In our first part of three part series, we will evaluate ways to speed up the average baseball game. Our good friend, Joe West, doesn’t seem to like lengthy baseball games, so let’s try to offer some ways to make Mr. West (Joe, not Kanye) happy.

West, Francona Making Dinner Plans For After the Game

Argument #1: Expand the Strike Zone.

There’s a few different ways that this can be accomplished.

Option #1, Expanding home plate’s width: The current home plate is 17 inches wide. If the plate was extended by two or three inches, pitcher would receive more calls from the umpires, ultimately speeding up the games. I really don’t think the adjustment would be that difficult for hitters. Some hitters would have to stand closer to the plate and others may opt for a bigger bat. Major League Baseball would obviously need to do a trial run of the wider plate during Spring Training to prove whether its effective in speeding up the games.

Option #2, A Wider Strike Zone: In 2001, Major League Baseball and the Umpire’s Association agreed upon a bigger strike zone. (Pictured below)

I think a lot of fans would agree that most umpires do not call this exact zone. Most of the umps call a much tighter game and may be the ultimate culprits in the time length of games. Baseball instituted software in 2008 to track the performances of umpires. While Major League Baseball never publicly discloses umpire discipline, those umpires that do not adhere to this zone should be suspended or reprimanded.

So that’s part one of this study.

As long as we don’t let this West ump, we’ll all be ok…

What do you think of these ideas? Would they work?

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