MLB should change the length of games to seven innings. The games would be better, faster, filled with more drama. What do you think, Mike?
Yes! I have been a proponent of this for a few years now. Just a few weeks ago I was at Brooklyn, and they played two, creating two seven-inning contests. The first game went 1:45. And I can tell you, I did not fee cheated. Instead I enjoyed every pitch. My mind never wandered, in fact, I never felt the urge to leave my seat. I cannot remember the last time I did not feel a need to wander around at a major league park.
That desire to wander might be the Alzheimer’s, Mike. Remember what your doctor said, “More cowbell.” But I understand what you mean. The games are long and getting longer. The mind drifts.
Of course, a change to seven innings would be radical, and would blow the doors off the record books. I think that’s the primary reason why some folks would never accept it.
I agree with you, and have heard that argument many times. It’s so bogus. The record books are already useless, unless you compare players who played during the same era. Does anyone really think it is meaningful to compare Christy Mathewson to Clay Kershaw? Or the roided up exploits of McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds to Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron? And anyone who played before Jackie Robinson, just forget all of that too. It’s useful to see what those guys did, in their time, but their time excluded a lot of the best competition. Hey, just last week, we wrote about defensive shifting, which is changing everything as well. That’s just a few reasons. Comparing players from one era to another is comparing apples and oranges already.
Let’s just push that concern aside for the moment and focus on the things that would be impacted by this revolutionary change.
* The length of games would get back to more manageable times, averaging less than 3 hours. Finally, fans might be able to watch a complete game.
* With shorter games, each inning becomes more important, increasing the drama.
* On rosters, teams could probably cut back from the 12-man pitching staff. Or, conversely, perhaps experiment with a 4-man rotation, figuring that starters only need to go 5-6 innings.
* It would improve the overall level of play. Less back-end relievers, less need for subs, fresher, better rested players.
I guess I could go on and on.
Me, too. I just think it’s the cleanest and easiest way to fix the game. And the game is broken. Baseball is not meant to be a four-hour affair. But what I find so intriguing about the seven-inning game is it can assist with other current problems, not just the length of contests.
One big one, that you hit on above, is pitching. Pitchers throw less pitches now, and it is very difficult to envision a scenario where things go back the way they were. Because of this, and a static 25 man roster, pitchers take up more and more of every roster.
But there are other things. At one time major league baseball did not extend past the Mississippi. Additionally, doubleheaders were a normal occurrence. Now, teams are strewn all over North America, and the single admission doubleheader has gone the way of the De Soto. There are too many uninspired games, as long games and increased travel create overly fatigued players.
Okay, then. It’s settled. Next let’s tackle these pesky problems in the Middle East . . .