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Hartman: MLB commish Manfred is dead right about pace-of-play

Forget how much time passes between the first and the last out of a baseball game, how it passes is far more important.

In this day and age of endless distractions and shortened attention spans, a key to success is managing (i.e. limiting) the consumer’s excuses to find something else to watch or do.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred seems to understand this is the case:

“Pace of game is different than time of game. Pace relates to dead time caused by batters stepping out, pitchers not working quickly, trips to the mound. We’ve never set a goal in terms of time of game. What we want is a well-paced game, with action, regardless of the actual time of the game.”

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While we had some fun last week excoriating the idea of starting extra innings with a runner on second base, this is absolutely the right mindset for the commissioner to have if some positive change is going to happen in this area.

Let’s face it: We reporters seem have more trouble with the time of games than the average fan. That’s probably because when the game is over, we’ve still got another hour or two of work to do.

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Fans go to games because it’s something fun to do – who wants to limit that?

But packing as much action as possible into that time? That’s something we can all get behind.

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