Why Baseball Is Purposely Boring?

Back in 2018, a poll conducted by Gallup found that just 9% of those Americans who were asked said that baseball was their favorite sport to watch.

Gallup began tracking the popularity of sports in 1937 and this was the lowest total found for baseball at the time. The low popularity can be seen in how few young athletes decide to play baseball and can affect its future.

Why Baseball Is Purposely Boring

Baseball is considered boring for a wide range of reasons yet it still has a place in the heart of many American traditionalists.

In this post, we will look at why baseball is purposely boring. This will include the time taken in baseball and a lack of marketability.

The Time Taken In Baseball

A lot of sports fans see baseball as boring simply because of how long each baseball game takes to complete. There are also sizably long gaps during the game and between moments of action.

As well as several periods with no action at all, the baseball season also seems too long. 

A game of baseball is typically over two and a half hours long. That’s more than most sports and it seems as if each game in Major League Baseball is taking longer. In 2005, the average length of a MLB game was two hours and 46 minutes.

Thirteen years later, the average MLB match lasted for three hours and four minutes. 

The reason why baseball games take so long is that, unlike many sports, baseball is not a sport that is timed. Only when a total set of nine innings are completed is a baseball game finished.

That’s not the case in hockey, soccer, football, and basketball as each game in that sport ends when a given amount of time has elapsed. 

Without a play clock, at-bats can be exceptionally long and drawn out. There is also the question of bullpen substitutions which slow down a baseball game too, as do mound visits from coaches and catchers.

The traditional view of baseball is that it is a slow, methodical game that includes various habits that take time. There is even an accepted culture amongst fans and players that the slower pace is accepted in baseball.  

Why Baseball Is Purposely Boring

A Lack Of Marketability

Baseball still appeals to traditional sports fans and that may suggest a lack of marketability for upcoming generations. Many baseball players are simply not expected to engage in wild celebrations that engage a crowd.

That may enhance the professionalism of baseball but it fails to become a marketable sport to the young. 

Part of the excitement in sports like football and soccer is the sense that the clock is ticking. 

If a team is trailing, they will want to quicken the game up, execute, and pull back the deficit to win the game. For the team that is winning, they may try to slow the game down but they will still be focused as the clock ticks down. 

That’s not the case in baseball as the time it can take to get three outs as a team is on defense can take as long as 50 minutes or just 25 minutes. As long as the opposition team does not score, it is all good.

There is still a sense of urgency but it does not come from the time that is ticking away. At-bats can be purposely slow as they need to be methodical with strategic pitching changes, mound visits, and chances for the batter to step out of the box to refocus. 

A whole inning can elapse before a ball has been batted into play. While a strikeout can be exciting and thrilling to a number of fans, many prefer to see the ball being struck.

It would be a waste of fielders if games simply failed to have much game action that involved the ball being batted. 

Final Thoughts

The main objective of a baseball game is to score a home run yet that may be creating a boring game. In baseball, the analytics may have shifted from power hitting to on-base percentage which is getting more players on base and then strategizing power hitting.

That may mean finding players who can powerfully hit a baseball which still means strikeouts, but when it works, it should mean home runs, as well as doubles and triples. 

An emphasis on power does tend to mean less game action and fewer balls end up in play. There are typically more strikeouts, more misses, and more swings.

While there may be more home runs, there is less excitement when a home run happens as they do not seem as rare. This is another factor which removes a lot of the excitement from the game of baseball as fans get used to seeing them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Could A Pitch Clock Quicken Up The Game Of Baseball?

In 2015, both Major League Baseball, Double-A and Triple-A minor league baseball used pitch clocks. These were used to ensure that pitchers delivered their pitches within 20 seconds.

If the pitcher failed to pitch the ball in that 20-second time, a ball was awarded to the batter as a punishment.

The pitch clock is effectively there to encourage pitchers to show some urgency and move the game along and it is said that they have reduced the length of a game by 12 minutes. 

Why Would The Length Of The Baseball Season Matter To Sports Fans?

A regular baseball season will have 162 games in total. Compare that to an NFL season with 16 games and it is no surprise that baseball seasons can involve some pretty irrelevant games.

The sheer length of a baseball season can make the sport seem exceedingly boring, especially when you realize how long each game lasts.

In the NFL, each game seems to matter more as it can make or break a team’s season but that barely seems to be the case in baseball.

Michael Stewart
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