Monday, April 7, 2014

MLB executive: Games should be shortened to seven innings


You would have to be ignorant or delusional not to realize that Major League Baseball is having trouble grabbing the interest of younger audiences. The younger generation continues to expect immediate gratification and three-plus hour games is not helping MLB's cause.

With that being said, ESPN.com's Buster Olney recently asked a high-ranking executive what baseball needs to do in order to appease future consumers. His answer was definitely an interesting one.

"I think they ought to change the games to seven innings," he said. 

Naturally, Olney gave him a puzzled look. However, upon further review, this might actually be a solution that would work. Shortening the game would create a more timely and intense product to attract younger fans. Additionally, cutting the game by two innings would also lessen the chance for injury.

If you look through the lense of strictly increasing the allure of baseball to outsiders, shortening the game certainly makes sense. It's unclear whether the league would ever need to such a thing in order to survive. But it's worth considering, right? Maybe not.

As Olney astutely points out, this drastic change will never happen, because the implications of doing it are too big. Baseball, more than any other sport, is a game measured by statistics. And altering the duration of a regulation game would completely change that. The purists would never allow it.

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