Hey Red Sox: Work Faster

This morning, I did a quick story for the Wall Street Journal on pace between pitches. So far, the Cleveland Indians look like the stars of working quickly, as all five of their starters have taken less than 20 seconds between pitches. Derek Lowe and Justin Masterson actually rank second and third in baseball in pace so far this year, behind only Roy Halladay and his Two Hours Of Doom approach.

You know who the slowest working pitching staff in baseball is to this point of 2012? The Boston Red Sox, who have taken an average of 24.6 seconds between pitches this year. You know who was the slowest working pitching staff in 2011? The Red Sox. 2010? The Red Sox. 2009? The Red Sox. 2008? The Red Sox.

The last time that Boston didn’t have the slowest working pitching staff in baseball was 2007. That year, they had the second slowest staff, getting edged out by the Yankees by 0.3 seconds per pitch.

You know who the slowest working starting pitchers in baseball have been since 2007? Josh Beckett (25.6 seconds between pitches), Daisuke Matsuzaka (25.4), and Clay Buchholz (25.2). They are the only three starters in the sport to take more than 25 seconds between pitches, and they all pitch for the Red Sox.

Even shifting to relievers, where there’s more annual turnover and where we can see a broader selection of pitchers, we find the Red Sox as the most deliberate group in baseball, and it’s not even close. Since 2007, their relievers have taken an average of 25.7 seconds between pitches (relievers work slower in general, so the numbers are higher here), a full 1.6 seconds slower than the next slowest bullpen. The slowest working reliever in baseball over that span? Jonathan Papelbon (tied with Rafael Betancourt) at 31.0 seconds between pitches.

The Red Sox have had 51 pitchers throw at least 10 innings for them over the last 5+ years, and exactly two of those 51 have averaged fewer than 20 seconds between pitches. These heroes are Tim Wakefield (18.8 seconds) and Scott Atchison (19.9 seconds). The other 49 guys who have taken the mound have all been no faster than average in time between pitches, and they’ve ranged all the way down to the absolute slowest workers in the sport.

This isn’t a small sample size. With nearly 50 pitchers over 5+ years, and consistent finishes as the slowest working team in baseball, this sure has all the earmarks of an organizational philosophy. And it’s an annoying one.

Red Sox games already take a long time because their hitters take a lot of pitches and score a lot of runs. At least that philosophy can be directly related to offensive success, and is an area where you can see the positive results of taking a deliberate approach. But, it’s not like the Red Sox pitchers have been world beaters, or that there’s some obvious advantage they’re gaining by having their pitchers spend a bunch of time walking around the mound and scratching themselves between pitches.

Major League Baseball has made a lot of efforts over the last 10 to 15 years to reduce some of the delays in action in the sport. Perhaps they’ve missed the most obvious step – contract the Red Sox. That would fix an awful lot of problems, and rid us of Bobby Valentine‘s media circus at the same time. Win-win!

Editor’s Note: I’m kidding. Sort of.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


110 Responses to “Hey Red Sox: Work Faster”

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  1. magdalencollege says:

    Enforcing Rule 8.04 would be a good start. Boston’s pitchers would pick up the pace if they had to face every hitter with the count of 1-0.

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    • Ryan_MT says:

      “8.04
      When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call ?Ball.? The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball.
      The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire.”

      +34 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JimNYC says:

      I don’t understand why people want games to go faster.

      Let’s say that I go to a game and buy a ticket that costs $60. If the game is finished in two hours, then I’ve just spend $30/hour of baseball. If the game goes three hours, I’ve spend $20/hour of baseball. If the game goes four hours, I’ve spent $15/hour of baseball. If the game goes extra innings and lasts six hours, I’m down to $10/hour to watch baseball.

      If people love baseball — and, if you’re here, I’m assuming you do — isn’t more baseball better than less baseball? From where I sit, a five hour game is infinitely preferable to a three hour game — more baseball, same price.

      -46 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Pitnick says:

        It isn’t more baseball, though. It’s the same amount of baseball stretched over more time. It’s tough for a lot of people to find that kind of time in their day.

        +61 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • DavidJ says:

        A pitcher who works slowly doesn’t give us more baseball; he just makes the same amount of baseball take longer. A hundred pitches with twenty seconds between them is the same amount of baseball as a hundred pitches with thirty seconds between them.

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      • J.D. KaPow says:

        As the others noted, it’s not more baseball, it’s the same amount of baseball stretched over more time. To get more baseball, you want the actual pitches to take longer, not the time between them. Therefore, soft-tossers represent your best baseball bargain, while flamethrowers are simply stealing your hard-earned money. Down with Aroldis Chapman’s 100+mph heat! Up with Livan Hernandez’s eephus pitch!

        +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • philkid3 says:

        I’m saying it too, so you can keep on getting corrected:

        I watch baseball to see 54 outs. If I see more, it’s because the game is tight and thrilling. The less time it takes to see those 54 outs, the better. I want to see plenty of baseball, I just want less time between the not-baseball. Taking forever between pitches is not-baseball.

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      • geo says:

        The only things that add up to “more baseball” are extra innings and doubleheaders.

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      • Hecky Schmaltz says:

        Weird, I thought Terri Schiavo was dead. Well, if you have a DVR you can just pause it for 20 seconds after every pitch and stare at the frozen screen, which is more or less as interesting as watching players adjust their pads and expectorate in between pitches, and you’ll get twice as much entertainment! As a bonus you don’t even have to listen to the generally-irritating announcers while enjoying this ‘baseball’.

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      • cs3 says:

        you guys are all missing the most important point though…. more time between pitches means more time before the 7th inning, which means more time for BEER!

        and this is the red sox were talking about here, so that is obviously the correct reasoning

        +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • amgarvey says:

        I don’t necessarily disagree with the comments of the original poster. Many times I enjoy the leisurely pace of baseball.

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  2. Jon says:

    Funny that Lowe and Masterson once pitch for the Red Sox.

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    • Slartibartfast says:

      Why do you think they got rid of them? It’s an organizational philosophy. If you don’t buy in, you’re out!

      +27 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. BigNachos says:

    Are you actually trying to claim that Daisuke Matsuzaka is following the organizational philosophy on something?

    I suspect it’s more that younger pitchers like Buchholz are imitating their role model Beckett (who’s not an organizational product) than an overall philosophy.

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  4. Ignorant Tool says:

    We need a pitcher, not a belly itcher.

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  5. Eminor3rd says:

    It seems to be popular opinion that working faster is better for pitchers/defense. Is there data to support this?

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    • BigNachos says:

      From the studies I recall, no, there’s no correlation between defensive performance and time between pitches.

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  6. West says:

    I’m %100 in favor of a pitch clock, 31 seconds is ridiculous.

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  7. tylersnotes says:

    this comments section is going to be a delight to watch all afternoon

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  8. Slartibartfast says:

    “Hey Red Sox: Work Faster”

    YES, PLEASE

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  9. astrostl says:

    Any chance you’ll post the ranking of all 30 teams?

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  10. Aggie E says:

    Josh Beckett has been a huge issue with this for years. hopefully my Rangers light him up Wednesday so he gets removed quickly…

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  11. hailey says:

    I’d be interested in this if it had an impact on their winning or losing.

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    • philkid3 says:

      I watch baseball for two reasons.

      1) I am entertained.

      2) I want to see the Rangers win.

      Those are probably in reverse order, but it’s close.

      Anyway, enforcing Rule 8.04 does not hinder the second interest, and it helps the first. So I’m interested.

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  12. Sleight of Hand Pro says:

    its not always the pitcher, though. both the red sox and yankees hitters back out of the batters box, readjust their gloves, and take a few practice swings before getting ready for the next pitch. some are really bad (gardner, pedroia, cano, ellsbury) and some arent that bad.

    ive noticed a lot of times the pitcher is sitting there waiting to take the sign from the catcher but the batter is 5 feet away from the box kinda staring into space as he mindlessly adjusts his batting gloves.

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    • BigNachos says:

      I’d love a rule that did not allow the batter to leave the batter’s box until the at-bat was over.

      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • joser says:

      Jim Bouton happened to be on “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” this past weekend and addressed this very point (around the 5:30 point)

      What doesn’t excite me about the game is stepping out of the batter’s box… After every pitch the guy steps out of the batter’s box, has to fix the straps on his glove…If they eliminated Velcro it would knock 20 minutes off every game.

      +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • David K says:

      The pitcher is allowed to deliver the pitch as soon as the batter is in the box, the batter doesnt have to be set in the box. If the pitcher was truly ready before the batter was, he would deliver the pitch immediately upon the batter entering the box, it would be no contest. The pitcher getting set early forces the hitter to get set early.

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      • Krog says:

        Not true:
        Rule 8.05(e) Comment: A quick pitch is an illegal pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted.

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    • philkid3 says:

      I ran the math earlier today, and compared to the average team, it is partly the hitters.

      But it is seven times more the pitchers.

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  13. BX says:

    Somewhere, Cowboy Joe West is applauding (between drinks)

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  14. Cozar says:

    Excellent info. Now I know when I record a game, I hit 8-secs back twice (or do I need 3?) then skip 30, except when the Red Sox are pitching, then it is only one back and one forward.

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  15. ElJosharino says:

    Longer games = fans in the stadium longer and buying more concessions = longer TV broadcasts with more commercials = $$$
    Coincidence that the Sox and Yanks are the worst offenders of long games?

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MustBunique says:

      It seems we think alike, Josharino. I thought about the commercials point and you might have something there, especially with all the between-pitches crap they are shoving down our throats now. 3 stooges UGH. Even Remy realizes how awful that ad is.

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    • JohnR says:

      The number of commercials in an MLB broadcast has nothing to do with the length of time it takes to play the game. The commercials come at the end of every half inning and at pitching changes.

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      • MustBunique says:

        Unless you watch NESN, where they have IN-GAME promos in between almost every pitch.

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      • Luke M. says:

        Not sure when the last time you watched a game on TV was but they occasionally squeeze extra ads in between pitches now. This has increased a lot in recent years, and the local FOX affiliates seem to be the worst offender.

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      • Richie says:

        The light bulb just went on!! Thanks, guys. Of COURSE! broadcasters then hence MLB makes more money when they can run promos between pitches. So it’s in the short-term interest of every decisionmaker involved to have things slow enough between pitches so they can run them. Then add in concession money, which I’m sure they’ve calculated brings in ‘X’ amount of dollars for every minute folks are in the park.

        There’s no pace of play problem for MLB. At all. In the longterm, perhaps. Maybe. But by then I plan on being promoted up out of responsibility for the problem. Or quite possibly working somewhere else altogether.

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  16. MustBunique says:

    Any chance this is coming down from the top? Longer games=more concession sales. Like everything else they do, the Sox owners are probably just trying to squeeze every penny out of whatever fans are left.

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  17. Chickensoup says:

    It’s mostly an annoyance factor for me, but I know a lot of people personally who don’t watch baseball games already because of game pace. 2and a half hours per game is already long for most people to sit down and watch a game on tv, belaboring it meaninglessly like the red sox do makes it worse

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    • Ian says:

      NFL games last 3:05 on average, with plenty of stoppage. They don’t have a problem attracting viewers.

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      • AA says:

        They are also only one once a week.

        +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chickensoup says:

        1/10th of the games mostly all played on one day of the week that nearly everyone has a full day off on.

        There’s a large difference between watching half of a baseball teams games and half of a football teams.

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  18. Jerome S. says:

    Yankees fan here. IMO, they’re not exactly a locomotive on the mound either.
    Would kill for some rules regarding throws to first, meetings with catcher etc.

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  19. badenjr says:

    When I was younger, I noticed that I slowed down in between pitches when I pitched as I got tired. Does the pace tell us something about (1) the conditioning of the pitcher, (2) how long the manager chooses to leave the pitcher in, (3) both, or (4) neither?

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    • Nick W. says:

      What do you consider good conditioning then? Roy Halladay going to the ball park at 5:30 a.m. or is that too extreme? Everyone has to have different conditioning.

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      • badenjr says:

        What I’m saying is that the slow pace may not be an organization philosophy, but rather a symptom of something else. It could be that the Red Sox pitchers tire too easily and slow their pace down.* It could also be that the manager leaves the pitcher in too long (again assuming that their pace slows down as they get tired). If either (or both) of those things are true, the solution to speeding up the game isn’t to simply tell the pitcher to work faster.

        *Assumption based on my experience, not on any actual data.

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    • Richie says:

      Excellent questions. Do starters slow down as the game goes on?

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      • badenjr says:

        I don’t know, but I’d like to. My assumption is that pitchers slow down in pressure situations and when they are tired. (Slowing down in pressure situation could explain why relievers take longer between pitches than starters do.) It strikes me that one could come up with a way to use the time between pitches to identify the high effort pitches that wear down a pitcher. Maybe this could provide a way to better prevent pitcher injuries???

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  20. EarlSweatshirt says:

    I mean, they have a new manager, pitching coach, and GM. If it’s an organizational philosophy, who’s philosophy is it? Someone should look into the Cubs pitcher times, I highly doubt this is some larger philosophy and more just selection bias w/ Beckett, Buchholz, and Dice-K all being individual cases. Beckett took forever with the Marlins and Dice-K hasn’t followed the Red Sox program from day 1.

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    • jayT says:

      Is it a sample bias to look at the 51 relievers, 49 of which were slower then league average?

      I’m not saying it’s an organizational philosophy or anything, but it does seem that something is going on with the Red Sox that causes this.

      Maybe Veritek used to do something that makes pitchers shake him off more, and that rubbed off onto Salty? You did mention that Wakefield was a faster worker then the rest of the staff, and he always had his own personal catcher. Though, I guess he never really had to think to hard about what pitch type to throw next either…

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      • siggian says:

        With Wakefield, there really wasn’t a need to cycle through signs, was there? That would cut out a lot of wasted time right there.

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      • Richie says:

        Excellent hypothesis. Were Sox pitchers even slower when pitching to Varitek? I’d guess not, given that they’re still slowpokes. But what were Varitek’s specific numbers?

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  21. Will says:

    Conformation of Papelbon’s almost unbearable slowness.

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  22. steve-o says:

    Guess what pitching staff is #2 in the majors with accumulated WAR over 2007-2012? Yup the Rad Sawks.

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  23. redsoxu571 says:

    I’m curious as to whether the catchers (in particular, Jason Varitek, given that he was with the team so long) are partially responsible for this.

    Could this be a conscious effort by Sox pitchers to try and hold runners due to the issues Red Sox catchers have had in that department?

    Could this be an unconscious result of the way Varitek worked with pitchers regarding pitch selection? Perhaps his pitch selection choices were a bit more radical and so he would get shaken off frequently, or maybe he would stubbornly try to get a pitcher to go with his (Varitek’s) choice when shaken off?

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    • Misfit says:

      I had a similar thought. The Sox have had some of the worst throwing catchers in the game recently which leads to pitchers holding the ball or throwing over constantly. I do think, at one point in time, the coaching staff was instructing starts to hold the ball longer with men on. Other than that, it’s an individual thing. Beckett is just slow, and I hate watching him as a result. Buchholz is a spaz with men on, constantly throwing over and holding the ball even when the runner is practically standing on the bag. I don’t know if it’s been lifted, but for a time the coaching staff wouldn’t let him throw over unless they signaled for him to do so because he did it so often.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Sorry for this off-topic comment, but I wasn’t able to reply to you on Urban Dictionary.
      Just curious. At Urban Dictionary, you said that a t-shirt manufacturer used bad grammar when defining a new made-up word (‘ineptocracy’).
      Could you please explain specifically where the manufacturer’s errors were by identifying them individually? I didn’t really notice any myself.

      – Rev. Flash

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  24. Mitch says:

    Cutting out 5 seconds between pitches means about 12.5 minutes per game, per team. So if the Yankees and Red Sox are playing each other, that’s about 25 minutes per game. I propose XXX rules changes: 1) The batter may not step out of the batter’s box except after a foul ball; 2) Pitches must deliver a pitch within X seconds (I’m open to discussing a reasonable time, but this is an empirical question); 3) Catchers and pitching coaches get one mound visit per game (combined); 4) Teams get two mid-inning pitching changes per game.

    Only the last one would have a material impact on the way the game is played, but the others should save more than 10 minutes per game without too much effort.

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    • hailey says:

      My time is not so valuable that I can’t spare ten minutes on baseball.

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      • bpdelia says:

        Its not the time per se its that watching bevkett pitch against the ysnkees is agonizingly slow. At times infuriating. the clock starts when the pitcher gets the ball back. 15 seconds. Count that out in your head. Its MORE than, enough. 3 throws to first per,batter maximum. 4th is a balk. These changes will increase strategy and the running game and make baseball resemble the pacing most of us enjoyed. The current pace is unbearable. Also vatters may only leave the box if time is granted. Time may only be granted for an injury or dirt in eyes etc. even then it is at umpires discretion.

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    • adohaj says:

      Rule 1 is fine.
      Rule 2 is already in place it just needs to be enforced
      Rule 3 doesn’t make sense. Why make it only 1 by the catcher and the coach combined. They shouldn’t be combined. Also mound visits by the catcher take under 30 seconds usually since the umpire breaks them up.
      Rule 4, no just no.

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    • bstar says:

      As regards to #3 above, I would like to see only one trip to the mound per inning not involving a pitching change implemented. Seeing Mike Maddux trot out to confer with a pitcher who’d faced one batter during last yr’s playoffs crossed the line for me.

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  25. PG says:

    It appears to be an AL east issue. The top 4 slowest starters since 2007 are all the AL east teams except for the orioles who are way down the list.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=sta&lg=all&qual=0&type=15&season=2012&month=0&season1=2007&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&players=0&sort=9,d

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  26. Sen-Baldacci says:

    A few things. There has been talk in the MLB about speeding up the game, getting hitters back in the box between pitches and getting pitchers to not dilly dally for years. The umps try to keep things moving.

    The length of the game never overtly bothered me. I love baseball, so more is better, but being a big Red Sox fan, I have found the games very difficult to watch over the last 4+ years and it just so happens to correspond to their worst offending years of time btw pitches. I’m sure there are other factors that effect my ability to watch a full game, performance and likability being two, but they just drag the game out so long. Its one thing if runs are being scored, but Beckett is insufferable and when the Sox pitchers aren’t walking excessive guys and failing miserably to keep them from stealing a base they are just plain slow and it makes me not watch anymore.

    I care, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t watch. I’m pretty sure that’s not what the Red Sox Brass would want as a result of their ‘philosophy’. If they realize that part of the reason we can’t get behind the team like we used to is that the pace of the games are unlike any other in the league they might get their pitchers to work faster.

    In fact, pitchers that are pitching well and in the groove are always working a good pace, Halladay being the prime example. That’s why batters are always taking longer and stepping out to throw the pitchers out of their rythym. Why is it Sox pitchers insist on throwing themselves out of their own rythyms?!

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  27. Andrew says:

    “. But, it’s not like the Red Sox pitchers have been world beaters, or that there’s some obvious advantage they’re gaining by having their pitchers spend a bunch of time walking around the mound and scratching themselves between pitches.”

    This is naive, Dave. First of all, the Red Sox have had very good pitching for the better part of the last 5 years, you’re using the impression people have based off the end of last season to prop up this statement.

    But more importantly, if the advantage was “obvious”, it wouldn’t be an advantage, would it? Is there any reason to believe the Red Sox would do this just for the hell of it, or just to piss people off? No. And it’s also not a coincidence, as you point out. So, whether it does or not, they obviously believe it helps somehow.

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    • adohaj says:

      The red sox could be doing it thinking it’s an advantage. When in fact it has negligible effect. You see this happen all the time, for example when people make a big deal about batting order even though it makes very little difference

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  28. Andrew says:

    And even if it’s a tiny advantage (an extra 2% so to speak) can you blame them?

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  29. Judy says:

    Because they don’t seem confident enough to work quickly, it’s more like every single pitch is a potential disaster waiting to happen. The whole mentality of the team is like if they make a mistake, they will lose the game, and if they lose the game, they will be destroyed. Not much fun for anyone.

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  30. Jose Mesa says:

    Hey Dave Cameron, post more frequently. And your chats are slow.

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  31. Ian says:

    They could save ten or more minutes per game by trimming one commercial off of each break. They should do that.

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  32. The Kid says:

    Talk about First World problems.

    “Oh no, I have to wait 5 extra seconds in between pitches waaaaaah”

    It’s 5 seconds at most here people, not that big a deal.

    -11 Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. Andrew says:

    Isn’t there a relatively simple check if we have history on this? Do pitchers slow down once they join the Red Sox?

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  34. imnotanartard25 says:

    Probably a directive from Lucchino in order to sell more beer and make more money.

    Im joking…but then again…

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    • Fred says:

      If Lucchino was trying to sell more beer, wouldn’t he want the pitchers in the clubhouse as fast as possible?

      +21 Vote -1 Vote +1

  35. Shazbot says:

    Well, Paps left the sox. He’s still annoyingly slow, but lets see if he picks it up some. Just one man, but leaving the sox might show it too.

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  36. Jason says:

    This really seems like a non-issue to me.
    Causitive factors seem to be nil aside from 1) John Henry/NESN are conniving, and 2) the Red Sox are evil (chaired by Luke Scott).
    They’ve had 5 different influencing pitching coaches during that time (I’m counting 2006 because some of the pitchers from this study were there).
    If you really want to yell at the Red Sox “pace ‘o game” yell at Magadan; from 2007 through 2011 they saw roughly 2000 more pitches than the next closest team (Yankees).

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  37. the forrest says:

    here’s my question: who’s sucky job is it to measure the time taken in between every pitch of every season? how and/or do they keep stats like this?

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  38. sean says:

    I’d like to see this data integrated into NERD. Especially for the less savvy fan, long delays between pitches can really tarnish the experience.

    Cistulli, get to work.

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    • joser says:

      Cistulli, get to work.
      This is an excellent, general-purpose imperative that can be applied to everything, all the time.

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  39. Ringo says:

    Papelbon is unbearable to watch. I am a very subdued and quiet person but whenever I watch him pitch it is very frustrating. I have actually yelled at my TV watching him just stand there with that silly scowl on his face. I can understand mixing up your timing if you have runners on base but just being obvious he doesn’t give up a lot of baserunners and doesn’t need to mix it up as much. The Red Sox and Yankees ahve always played that way though and I would not expect that to change any time soon. It is a way for them to assert control from the get go and play the game their own way. It is all about getting their own players into a comfort zone and getting other players out of it. Really makes you appreciate the guys like Halladay and Buerhle who just go after them.

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  40. Ryan says:

    I’d be curious to see the time between pitches once those same pitchers leave Boston. Although I know its a ridiculously small sample size, what’s Papelbon’s time between pitches thus far in Philly?

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    • Hank says:

      He’s averaged 31 over his career and has been between 31.6-31.9 the last 3 years

      He’s currently at 30 this year.

      So probably hard to say – and not just based on sample size, I don’t know how accurate the measurement is and if 1 sec is significant.

      (FYI – this is on the pitch f/x plate discipline table on the player pages here. Not trying to be snarky, just in case you want to look up other pitchers)

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  41. geo says:

    Bobby Valentine even criticized the Red Sox for this during an ESPN broadcast last year. You think he’d do something about it.

    Please, Bobby, put us out of our misery.

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  42. Grumbles says:

    With an average of about 146 pitches per team per game, the Red Sox playing an average paced team adds 146*2.5 seconds or just on 6 mins, then when compared to two average paced teams playing each other?

    Just looking, and the average game time falls between 2 hr 50 mins and 3 hrs, so it adds about 3.5% to the play time to the game. That doesn’t seem like too much.

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  43. steve says:

    Is there a home/away split for this? Could it be some bizarre Fenway externality that accounts for this? Do away pitchers take longer in Fenway? I feel like answering these questions would actually shed some light on the issue. If there isn’t a correlation with Fenway then perhaps this is top-down, longer games = more commercials & concessions after all.

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  44. pft says:

    Red Sox own NESN. Longer games mean more commercials, and more revenue.

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  45. DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy says:

    To think a game would be over in 90 minutes back in the day.

    You know something is wrong when you hit the “30 second FF” button on the remote and it takes you to the next pitch, happens an awful lot in football when i record Thursday Night games and zip through them, but that’s football!

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  46. ScrappyDappyDoo says:

    1. I like my Red Sox baseball slow and meditative, otherwise I’d watch it in NESN’s ‘convenient 2-hour format’ at midnight.

    2. I don’t like pitching changes during an inning though, they bug me. Speed them up. No commercial break.

    3. Papelbon was fined at least once for how long it took him to get to the mound, not throw pitches.

    His response:- “The rules are the rules,” he said. “But, I’m trying to figure out ways to where I can not get fined. Obviously, I don’t want to get fined or slow the game down, or be a nuisance to slow the game down. The fans want to see games that are three hours or so. I’m trying to figure that out right now to not get those fines, for sure.”

    4. Any data on pitch times with runners on versus bases clear? Cause obviously Beckett likes to coddle the egg with runners on. For hours. Boils the egg sometimes.

    5. Re the Larry Vanover article the other day – do umpires get paid by the hour? If not, that would explain their desire to speed up the final innings of a slow Sox game. Solution:- teams pay umpires the hourly rate for the innings they are pitching. Then there’d be no conflict.

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