Today is Opening Day for the 2014 big league baseball season. If there’s one change I’d like to see in the way baseball games are played and broadcast it is in the length and pace of the game. Hitters as well as pitchers today take way too much time between pitches. Hitters adjust their gloves, helmets, pants, belts and anything else you could think of before deciding to step back into the batter box. Pitchers, meanwhile, fiddle with their caps, pace the mound, and make pointless pickoff moves before delivering a pitch. It is unclear whether all these extraneous movements are product of “mind games” that pitchers and hitters are known to play on each other or if they are just a form of procrastination. Either way, the fan is left to endure all these time-wasting movements and will be lucky if he or she can muster the patience to watch or listen to all nine innings. Games today are also jam packed with commercials, ads and tie-ins so that sometimes it is unclear whether baseball is the main focus or the car that is being peddled by the announcer for the thirtieth time in the broadcast.
My hope for this season is to be able to score at least one game live (i.e., at the field) which is harder than it sounds if, like me, you also have an infant and toddler to look after during the game. With that in mind, I will simply settle for a hot dog, a cold beer, and making it to the seventh-inning stretch, scorecard be damned.