We wanted to watch last night's Twins game, but after a long weekend in Vegas there were errands to run instead. The simple solution: DVR the game and catch up to it once the night's grocery shopping, etc., was completed. As has become our custom, we added 30 extra minutes to the end of the scheduled three-hour broadcast. Now, Twins home games don't start until 10 minutes into the broadcast, but still: That's 3 hours and 20 minutes of time devoted to recording the game. That should be more than enough.
And, of course -- again -- it wasn't.
The Twins have yet to play an extra-inning game this season, but they HAVE played several unbearably long games. Four of their seven home games have lasted at least 3 hours, 24 minutes. Three other road games out of six lasted at least three hours, with two of those going at least 3:17.
Nearly half their games last year (78) went at least three hours. A full 33 of them were longer than 3 hours, 20 minutes -- meaning even a well-intentioned recorder of the game would have missed the ending.
Slugfests can account for some of this. When the Mets throttled the Twins 16-5, a long game can be expected. But more than that it is the players themselves and the game itself that is to blame. The constant unstrapping and restrapping of batting gloves ... the meandering on the mound before the next pitch ... the incessant meetings. Every guy on the field feels as though he is the most special one out there, entitled to take as much time as he pleases to get ready for the next pitch.
MLB allegedly tried to speed up the game a few years ago. And maybe, as a whole, game lengths were even worse about a decade ago. But the problem persists. Your solutions, please, in the comments.