I’ve long said I’m all for Manfred speeding up the game if he’s not going to tarnish the strategic ways pitchers and hitters try to throw each other out of their rhythm. That’s impossible. But by all accounts, the MLB has half of this thing figured out. People going to games are generally not worried about the contest’s length or the time in between action. The problem is the people on the couch who are complaining are where the real money stems from.
So what do we do to limit this boredom casual fans experience while watching their team? A simple solution would be for the MLB to use their network to have an always-on channel similar to the NFL’s RedZone. When you sit down on Sundays to watch football and dedicate yourself to being totally unproductive, you aren’t complaining about the length of games or commercial breaks even though they’re similar to a baseball game. That’s because you can flip to RedZone and watch your fantasy team get destroyed. Though fantasy baseball doesn’t drive nearly the amount of interest fantasy football does, I would tune-in to a cut-away of Chris Sale versus Mike Trout every day of the week.
I can’t imagine the MLB hasn’t thought of this, so let’s assume they’re not completely stupid and it’s unfeasible for whatever reason. If that’s the case, think about limiting commercials. I know the ad world, and I know I’ve seen commercials run on the same screen as the game in between innings. So on one half of your screen you have an commercial, and on the other half you can see the Cubs warming up to prepare for the bottom of the ninth. Of course, the networks would have to get about a billion partners to agree to this transformation.
To make myself clear: Baseball needs to be more like Lady Gaga.