Too Tedious For Modern Times

There’s nothing sacred in baseball anymore. This year, they’re making umpires superfluous with the wholesale embrace of instant replay. Next, they might make the games seven innings instead of nine.
Tradition is only a word among the majority of American sports fans nowadays. I understand that. Few of us prefer to hold onto rules that have withstood the test of time, because most of us only live in the now. We also have the attention span of 7-year-olds. Perhaps that is why I listened to a debate on a major sports channel the other day where it was argued that major league games are too tedious at nine innings.
Never mind that nine-inning games have been the norm since the mid-1800s. In the 2010s, nine innings is too long to have to sit through. And never mind that pitchers who throw no-hitters would in the future have to have asterisks next to their names in the record book. Record books are for geeks.
OK, then, if we really want to speed up the game, let’s talk turkey. First of all, let’s re-think this embrace of instant replay. It slows up the game. It interrupts the natural flow and turns baseball into a courtroom drama. You say you like instant replay? Then you’ll love watching Perry Mason reruns.
If we’re serious about shortening baseball games, we can look at other avenues. For one, the commissioner can insist that the strike zone be more tightly enforced. The time between pitch deliveries can be shortened. We can shorten the length of time between innings which is now used so that we can cram more TV commercials into it.
So the games are too long, eh? If they’re too long in baseball, they’re too long in football and basketball, too. Three and one-half hours for a National Football League game does seem a little unnecessary, don’t you think? And why must the final minute and a half of a college or NBA basketball game take half an hour to complete?
Seven innings in a major league baseball game? I suppose then we’d have to invent a new term to go along with it — the “fifth-inning stretch.”