WSJ study: 90 percent of baseball spent doing nothing
The Wall Street Journal calculates that an average of 17 minutes and 58 seconds of action occurs during a baseball game. That amount of time is roughly equivalent to a TED talk or the missing section of the Watergate tapes, the news outlet says.
The WSJ took stopwatches to three different MLB games, including a low-scoring affair and a hitter-friendly outing.
The almost 18-minute average included balls in play, runner advancement attempts on stolen bases, wild pitches, pitches (balls, strikes, fouls and balls hit into play), trotting batters (on home runs, walks and hit-by-pitches), pickoff throws and even one fake-pickoff throw. This may be generous. If we'd cut the action definition down to just the time when everyone on the field is running around looking for something to do (balls in play and runner advancement attempts), we'd be down to 5:47.
In all fairness, as paltry as the amount of action seems in baseball, it still tops football games. A 2010 WSJ study found that the average amount of action in a football contest is roughly 11 minutes.
Baseball fans can boast of a whole seven extra minutes of action in the games they watch. Football fans: Hang your heads low.
So where does all the time go during a baseball game?
The news outlet attributed more than 33 minutes to "time between batters."
This is knocking the weighted donut off the bat, announcing the batter, the walk-up song, cleaning the cleats, maybe some form of the old Rosanne spitting and crotch-grabbing routine. On TV, replays, players involved in the last play and crowd shots are often shown here. The time between batters concludes when the pitcher begins throwing to the new batter.
The WSJ also found more than 42 minutes was spent on time between innings, but that paled in comparison to time between pitches, which took up an average of nearly an hour and 15 minutes in the games studied.
If baseball fans can pat themselves on the back for anything revealed after this study, it's that they must have a lot of patience for big moments to happen in a game, and a high tolerance for the extended moments where nothing does.
Click here to read more about the study.
- Diamondbacks GM Towers: New prospect Peter O'Brien provides 'an impact bat'
- Diamondbacks give Paul Goldschmidt a much-needed 'mental and physical' day off
- Dose of Venom: Milestone homers highlight D-backs win over Pirates
- D-backs offense backs Collmenter in win over Pirates: By The Numbers
- D-backs' Towers on August waiver trade period: 'We're going to be active'
- Kevin Towers, D-backs general manger - Friday August 1D-backs general manager Kevin Towers says he’s happy with the trade results.
- Bob Brenly, D-backs TV commentator - Thursday July 31D-backs TV commentator Bob Brenly says who he thinks are the teams to beat in MLB after the trade de
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President & CEO - Thursday July 31D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall talks about the trade deadline.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday July 30ESPN MLB insider Tim Kurkjian discusses the MLB trade deadline.
- Kevin Towers- D-backs GM - Wednesday July 30Kevin Towers talks about the trade deadline and the state of the youth in the organization.
- Kirk Gibson- Dbacks manager - Tuesday July 29What else can Major League Baseball do to enforce the blocking the plate rule?
- Keith Law, ESPN MLB Insider - Tuesday July 29ESPN MLB Insider Keith Law gauges the value in the D-backs’ potential trade pieces.