MESA, Ariz. (670 The Score) Major League Baseball has continued its efforts to shorten games after a record length in time last season. This offseason, the league implemented a limit of six mound visits per nine innings and shortened the time between innings while stopping short of instituting a pitch clock.
These new rules have drawn responses all across baseball. Cubs catcher Willson Contreras joked about how he could handle mound visits, while ace Jon Lester expressed his displeasure.
In the debate, count Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer among those who understand the actions to speed up the game.
“I do think we have to speed the game up for the next generation,” Hoyer said on the Spiegel and Parkins Show on Monday. “I think it’s important. And whenever I hear people talk about what baseball needs to change or what it doesn’t need to change, purists will say, ‘Oh, baseball is perfect the way it is. I don’t want to change it. If you don’t love a four-hour game, then shame on you.’ I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘I went to a game, it was a 5-2 and lasted three-and-a-half hours and I was so glad it didn’t take three hours.
“Everyone likes a good, tense baseball game, but if we can take 15, 20 minutes off that time, I think that’s great. Baseball should be played in roughly three hours.”
Last season, games reached a record time of three hours and five minutes, which increased pressure to shorten the time. The restrictions on mound visits, which were unveiled earlier this month, are the most impactful changes to affect game length.
“I don’t even care,” Contreras told reporters in Arizona. “If I have to go (out there) again and pay the price for my team, I will.”