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Why are the games so darn long?

Jun 10, 2013, 12:02 PM EDT

Watchmen Clock

The Boston Globe did something cool: it timed absolutely everything in a recent Red Sox series to try and figure out why games are so much longer now than they used to be. For comparison, they watched a 1969 Orioles-Red Sox game too to see what player habits and game flow was different then than it is now.

I won’t spoil it for you — go read the story — but be happy to know that it’s a refreshing use of empiricism rather than the “let’s just make some broad assumptions and ultimately blame one thing for a given phenomenon rather than realize that almost every complicated system is impacted by multiple variables” approach almost all sports analysis takes these days.

Oh, and Tony LaRussa and Hawk Harrellson get blamed in part too, and that much is satisfying.

  1. Walk - Jun 11, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    If they are really worried about the game time change the commercials. I know the story says the commercials have little impact compared to other factors but the commercial times can be adjusted as needed. It might take a few years for contracts to expire and new ones to take place, but shave off a third of the commercials and you get 10-12 minutes to play with. If money is an issue the commercial break is now worth more per second of air time so charge accordingly

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