The Chirp: The timeless game ticks on

10:20 AM, Jun 20, 2013   |    comments
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(The Chirp) -- The orginal idea behind "The Chirp" is to offer this space as a platform for inspiring sports writers.  While we continue to work out the legality of creating that platform, we thought we would have some fun and offer our hardworking interns the same opportunity.  Today's offering comes from intern Sam Clancy. 

The Timeless Game Ticks On
"Remember when three hour games were 12 inning marathons?" said a fan in my section at last night's game, "Before all of these commercials breaks and warm-up pitches."

As a 20 year old baseball fan, I honestly don't have any memories like that. Three hour games, 7:15 starts and missing the last two innings because my parents made me go to bed are the memories that litter my childhood. The timeless nature is what makes baseball so beautiful, but in recent years it has become a topic of complaint around baseball circles.

In last night's game Jake Westbrook allowed just two hits, walked three and erased some of those base runners with two double plays, but as the game entered the seventh inning at around 9:30 p.m., Westbrook never really seemed sharp, says the guy who sat in section 437, but it never seemed like he was in trouble enough to slow the game like he did.

An increase in bullpen activity always slows the game near the end of games, but just as in last night's game, new baseball has slowed beyond these trends.

Long look-ins by the pitcher, countless pickoffs and long time outs by hitters are all within the rules and drag the game on, to the dismay of fans with short attention spans or, like me in my youth, kids with bed times.

A patient man's game will always have a place in the world, but with every sport perusing a younger audience, baseball finds itself between a rock and a hard place.

You can remove the beauty of a game decided, in score and in time, by the play on the field by enforcing pitch clocks or pickoff limits, or you can alienate an audience of fast-paced sports fans who want the result on their schedule.

In the end, baseball is the game that you can set your calendar by, not your watch, and if you change that you will lose the methodical nature that makes baseball different, timeless and special.

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