How long, on average, is a baseball actually in play during a ballgame?:
posted by dusted to baseball at 11:25 AM - 51 comments
I wonder how much time the pieces are in motion in chess. Or how much time the cards are moving in bridge or poker. For that matter, I'd like to hear how much time a football is actually on the move during a game. The person who wrote that response is dripping with baseball hatred, and clearly doesn't understand one thing about the game. If you're hopping up for a beer every time the ball isn't in play, yes, you ARE missing the game (of course, if you're getting up that often for a beer, the likelihood of remembering anything after the third inning is remote).
posted by BullpenPro at 11:52 AM on August 10
dusted, An interesting look at the game. Thanks! I also read somewhere that the average baseball is in play for just 7 pitches. Back when George Allen was coaching the NFL Redskins he said that defenses were in play an average of about 15 minutes a game and was proud on his defense played only 9 minutes. Directv does complete highlights of every game in 30 minutes each. Weird when you think about it.
posted by Termite at 11:53 AM on August 10
Makes me like football and hockey even more!
posted by myshtigo at 11:54 AM on August 10
The rest of the game just sets the stage, much like a good book does...
posted by mjkredliner at 12:00 PM on August 10
Makes me like football...even more All that non stop action, huh?
posted by justgary at 12:04 PM on August 10
For that matter, I'd like to hear how much time a football is actually on the move during a game. Uhhh... this is a trick question, right? One hour, plus any overtime.
posted by dusted at 12:05 PM on August 10
Uhhh... this is a trick question, right? One hour, plus any overtime. Negative. Plenty of time is eaten off the clock when the ball is NOT in action.
posted by BullpenPro at 12:17 PM on August 10
It's idiotic crap like this that results in idotic marketing ideas like Franken-Friar.
posted by SummersEve at 12:18 PM on August 10
How much time elapses from the snap until the play is whistled dead? Not much I bet.
posted by HATER 187 at 12:19 PM on August 10
So the clock never runs during a huddle? Ever? Then why do quarterbacks spike the ball late in the half?
posted by BullpenPro at 12:22 PM on August 10
dusted, I think he means how long is there actually a play going on during a football game? There's a lot of huddling, barking out signals and other things going on between snaps in a football game. In fact, I believe I read somewhere that the actual amount of football "action" is about the same as baseball: roughly 12-13 minutes per game. Sorry I don't have a source for that. The difference between football and baseball is that most pitches don't result in anything interesting, whereas every football play can be analyzed to death and strategies for the next play can be pondered and discussed.
posted by TheQatarian at 12:23 PM on August 10
So the clock never runs during a huddle? Ever? Then why do quarterbacks spike the ball late in the half? Oops! You're right, I'm wrong.
posted by dusted at 12:27 PM on August 10
Most people who see baseball as boring dont understand it. The average fan wouldnt pay attention to the signs, shifts, etc. that actually take up most of the time.
posted by redsoxrgay at 12:34 PM on August 10
Back in the 60's and 70's when all the players were using lots of speed, games only took like 15 minutes. Swear to god
posted by JohnSFO at 12:38 PM on August 10
The difference between football and baseball is that most pitches don't result in anything interesting, whereas every football play can be analyzed to death and strategies for the next play can be pondered and discussed. If you think this is true, you (a) watch baseball with the sound off (sometimes a good idea, but you don't get any info from that); and (b) you don't understand the nuances of the game. Which is fine. I'm not one of those people who thinks everyone has to love the game like I love the game. Everyone here has their sports passion -- mine is baseball, and because of that, yes, I see strategies and play development in every pitch. It would be great if SpoFi could open the mind of a baseball fan. I'd love to see some sort of fireside where the baseball geeks on this site can view one game together and discuss what goes on in our heads as a game unfolds. I think people who don't know much about baseball would find it revealing, and even if it just cemented your distaste for the game I would think it accomplished something. I would actually embrace something like this for the sports I just don't understand, like auto racing and soccer. I was hoping for an experience like it during the World Cup, but I just didn't have the time to commit.
posted by BullpenPro at 12:38 PM on August 10
Ah, baseball always unfairly takes this rap. It's a marginal, knee-jerk reaction by most - they're told baseball is boring, they don't like baseball, ergo it IS boring. Truth is, the pace of baseball is fine, the length of a game is fine and the amount of action is fine - provided you're a fan. My own personal example is NASCAR - a brillantly popular sport with lots going for it - except that I can't get around the fact that they only turn left. It literally frames every thought I have about it. How can this be the ultimate test for drivers? They turn one way. I just can't see past that. Other driving sports turn way more. Consequently I don't watch NASCAR. But I don't sit there and suggest that the sport is boring just because I don't like it. I mean Cricket, anyone? How about a track and field meet? When was the last NFL game you saw that took less than 3:30?
posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:08 PM on August 10
If you think this is true, you (a) watch baseball with the sound off (sometimes a good idea, but you don't get any info from that) I actually still get tons of info from watching games with the sound off (which I do somewhat freqeuntly for varying reasons) -- it's just all visual info (info like who's on base, who's at the plate, the count, etc. -- all of which can come from just using the eyes). If I have been watching from the beginning and know what the status of the two teams are (who's on the bench, who's unavailable to pitch because of work in recent days, etc.), I also can assess various potential strategic maneuvers. I would enjoy getting in the SpoFi Campfire at some point and doing a real-time game chat; see if you can get something lined up in the Locker Room (although it would probably have to be a Sunday night game or other ESPN game to ensure that everyone got the same game, as Fox does regional coverage on its Saturday games and not everyone has Extra Innings or a similar package).
posted by holden at 01:10 PM on August 10
Jerry Remy is one of the few reasons to keep the sound on during a game. There's so much going on during every pitch. Some of it is the camera angle too. All that focus on batter v. pitcher hides the positioning, much of the running game, etc.
posted by yerfatma at 01:24 PM on August 10
I believe this story/study is over-simplistic and probably completed by someone who has never played serious baseball on a competitive level. While there is a lot of time during a game when the ball isn't actually "moving," the strategy that's often taking place is considerable. Runners are taking leads, pitchers are watching them, keeping them close, batters are taking signals, coaches are aligning defenders, the pitcher is shaking off signals from the catcher. The best thing about baseball is the pace. I, for one, am glad individuals who don't like baseball because it's not as fast as football, hockey, etc. don't like it. You need to have an appreciation for the game for what it is, accepting the fact it just-plain won't be as constantly fast. Nothing in the world beats sitting back at a baseball game, relaxing with friends or family, enjoying a drink, etc. I also enjoy jumping up and down at football games, going beserk while everyone else does the same, etc. But the two sports offset themselves nicely. Sports don't all have to be about all-out speed and fast pace.
posted by dyams at 02:00 PM on August 10
Holden: I'm with you, but we are bringing our own knowledge of what that visual information means with us. A good broadcaster (not an oxymoron, but not easy to find either) can help those uneducated in the nuances of the game understand the ebb and flow of the game as it progresses with every pitch. If there are men on second and third, two outs, and a 3-1 count on the batter, the situation doesn't mean as much if you don't understand: a) how good the current batter is; b) how good the on-deck hitter is; c) what the pitcher's "out" pitch is... etc. These are the things a good broadcaster should be illustrating as the game develops. Total indulgence: I have to take this opportunity to mention how terrible the White Sox radio guys are. I listened to the Yankees/White Sox game on XM last night -- the guys were actually doing rituals in the booth. When Randy Johnson took his no-no into the seventh inning, they showed no appreciation for the performance and instead turned to "stunts" to try to jinx Johnson. I'm not kidding. Then, in the ninth, when the Sox were rallying, they claimed they were standing up in the booth because "it worked last night." It was embarrassingly unprofessional. On edit: well said, Dyams
posted by BullpenPro at 02:01 PM on August 10
There is some serious overreaction here. This was not an attack on baseball, and the language in the link is benign. All it states is that the ball is actually moving somewhere between 9 and 13 minutes per game. Several people, and especially BullpenPro, took that as an attack on the game. We can't discuss an interesting factoid about the game without accusing the author of "dripping with baseball hatred?" The writer was being sarcastic, yes, but all Ask Yahoo columns have an element of sarcasm. Lighten up, Francis!
posted by dusted at 02:09 PM on August 10
Hmmmm, well , OK, thank you for enlightening us about that 'factoid', dusted. 9 and 13 minutes! WOW! Who woulda thunk that?
posted by mjkredliner at 02:15 PM on August 10
Lighten up, Francis! Keep your mitts off my stuff. First sentence: One thing you'll never hear from a fan at a baseball game: "Slow down!" I read this as, "baseball is a game that could not possibly move any slower." Then the writer suggests that, to the fan, the pace is "relaxing," as though that is the best argument you can make in its favor. Then: nine innings of baseball can feel like a week There is no suggestion anywhere that the time can fly by if you're into the game, it only points out what baseball can be at its worst to the least interested fan. Close: When watching baseball, just about any time is a good time to go for a beer. This doesn't ring as insulting? Anybody?
posted by BullpenPro at 02:21 PM on August 10
John Updike described baseball as a game you could watch while reading the paper. He didn't mean it as an insult, but it sounds like one now. I'll save you the X-tremee Mountain Dew In My Day speech.
posted by yerfatma at 02:26 PM on August 10
I meant to add before, dusted, that I'm sorry if it appears that I felt the need to harp on your "time clock" comment twice, or dog pile you about it. I totally misread HATER's comment and somehow thought he was arguing your point -- my second response was to him. Sorry about that. The Jeter bashing in the A-Rod thread has me all conflapurated, I guess.
posted by BullpenPro at 02:29 PM on August 10
Aw hell, we all know that if they didn't spend as much time re-adjustin' the gonads and the chaw, and havin' them useless gatherings on the hill, they could play them games in an hour or so...
posted by mjkredliner at 02:34 PM on August 10
Aw hell, we all know that if they didn't spend as much time re-adjustin' the gonads and the chaw, Wait - that doesn't mean they're puttin' on the hit and run?
posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:43 PM on August 10
Damn! The signals were stolen again!
posted by mjkredliner at 02:47 PM on August 10
Bullpen, I read the link the exact same way you did. I don't know if you were serious about that fireside, but I would love to get in on it. I'm getting into the supergeek Baseball Prospectus realm and I'm lovin' it, baby! Now I'm gonna go look up Conflapurated.
posted by SummersEve at 02:50 PM on August 10
BullpenPro: I'd love to tell you that was a bad night for the Sox guys, but they are the worst kind of "homers." "Use of Ask Yahoo! is entirely at your own risk and is not a substitute for conducting your own research." -- Truer words were never written in small type. I can see why the writer didn't sign his or her work. That was sad. One of the things I love about a live game is sitting near someone who loves (and understands) the game while they explain it to his/her child. The kids are always amazed how much goes on between pitches. Does anyone remember the televised MLB game that was simply shown with the sounds of the game and no announcers? I'd love to see that every Saturday.
posted by ?! at 02:57 PM on August 10
Ten or fifteen minutes, aryou kidding me. I thought more like thirty. Anyway, it points out baseball's biggest problem, on the field.
posted by Joe88 at 02:58 PM on August 10
Total indulgence: I have to take this opportunity to mention how terrible the White Sox radio guys are. I listened to the Yankees/White Sox game on XM last night -- the guys were actually doing rituals in the booth. When Randy Johnson took his no-no into the seventh inning, they showed no appreciation for the performance and instead turned to "stunts" to try to jinx Johnson. I'm not kidding. Then, in the ninth, when the Sox were rallying, they claimed they were standing up in the booth because "it worked last night." It was embarrassingly unprofessional. I live in Chicago (although I'm not a fan of either team here -- I'm ambivalent about the White Sox and pretty strongly dislike the Cubs), and I have to say that the White Sox TV and radio broadcast teams have are, in my experience, the biggest homer announcers in professional sports.
posted by holden at 03:07 PM on August 10
posted by jerseygirl at 03:13 PM on August 10
"You can put it on the boooooooard, yes!" is easily the worst homer call of all-freaking-time. I just can't stand it. I'd prefer if they just started calling homers like Hezbollah missle strikes: "That one's half-way to Haifa! Way back! Gone! Sound the air-raid 'cause Jermaine Dye just leveled another apartment complex!" I am not funny.
posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:16 PM on August 10
Stretch...you can put it on the board...[in unison] Yes!!!
posted by holden at 03:17 PM on August 10
holden, I like the Campfireside game chat idea of yours. This week's ESPN Sunday night game is the continuing Battle of Mediocrity, Giants at Dodgers. Schmidt and Maddux are pencilled in to start. That could be fun.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:31 PM on August 10
If you guys were talking about the "other" football (soccer), we could say with reasonable certainty that the ball is in play for ... I dunno, 85 or so out of a 90 minute game. So why does everybody say soccer is boring?
posted by rgchappell at 03:48 PM on August 10
The Jeter bashing in the A-Rod thread has me all conflapurated, I guess. Oh come on now. I've admitted numerous times that he's great. But even you have to admit that they hype around Jeter is a bit much. And quite often those jumping throws are as much for show as they are for function.
posted by grum@work at 04:13 PM on August 10
Anyway, it points out baseball's biggest problem, on the field. Which is what now? I feel like I have to do 90% of the work to make your comments meaningful. 100% of the work if we also want factual.
posted by yerfatma at 04:21 PM on August 10
I live about an hour and a half from Chicago, and I get Cubs and White Sox all over the place here...the WGN team makes Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver seem like Vin Scully and Buck the Elder.
posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:22 PM on August 10
For as long as I can remember, my favorite sports were baseball and golf, with football close behind. Recently I figured out why this was: These sports require more strategy and planning than other more continuous sports (soccer and hockey). (Basketball falls into the middle because while it is continuous, there is a shot clock which makes for some discreetness.) With the discrete sports, there is an exact idea of what needs to be done, then when the play is over, it is possible to analyze it and see how successful the play was. For example, throwing an 1-2 curveball in the dirt to try to get a hitter to chase, playing to the middle of a green with a tucked pin, or executing a particular blocking scheme to get a first down. The nice thing about my "discrete" sports is that you know when to watch, then you can think about it in between plays. With the "continuous" sports, there is much more improv, which I will admit leads to neater goals (Germany's double header in the World Cup), but maybe the most complex "plays" are on the order of a give-and-go. Additionally, since anything can happen at any given moment, it is difficult to continually pay attention and see what is going on... Just a thought.
posted by edub1321 at 04:32 PM on August 10
Actually, Maddux pitching Sunday is funny cause I was thinking all through reading the thread that watching Maddux at his best was more instructional about the nuance of the game than any announcer could be. Nothing is funnier than seeing a batter eating dirt on a Maddux curve that started out at his head and broke down and away to just catch the zone for a strike. It`s harder to appreciate what guys like Clemens and Pedro do to batters. A Maddux gem can be a real clinic.
posted by gradioc at 04:34 PM on August 10
holden, I like the Campfireside game chat idea of yours. This week's ESPN Sunday night game is the continuing Battle of Mediocrity, Giants at Dodgers. Schmidt and Maddux are pencilled in to start. That could be fun. DJE -- I'm up for some Sunday baseball chat. Let's pick a forum in the Campfire and post an announcement to the Locker Room.
posted by holden at 05:14 PM on August 10
What about Hockey, If youre gonna say that when the Puck is behind the red line and the Defending team (Team thats right behind their own Goaltender waiting for a forward to get the Puck, Hope you know what I mean) has the Puck than I would say about 45-50 minutes that the puck is in motion Thats What I Think
posted by your-money9388 at 07:12 PM on August 10
When the suggestion is made that baseball does not contain enough minutes of actual "action", I'm glad to read a response like the one by Dyams who truly seems to have played the sport enough to appreciate it. There are few sports in which a lesser athlete can out-think, out-strategize, and defeat physically superior opposition like a good team of baseball players can. These players use their few seconds of action to the utmost, and the astute baseball fan recognizes the brilliance of this GREAT game where sheer athletic talent is only one component of success on the field. Thank you all for reminding me of this.
posted by judgedread at 09:06 PM on August 10
How can this be the ultimate test for drivers? They turn one way. I just can't see past that. Other driving sports turn way more. Actually, on certain courses (titled "road courses"), they actually do turn right. Of course, they only have these races on the average of once or twice a year, and go some years without them, but they have had them before
posted by zachaweenus at 09:30 PM on August 10
the WGN team makes Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver seem like Vin Scully and Buck the Elder. I hope to god you are referring to the WGN televised game and not the radio. Brenly and the other shmuck on the televised broadcasts are fucking brutal, but give me Santo on the radio any day.
posted by willthrill72 at 09:59 PM on August 10
willthrill72: All of the WGN analysts (radio and TV) make me miss Chip and Steve even more!!
posted by t money at 10:25 PM on August 10
Chip sucked, at least Stone knew his shit (even though he was a pompous ass).
posted by willthrill72 at 10:39 PM on August 10
I tended to like Chip, if for no other reason than he was an apple that fell off a pretty good tree.
posted by mjkredliner at 10:36 AM on August 11
holden, here you go.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:21 PM on August 11
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