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Red Sox Hall Of Famer Joe Morgan Give His Opinion On The Pace Of Play

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Red Sox Hall Of Famer Joe Morgan Give His Opinion On The Pace Of Play

On Sunday, July 23rd, the Pawtucket Red Sox introduced Joe Morgan and Mo Vaughn into their teams hall of fame. During a media portion of the day, Joe Morgan was asked about the pace of play.

The average time of game this season is 3:09, an all time high. When Joe Morgan was the manager for the Red Sox, the average major league game ranged from 2:49-2:54. That’s more then 15 minutes per game.

Over the course of a 162 game season, that leads to an extra 40 hours and 30 minutes of playing time on the field (assuming I did the math right). Playing that much more baseball over the course of a 162 game season isn’t good for your brand. Your fans will get bored and not want to watch the games.

Morgan’s First Thought

During a major league game, I personally think that one of the most annoying things a manager can do is have a mound visit. Every mound visit can last about 90 seconds. If there are four to five mound visits per game, that adds about 6 minutes per game.

“The first thing I’d do is what Tim McCarver said. No visits to the mound. None. Just the manager goes out. You’re in or out. Why do I say that? Who’s listening out there when they come out? The pitcher ain’t. He’s mad” says Joe Morgan

Any time a coach goes out to the mound and tries to talk to his pitcher, he’s not going to listen. Say the previous batter hit a home run around 450 feet. A pitcher doesn’t care what the manager or pitching coach is going to say. He wants to throw the next pitch or get out of there. He doesn’t care what the manager says. Yes, there comes a point where the coach is just going out there to give the bull pen more time to warm up.

But giving the bullpen more time to warm up is a way to give yourself an advantage over the other team. Saying that, that’s another reason why a game can extend another 10-15 minutes. In a typical pitching change during an inning, it’s usually two minutes and twenty seconds between the time the manager comes out of the dugout and the first pitch by the replacement pitcher. Not to mention, a replacement pitcher usually brings down the pace of a game a lot.

Pace Between Pitches

The other thing that goes along with the pitcher pitching the ball is how long it takes them to throw the pitch. A pitcher who throws the ball right away like Chris Sale will always have a shorter game time. When Chris Sale pitches, it takes his no more then 15 seconds between pitches. When a guy like David Price pitches, it can take him 30 seconds between pitches. When you spread that over 100 pitches, that can extend the game 20-25 minutes, 15 seconds at a time.

“I time pitchers all the time. Most of them, with nobody on base, will throw the ball around 12 seconds or a little less. But then they go on 40 some of them. I don’t know how fans stay there and watch a four and a half hour game every night” says Joe Morgan regarding time between pitches.

That basically tells me, you need to have the pitch clock at the major league level. They have had the pitch clock in the minor leagues for a few seasons now. But you need it at the major league level. Yes, eventually every pitcher will be accustomed to the pitch clock since they had it in the minor leagues, but you need it in the major leagues now. Off the bat, you will easily get the average time of game below three hours. No one has the time to sit down and watch a baseball game for 3 hours. They just don’t.

Being In The Batters Box

Before the 2015 season, Major League Baseball put in a rule that the batter must have one foot in the batters box at all times. It’s rarely enforced. If the batter stays in the batters box, the pitcher will work faster. This will speed up the game if the batter stays in the batters box.

“I blame the home plate umpire because there is a rule in there that says hey get in the batters box. And if you don’t do it, the pitcher throws a ball and no matter where it is, it’s an automatic strike. They put in a rule 2 years ago that you can’t leave the batters box. You got to have at least one foot in. That didn’t last long because they didn’t enforce it. Which is irony because they are standing out there for four and a half hours. You’d think they want to do it for two and a half wouldn’t you? Case closed” says Morgan

It makes complete sense to start enforcing batters to stay in the batters box. There is no reason for the batter to get out of the batters box. For a fan, they want to see the pitcher get in the box and swing the bat. Otherwise there is no reason to have the rule in the rule book. They just need to get the game going.

If Major League Baseball doesn’t do something serious soon to get the game going, the game will fail. Kids aren’t falling in love with the game like they used to. They need to fix it to make it more entertaining or quicker to give people a reason to want to watch the game.

Evan is a attending Bryant University and joined the Trifecta Network as an Editor in February of 2016 and is a guest on Down to the WIRE Sports Talk.

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Rumor: Jackie Bradley Jr. Being Shopped For Trade

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Red Sox

With the Boston Red Sox looking to acquire a power bat this offseason to keep up with the Yankees they are reportedly shopping a core member of their current team.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today the player Boston is shopping is center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. One potential destination for Bradley is the Chicago Cubs. Chicago has been connected to Boston with slugger Kyle Schwarber potentially being available.

Schwarber has mashing power but has had issues at the plate having a .211 average last season that caused the Cubs to send the home run hitter back to the minors last June.

Bradley who hit 26 home runs two seasons ago fell back to 17 home runs this past season with a .245 batting average. His fielding ability though makes up for any shortcomings he has at the plate and his contract status could be very appealing in the trade market. Bradley Jr. has three years of arbitration remaining on his contract.

If Boston moves on from Bradley the likely scenario of outfield positioning would be moving Andrew Benintendi over to center field keeping Mookie Betts out in right field.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Stanton in Pinstripes Edition

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MLB Home Run Derby

The snow is now cascading down upon us with indifferent wrath. Today, Boston saw the first real Winter Storm of the impending season. And while you were outside futilely efforting to resist nature, with your shovels and snowblowers, the World of Baseball fractured entirely.

If you haven’t heard by now, you live under the most obscure rock in existence. The New York Yankees have purportedly acquired Giancarlo Stanton from Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. 

Stanton is currently going through the formality of physicals and medical checkups – as if there’s going to be anything physically wrong with this inhuman behemoth.

The Winter Meetings commence tomorrow. It is expected that the trade will be officially announced soon after.

Reports suggest that the Yankees have agreed to eat $265 million of Stanton’s contract, while sending Starlin Castro to Miami along with a couple of low-level pitching prospects.

This was our White Whale, Boston – this one got away and we still ended up dying in the end.

Dave Dombrowski looks like an absolute fool for having let this chiseled new-school Bambino slip through his hands. He immolated the entire pitching crop, down on the farm. So it’s inconceivable that Dombrowski didn’t offer the kitchen sink, in his pursuit of Stanton.

Conversely, underneath the surface, Giancarlo’s mind might have been irrevocably made up, before talks even started. He’s a city-slicker. Miami nightlife translates better to Big Apple nightlife than it does to the half-revelry of the Boston Commonwealth.

The Yankees obtain Giancarlo Stanton, presupposing the implications for the Red Sox and fans alike. It’s with a heavy heart that I unfortunately welcome you to a familiar and antique era of Red Sox Baseball. It’s the late 90’s all over again…

But, you know what? Let’s try to make light of this nonplussing news! Yeah, we don’t need Giancarlo Stanton and those Damn Yankees still won’t win the World Series! It’s time for another installment of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Do Not Need To Get A Big Bat

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Red Sox

Many have stated their wishes that the Boston Red Sox will go out and get a big-time bat for the heart of their order. A bat that they seemingly need to help protect the likes of Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez in the lineup. One of the bigger names connected to the team is Giancarlo Stanton, but reports show that idea as a longshot with Stanton not looking at Boston as a possibility.

Another name, Jose Abreu, is also reportedly out of the running with Ken Rosenthal reporting that the White Sox will not trade their slugger before the start of the season. With the potential list shortening with JD Martinez and Eric Hosmer leading the running, maybe Boston should sit still this offseason.

That is sort of a controversial take, but the notion of Hosmer or Martinez doesn’t get the juices flowing, and ultimately will cost the Red Sox more then they are worth.

So what is the answer, Boston still needs a first basemen for next season. A position that could be filled with Sam Travis and Hanley Ramirez given the idea that Dustin Pedroia will find some time at the DH spot next season with Eduardo Nunez getting some quality time at second base. Another possibility is Rafael Devers not panning out at third base and needing to move to first base or DH at times.

Also in the cards is prospect Michael Chavis who should find himself in AAA Pawtucket at some point next season and maybe in Boston at third base or first. Then comes the possibility of Blake Swihart or my favorite, Bryce Brentz. Both were getting trained at first base with Pawtucket last season and could see reps at first base if Dave Dombrowski opts to not sign a big-time bat.

Of course, these solutions are not as flashy and will not present an immediate threat for Boston in the heart of their order. But betting on the current roster to bounce back at the plate and see an emergence of another young player might be a route to take.

Worse case scenario they get the same amount of production and end up right around 90 wins like they were this past season. But the upside of keeping the financial flexibility going forward while trying out prospects might be the best thing for Boston to do instead of overreacting to fan pressure.

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