RaymondThis weekend’s relocated series against the Baltimore Orioles was a stripped down affair and they were played very quickly.

Some think the two are related. They are probably wrong.

Friday night’s game against the Orioles was clocked in at 2 hours, 19 minutes, the fastest game for the Rays this season. In the entire 2014 season the Rays played just one faster game. The games on Saturday (2:33) and Sunday (2:44) were also among the eight fastest games the Rays played this season.

One thing all these games had in common (besides the opponent) is that the games were lacking of any in-game entertainment since the Orioles were footing the bill.

In theory, the entertainment shouldn’t interfere the pace of play, especially with the new between-inning clocks. But Peter Gammons thinks these two things are related.

There may be something to this, but there are also problems with it.

Of the Orioles’ 20 games prior to these, they played five other games in 2:36 or faster. The Rays have played five other games in 2:33 or fast. In other words, both teams are no stranger to fast games.

In addition, the games featured a grand total of 12 runs. On top of that, the games featured some strong pitching performances with only 11 walks issued in the series by the two teams combined.

Fewer runs and fewer walks are a recipe for faster games, especially in the American League.

And then there are the Yankees and Red Sox. Those teams do very little in-game entertainment and yet their 3-game series over the weekend averaged 3:17.

Does the in-game entertainment, something older fans tend to hate, have an impact on game times? Who knows. Gammons isn’t citing any data other than a hunch and three games that would have probably been fast even with the extra bells and whistles.

But hey, let’s not let facts get in the way of a good story.

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4 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    I don't think the two are related, but the idea of in game entertainment has to go. I'd rather watch commercials on the video board than see a smarmy "game host" every half inning. I'm here for the game... Not stupid games and "bottle races".

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  2. Andrew says:

    Red Sox and Yankee games have always felt like they were dragging. I actually agree with Joe West about the slow pace of those two teams lol.

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  3. Bobby Fenton says:

    It might not be the sole reason, but it's not a coincidence either. The game w/ no spectators at all was a pretty normal game with runs scored and a big inning and everything, and it was barely two hours.

    In-game "entertainment" needs to die a fast death anyway, regardless of game times. It worsens the game experience substantially.

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  4. Chris says:

    Peter Gammons has never let the facts get in his way before, so why should he now. He should be banned from Twitter

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