BOSTON — Red Sox ace David Price had a message for those concerned about the length of games, something MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said before the start of Game 2 of the World Series he'd address before next season.
“You’re taught ever since you were a little kid to be able to slow the game down and now baseball wants to speed it up,” said Price after he earned the victory in a 4-2 decision over the Dodgers at Fenway Park on Wednesday. “I don’t care. I’m taking my time. I know I’m slow.”
Manfred told reporters that he will again discuss the addition of a pitch clock with the MLB Players Association, an idea the union pushed back against before the start of the regular season. MLB could have pushed the clock into use despite the union’s objections, but chose instead to put a cap on mound visits in a bid to increase the pace of play.
"I spent a lot of time between the All-Star Game and here talking directly to (MLBPA executive director) Tony (Clark), trying to map out the things that we'd like to have meaningful conversation about during the offseason, putting him in a position to get prepared to do," Manfred said.
Manfred said he’s “always less concerned” about longer games in the postseason. Before Game 2, the 2018 playoffs have averaged 3 hours, 35 minutes –– about a 6-minute increase over the 2017 postseason.
World Series games are starting about 30 minutes later than the last time the Dodgers were in the World Series in 1988. Manfred said MLB tries to “strike a balance” between the West and East coasts, the latter of which has seen games end near or after midnight with regularity.
“Remember I think L.A. is in the (Pacific) time zone.” Manfred said. “We are cognizant of the fact that we're trying to serve those fans as well. I understand game times can be difficult, it's hard when games finish late. By the same token, when you start games at 5 p.m. Eastern, it's in the middle of the workday in L.A. That's not quite right either.”
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