This offseason has seen several different options put forward to help quicken the pace of play in baseball. While I tend to think these are solutions in search of a problem, the latest solution would be to change the ways commercial breaks happen during baseball games.
Apparently there were some changes to the way commercial breaks were taken during football games this past season and people were generally happy with the result. Changing commercials doesn’t necessarily translate to baseball however.
During football games, they actually have to stop play in order to take a commercial break. In baseball, however, there’s already a natural break that happens in between innings — when the teams are taking the field and pitchers are taking their eight warm up pitches. Unless you’re going to change the warm up process for pitchers, you’re either going to have a commercial break there or networks will simply show the pitchers warming up.
Nonetheless, there are apparently some folks who wouldn’t mind investigating ways to potentially change the commercial breaks. Red Sox chairman Tom Werner is one executive who said he’d be on board with fewer breaks.
“I can just speak for myself,” Werner said according to Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald. “I think that is a good idea.”
So there are two questions that would obviously come up: Would taking fewer commercial breaks actually have any impact on pace of play? I doubt it. And what type of coverage would fill the gaps between innings?