Via Aaron Gleeman at Hardball Talk, after Wednesday's Yankees-Red Sox game that lasted 3 hours, 16 minutes, Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira told the New York Times, "It’s brutal. I can’t stand playing a nine-inning game in four hours. It’s not baseball. I don’t even know how to describe it. If I was a fan, why would I want to come watch people sitting around and talking back and forth, going to the mound, 2-0 sliders in the dirt? Four-hour games can’t be fun for a fan, either."
What's funny about Teixeira's comments is that Wednesday's game was actually one of the shorter Yankees-Red Sox games this season. Here are the times of all their games: 3:16, 3:59, 4:15 (for a 3-2 nine-inning game), 3:25, 3:11, 3:23, 3:24, 3:41, 3:26, 3:35, 2:58, 3:26 and 3:06.
I wrote about Josh Beckett taking his sweet time between pitchers earlier this season and he continues to receive flak for his pace. Indeed, only seven of his 26 games this season have ended in less than three hours. Of course, Beckett isn't the only pitcher who works slow, so baseball would need to review rule 8.04 (which states a pitcher has 12 seconds to deliver the ball once the batter is in the box) on a league-wide basis this offseason.
Part of me would be excited for another postseason showdown between the two clubs, something we haven't enjoyed since 2004. Part of me fears the games ending at 12:30 a.m. ET, thanks to a likely slower pace of game and added time between commercials (not to mention a later starting time).
To be fair, I think baseball gets some unfair criticism for the length of its games. NFL games last at least three hours and college football games routinely approach four hours. And just like baseball, football is full of guys standing around for 40 seconds and then playing for five. So all the hand-wringing about baseball's pace is mostly a bunch of nonsense.
But there's no denying a Yankees-Red Sox game last longer than your average major league contest. So if they do meet in the playoffs, get ready, Bud Selig: The baseball haters will no doubt come out in full force.