomplished”.

  22. ndnut - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Soccer is 2 hours or less with commercials only coming at half time. Too bad ESPN devotes at least 2.5 hours for every game, making it look nearly twice as long as it is.

  23. baccards - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Who is Rick Reilly? And why should I care what he thinks?

  24. stinkfingers - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Piss on Rick Reilly, and his dinner reservations.

    You dont like it, leave early, or dont attend at all.

  25. brewcrewfan54 - Jul 3, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Screw Rick Reilley. He was great when he worked for SI. He has a face for radio and ESPN shouldn’t be giving him TV segments. And other than the ombudsman why is his column on the ESPN website the only one you can’t make comments on? Do his feelings get hurt to easily?

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Wright (2820)
  2. D. Span (2386)
  3. G. Stanton (2292)
  4. J. Fernandez (2285)
  5. F. Rodney (2130)
  1. G. Springer (2060)
  2. M. Teixeira (1997)
  3. Y. Puig (1939)
  4. G. Perkins (1926)
  5. C. Sabathia (1820)