Recently there is a lot of talk about how to speed up baseball games. MLB has implemented a pitch clock, but IMHO the twenty-second rule is hardly enforced.
A change that will really help is to stop the warmup pitches between the team at-bats, an idea an acquaintance of mine came up with.
Always wondered why the time between the at-bats is so long? Because sports channels want to sell advertisements. As a result, pitchers are throwing an unnecessary amount of warmup pitches between the team at-bats.
When a pitcher prepares for a game, he is throwing a lot of pitches, so he is warm when the game starts. I have seen various comments on Facebook groups that claim that these warmup pitches are needed to avoid injuries. With cold weather that is something I can imagine. But then again, when a pitcher throws a couple of warmup pitches during his team’s at-bat, he can keep himself warm as well.
Especially during warm weather, it seems highly unlikely to me that a pitcher needs to throw warm up pitches between the innings.
Perhaps the best comment I read on Facebook about these warmup pitches was the following: “I’m well aware after playing (14) seasons of organized ball as a catcher…..but it’s way overdone and stretched out.” In other words, the periods between the at-bats are way too long. An average commercial block between the innings lasts about two to three minutes. So cutting these warmup pitches can save you between eighteen and twenty-seven minutes. Almost half an hour.
Since many people think that baseball lasts too long, also in the Netherlands, cutting warmup pitches may be a solution to win those (lost) fans (back). And let’s get this straight: With cutting warmup pitches between the innings, nothing essential about the game will change, unlike the use of bigger bases, pushing the mound back, or outlawing the shift.
Perhaps it is something to think about. I know the purists among us will oppose, but perhaps they should try to have an open mind and rethink: Flip Thinking.