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So a cursory glance at game lengths for the Tigers spring training games this year indicates that the opposite of what I posited is actually true.
Televised games (12 total): 166 minutes on average
Non-televised (20 total): 180 minutes on average
This is rife with sample size issues and doesn't control for things like pitching changes or runs scored, so it's mostly useless, but still interesting.
Question: how is the game length here quantified? Does it go from the first pitch to the last out, counting everything in between? Or does it count just times where actual game action is happening?
If it's the former, then it seems that the answer is pretty intuitive: commercial advertisements having more of a place as more and more baseball is put on TV. Makes sense that there'd be a steady climb in TV exposure from 1976-1996, and that there would be a big jump in the mid-2000s when MLB.tv became a truly viable means of watching the game.
To get to rofldude's point, I'd be curious to see a study that compares the length of televised spring training games vs. non-televised ones. I bet that there'll be a not-insignificant difference.
Sure, pitch clocks, batter's box rules, and "encouragement" to not take forever will put a bandaid on it, and maybe stem the increase in game length. The way to meaningfully shorten games is to cut ads out.
This, obviously, will never happen, but it seems like every article discussing this problem constantly dances around a pretty clear solution because there's no way to solve it.
It sucks to basically just throw our hands up and say, "well, there's nothing we can do," but until press outlets or players or something start to call out the league for causing a problem that it's blaming on other factors, it's really the only thing that we can do.
Cool article. One pointer: use those gifs that you can pause and play. On my browser at least, they're real choppy and all playing at once so it makes it both difficult to focus and actually see the movement on the pitches.
Late to the party, but this is a wonderful article.
As somebody who did cultural studies work in undergrad, this really hits home because I've found my enjoyment of sports and how I perceive them to be fluid in much the same way described here.
It's uncomfortable at times to think that the way I think about a game I love is changing, but it's also very stimulating intellectually and I'm interested to see where this notion of intersectional baseball/sports writing goes.
You know, I almost lol'd at including Vizquel in that group, but from 1995-2004 (admittedly arbitrary, sure), he was as valuable as Tejada was. Granted, Tejada came into the league in 1998, but Vizquel wasn't someone that I thought of as being within spitting distance of those guys (though compared to A-Rod it's not close).
A couple of typos: the wrong "your" in the Golden Age header from the NL Central scout, and in the final paragraph, while you are talking about tools here, it's probably not in reference to kitchen tools (skillet vs. skill set).
Really interesting material though! Enjoyed the piece.
I'm not sure that this is groupthink so much as it is a group of writers that think similar things. That sounds redundant, but if the writers on BP didn't hold at least similar views to a lot of what the site was founded on, they'd be writing elsewhere.
It's like saying that a group of Republicans getting together and discussing their Republican ideas is groupthink. Same for Democrats. Or people that like the same music. If the Pokemon club at my college happens to agree upon a particular strategy, does it make that groupthink?
BP has, and probably generally will be, a group of like-minded individuals that want to put out baseball content based on what they believe. To criticize a group for having similar ideas is ridiculous.