Sunday, May 3, 2015

The MLB game with no fans was really, really fast

Because of the riots in Baltimore, last week the Orioles and White Sox played a game at Camden Yards with zero fans in attendance.  In my mind, a vastly under-reported part of the story is the length of time the game took--two hours and three minutes.  And it wasn't a 1-0 no-hitter or anything, it was an 8-2 ballgame with 15 hits, two walks and two errors.  I'd be willing to bet large sums of money that there was a direct correlation between the empty stadium and the fast pace of play.

Last season the average length of MLB games was 3:09.  Year by year they've steadily been getting longer and longer (in 1950 the average was 2:23).  Personally, I don't think it's an issue.  But a lot of people do, and it's a very widely discussed topic.  Time and time again I hear that baseball is losing fans because the games are too slow and they last too long.

Who would have ever guessed the solution to shortening games and pleasing the fans was so simple?

All we need to do is take them out of the ballpark.

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