As baseball games grow increasingly longer and the demographics of the audience grow older, Major League Baseball is trying to address its pace-of-play problem.
Commissioner Bud Selig released a statement announcing the appointment of a new committee designed to examine the pace of the game.
“We have the greatest game in the world, but we are always looking for ways to improve it,” Selig said in a statement. “The game is at its highest levels of popularity and we will continue to strive to identify ways that can build on its stature well into the future.”
The committee will be chaired by Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz and include Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, Red Sox partner Michael Gordon, New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark, commissioner-elect Rob Manfred and MLB executive vice president Joe Torre.
Werner, who was a finalist to replace Selig as commissioner earlier this year, is a strong supporter of speeding up the game. Some of the ideas Werner expressed during his candidacy were a pitch clock, the elimination of warmup tosses by relievers, limits on batters stepping out of the box and limits on mound visits.
Major league games have averaged 3 hours and 8 minutes in 2014, 21 minutes longer than what they averaged in 2005. Adding to the problem is the fact that the average viewer of the World Series last season was 54 years old.
Baseball hopes that increasing the speed of the game will bring a younger audience.
Photo via H. Darr Beiser/USA TODAY Sports Images
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