Major League Baseball games are long. Really long. The New York Times writes the average length of a game in 2014 is three hours, two minutes and 47 seconds – compared to 2:35 30 years ago. Keith Olbermann addressed the issue of baseball’s length on his show Thursday night, pinning some of the blame on out-going commish Bud Selig. Olbermann played a clip of Selig from earlier this week complaining about the length of games and compared them to similar statements made in March 1993 about cutting 20 minutes off games.
Olbermann says MLB can cut the length of games by enforcing rules 8.04 and 6.02 (B). Rule 8.04 states pitchers have 12 seconds to deliver the ball to the plate without runners on base or the umpire can call a ball. Rule 6.02 (B) deals with batters stepping out of the box and that umpires aren’t required to call time.
However, as Olbermann notes, if MLB enforced these rules it would leave less time for broadcasts to sell advertisements and stadiums to sell concessions.