Tuesday, May 5, 2015

What To Do With Your Extra 8.5 Minutes

This year Major League Baseball has introduced some new rules aimed at quickening the pace of play and shortening the length of baseball games. I'm sure, if you follow baseball at any depth beyond beer and hotdogs (although that might be the best depth in my opinion!), you've seen the rules in action. Batters must keep one foot in the batter's box unless they do something crazy like fake bunt, or swing or have to move their feet at all. Pitchers must begin each inning by the time a 2:25 clock runs out. And let me tell you, after taking three amazing (terrible) swings to end the inning during inter league play last week, I was pretty gassed! But I soldiered on and managed to beat the tick-tock of the clock as the next inning began. Now finished with our first month of the season we can look back and say SUCCESS! All of these new initiatives have served their purpose and now the game is quicker than its been in a long while. We've managed to shave 8.5 minutes off the average game time...8.5 minutes, people! Think about all of the amazing things we baseball fans can all do with our extra 8.5 minutes. Just imagine the possibilities!

Personally, I remember as a kid being able to run the bases after the game on certain days at Turner Field (if we ever made it to the end of a game, but I'll get to that later). So cutting off 8.5 minutes per game would mean 8.5 fewer minutes of me asking my parents "is it over yet?" Consequently, it would also mean one less run to the Dippin' Dots stand to shut me up. 

As an adult baseball fan it would, in all likelihood, mean 8.5 fewer minutes to eat/drink said hotdogs and beer. And seeing as how they incentivize buying the half gallon size draft beers, my guess is that means more 6th inning chugging before last call in the 7th. Because we all know you want another one, but double-fisting two 64 oz souvenir cups with Jose Altuve's face on them is tough. Gotta finish the first one in 8.5 less minutes. Chug, chug, chug! 

If you're my dad (God bless him), you've been plotting since the 3rd inning about how to leave early. Most likely citing "beating the traffic" as your main objective. While 8.5 less minutes of baseball could be the perfect compromise to allow the family to stay and watch the last out, high fives and possible Gatorade shower, it simply increases your anxiety knowing that EVERYONE will get out earlier, and thus traffic will "be a disaster." 

I'll admit, watching anything for 3+ hours is tough. I can barely make it through a 2 hr. movie these days. The marginal satisfaction of every Michael Bay explosion decreases exponentially after a certain length of time. At some point I begin to think of all the other things I could/should be doing with the precious 24 hours in my day. So now that baseball has ducked under the proverbial 3 hour limbo stick and gone from a 3:02 avg. gametime to 2:53:30, let's think about all the things we can do with our extra 8.5 minutes per day all summer long!

I'll get us started, but feel free to chime in with your suggestions in the comments below:

- make a deli sandwich (not a panini, though. too much time. Sorry Italy)
- listen to one movement of a classical piece of music or almost all of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird"
- finish 1/875th of an upgrade to your Archer Tower in Clash of Clans
- play one extra hole of golf (as long as I hit the fairway, green and don't 3 putt...so nevermind)
- read another page of Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time". At this rate I should finish it before time itself ends
- have a phone conversation with one of my siblings or a quarter of a conversation with my mom
- watch this cat video another 90 times
- do the warmup of a Crossfit workout (then puke, immediately quit and vow never to do that again)
- help change the flat tire on that elderly lady's car. C'mon yall, let's use this 8.5 minutes for good!


Ok, your turn...