It is just one season, but the first year under commissioner Rob Manfred would have to be considered a resounding success as two of the league’s most troubling trends are now once again moving in a better direction.
After seeing the length of games increase by a whopping 15 minutes in just ten years, Manfred instituted new timing rules and the impact on games was immediately felt as the length of an average game dropped by six minutes, to 2 hours, 56 minutes. Meanwhile, Manfred has been hesitant to change rules to increase scoring despite a 21% drop in runs per game over the last 15 years. Manfred has been hopeful scoring is cyclical and will correct itself. Sure enough, scoring was up to 8.5 runs per game, up from 8.1 a year ago.
Baseball can handle longer games and they could be fine with fewer runs. But what MLB didn’t need was longer games with fewer runs and that was the trend for the last decade. After one season season under Manfred, both of those lines are now trending in a better direction.
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