NPR

Do We Really Need To Speed-Up Baseball?

Major League Baseball is considering ways to shorten the game. But the problem baseball faces isn't the speed of the game: Players and spectators alike need to slow down, says blogger Alva Noë.
Fenway Park in Kenmore Square is home to the Boston Red Sox. Source: Getty Images

Major League Baseball has been wrestling with the question of how to shorten the length of baseball games.

They're eager to find ways to speed things up. The New York Times invited staff writers and their readers to offer suggestions (some of which they published earlier this month) — and they were inundated with ideas ranging from the reasonable (more strict enforcement of time outs during at bats) to the unrealistic (actually lop off innings of play, or make it two strikes and you're out).

The history of baseball is a history of rule changes. The mound was lowered after 1967 as a response to too dominant pitching; the foul strike rule — making some foul balls count as strikes — was introduced earlier in the 20th century to counter the opposite problem, the failure of pitchers to contain hitting. These were changes introduced to improve the

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