Time Waits for No First Baseman

Baseball games are now on average longer than three hours. What's next, cricket?
Mound meetings like this one are a factor in the pace of play.

Yogi Berra, baseball’s inscrutable sage, once said of left field at Yankee Stadium, “It gets late early out there.” The same can be said of the national pastime, whose games last year for the first time eclipsed the three-hour mark, on average.  “Pace of play is an issue that we need to be focused on,'' Rob Manfred, the baseball commissioner, recently told USA Today. The "we," he said, includes "players, owners, umpires...everyone who is invested in this game.”

For most of its first sesquicentennial, Major League Baseball (MLB), which began play in 1869, was blithely indifferent to time management. Hell, the Chicago Cubs waited 108 years to win a World Series. Baseball games were to other sporting events what Paul Thomas Anderson movies are to other films. Brevity

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