October 5, 2012.
That was the last time I watched an entire baseball game on my television screen.
In what would end up as the final game in the career of Chipper Jones, I watched nine innings of shenanigans ensue as the Atlanta Braves got infield fly-ruled out of the playoffs against the evil and diabolical St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card game.
The game itself lasted three hours and nine minutes, and it might as well have been 30 Hours. What up, Kanye?
You don't need me to tell you that baseball games are long like black church services or trying to go to brunch in San Francisco. You don't need me to tell you that the demographics of those who are watching baseball are trending in the opposite direction of what's considered young and diverse. You don't need me to tell you that baseball has a superstar problem, as you struggle to state who the "face of the game" is right now....don't worry, I'll wait.
Vox Media put together an awesome explainer as to why baseball games are long as hell. Of note, the 2014 season featured a record high for game duration — more than three hours — and it's something MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has made a priority with his focus on pace of play.
This isn't an article to beat up on what was my favorite sport as a child; it's more of a genuine curiosity. Does it take high stakes to watch a full game? Even during the World Series, I would still find myself flipping back and forth to a college football game or a terrible Thursday Night Football game. Watching an entire baseball game at the ballpark is a different scenario, because you're immersed into the setting and you've paid money to lock in.
It should be noted that new rules this season are in place to pick things up. An automatic walk thingy, time limits and limited replay reviews are now a thing. Will it really help, or is the toothpaste out the tube?
MLB, @MLB_PLAYERS jointly announce series of modifications that have been approved and will be in place in 2017 regular season. pic.twitter.com/QrDQWzWgwI
— MLB (@MLB) March 2, 2017
I leave the question to you the reader: how long has it been since you watched an entire baseball game on TV? Please respond in the comments section.
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”