The next time your football fan friends talk about how boring baseball is, shoot them this link:
According to a Wall Street Journal study of four recent broadcasts,
and similar estimates by researchers, the average amount of time the
ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes.
In other words, if you tally up everything that happens between the
time the ball is snapped and the play is whistled dead by the
officials, there’s barely enough time to prepare a hard-boiled egg . . . the ratio of inaction to action is approximately 10 to 1.
Seventeen minutes are devoted to replays. Commercials take between an hour and seventy-five minutes, or 60% of the broadcast. Sixty-seven minutes are devoted to players standing around and broadcasters bleating about whatever it is broadcasters bleat about.
I’m curious about what the ratios are for baseball. It obviously depends on what you count as dead time. I would count the time after the batter is actually in the
box and the pitcher is getting the signs as “action,” because the ball is technically live and there’s something valuable and observable happening then, but many might not.
In fact, football partisans may point out the difficulty in determining the difference between action and inaction in a baseball game as even more damning than their own game’s pitiful ratio. Tomato-tomahto. Ultimately, arguing football vs. baseball is like religion or politics and facts kinda stop mattering at some point.
But one thing is indisputable: baseball is better than football in every conceivable way. You can look it up.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”