NPR

America's Favorite Pastime Is Back — And Some Wish It Would Just Hurry Up!

As baseball tries to appeal to a younger audience, there's concern the long game times may drive away that demographic. So MLB is experimenting with speeding games up and eliminating downtime.
A pitch clock behind home plate at Scottsdale Stadium in Arizona, spring training home of the San Francisco Giants. As part of Major League Baseball's efforts to increase the game's pace of play, pitch clocks were used on an experimental basis at some spring training games. But the experiment ended in mid-March. Source: Tom Goldman

Baseball is back. Thursday is opening day for the major leagues. All 30 teams are in action. And while the cry of "play ball!" sounds throughout the majors, baseball officials hope the game embraces a companion cry of "hurry up!"

Since 2014, the average time of a nine-inning game has hovered at or above three hours, which may be driving away the younger demographic baseball is trying to appeal to.

When Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred made a recent spring training swing through Arizona, he acknowledged pace of play is one of the trends of the game that the league watches carefully.

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