“I'd wake up at night with the smell of the ball park in my nose, the cool of the grass on my feet... The thrill of the grass.” – Shoeless Joe Jackson, Field of Dreams
Ahh, yes. Baseball season is upon us. For some of us that means going out to the ballpark and enjoying a beer and a hot dog; for others it may mean grilling.
During the 2020 MLB season we will see major rule changes to help speed up the pace of play which has long been criticized by casual and hardcore fans. If you think about it, baseball games last about the same amount of time that football games do; but, there is typically only 10 minutes of actual action during a baseball game as opposed to a football or basketball game where there is non-stop action.
Here is a short list of rule changes that will affect the pace of play
Pitchers must face a minimum of three hitters or finish the inning (my personal favorite)
Decreasing the amount of mound visits (dumb)
Commercial time will be decreasing 20 seconds down to 2:00 (THE BIG KAHUNA!!!)
Commercial time is the number one culprit when it comes to pace of play. This kind of goes together with the minimum of hitters for pitchers. Each pitching change calls for commercial time. There has been way more pitching changes in the past 10 years due to an increase in analytics and platooning (righties vs rights/lefties vs lefties) for MLB teams. While platooning has been around forever, this strategy is much more popular now.
So what could this look like from an advertiser’s view? Less commercials? Higher cost? Not necessarily. MLB can get pretty creative with their advertising--shortening the commercials themselves or using a split-screen model that’s becoming more popular (WWE currently uses this, and it stinks) for networks.
These rule changes are definitely a win for Major League Baseball, and I can’t wait to see them in action!