Rick Reilly on baseball’s slow pace:
Consider: There were 280 pitches thrown and, after 170 of them, the hitter got out of the batter’s box and did … absolutely nothing.
Mostly, hitters delayed the proceedings to kick imaginary dirt off their cleats, meditate, and un-Velcro and re-Velcro their batting gloves, despite the fact that most of the time, they hadn’t even swung.
Buster Posey of the Giants, The Man Who Wrecked Your Dinner Reservations, has this habit of coming to the box, stopping outside it and unfastening and refastening his gloves before his FIRST SWING! What exactly was he doing in the on-deck circle? His cuticles?
Of the radical changes people have suggested baseball make to improve the appeal of the game, this is the one I would bet on the most. I would guess that as interest in baseball continues to drop, they will make a significant change to the pace of play. I would guess that it would be something to the effect of only allowing a hitter to step out or call timeout once per at bat, and same for the pitcher. Also I think there will be an equivalent to the shot clock. When it’s all said and I done, I think games will be much closer to 2 hours on a regular basis, which could be huge for attracting fans.