People complain about how long baseball games go, but MLB knows why the games go as long as they go. Considering that the Red Sox and the Yankees are playing each other this weekend I figured that this would be the perfect opportunity to explain what the problem is...
Anybody who remembers Nomar Garciaparra remembers how after every pitch he would step out the batter's box to mess with his batting gloves, do a little shimmy, and then get back in the box. It was ritualistic. Go head youtube him and you'll see. Because the umpires never say anything to any batter or pitcher for that matter the players get to step way out the box to do their rituals with their batting gloves, helmets or what have you. This is why baseball is so slow. If umpires were willing to tell players that they had to stay in the box and not walk 10 feet out just to play with their batting gloves at bats would go much faster. With faster at bats innings would by faster and games would be done quicker. There is no reason why a Red Sox - Yankees game should be teetering around 4 hours long. Plus considering that American League games tend to go longer (thanks to the worst rule in sports) than National League games just makes this series tiresome.
How to solve this? Have umpires do their jobs by keeping hitters in the batter's box. It's as simple as that. It's already a part of their jobs to keep the pace of the game going and by allowing hitters to do whatever they want between pitches delays the game and those casual fans tend to change the channel.
But it's not only hitters. Pitchers also take their sweet time. While trying to "intimidate" hitters Jonathan Papelbon would stand on the mound and stare into the catcher or at the batter until he's ready to deliver the pitch and considering that Papelbon was fined over $10,000 in one season while in Boston because he took too long to deliver pitches just goes to show you that baseball understands where the problem lies, but yet game play is still painfully slow to the casual fan who would rather watch more active sports like football or basketball. And considering that baseball is expanding instant replay (which I am a fan of) get ready for an even longer game.