Why do games take so long?

By David W. Smith

This article was published in the Fall 2018 Baseball Research Journal.

In 2014, then-commissioner Bud Selig announced the formation of a committee to investigate the issue of game length. Since taking office, current commissioner Rob Manfred has taken steps to reduce game time including rules changes that limit mound visits, a countdown clock between innings, and has spoken openly about the possibility of introducing a “shot clock” for every pitch. But what factor contributes to the biggest difference in the length of major-league baseball games? This article is based on the presentation I gave at SABR 48 in Pittsburgh . . .

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