Why The Wall Street Journal Is A Great Sports Paper

The Wall Street Journal consistently produces imaginative sports reporting (Jason Gay being just one example).

Friday’s Journal provided yet another example:

In America’s Pastime, Baseball Players Pass A Lot of Time

The findings: 90% of the game is spent standing around.

In any given year, roughly 70 million people will attend major-league baseball games. A lucky handful will be treated to something unforgettable: a no-hitter, a walk-off grand slam, a player stealing home. Many more fans will see towering home runs, late-inning rallies and diving catches. But there is one thing every single fan who buys a ticket is 100% guaranteed to see: a bunch of grown men standing in a field, doing absolutely nothing.

Baseball is remembered for its moments of action, and it is no secret that such moments are fleeting. But how much actual action takes place in a baseball game? We decided to find out.

By WSJ calculations, a baseball fan will see 17 minutes and 58 seconds of action over the course of a three-hour game. This is roughly the equivalent of a TED Talk, a Broadway intermission or the missing section of the Watergate tapes. A similar WSJ study on NFL games in January 2010 found that the average action time for a football game was 11 minutes. So MLB does pack more punch in a battle of the two biggest stop-and-start sports. By seven minutes.

Lots of people complain about the pace of baseball. The Journal put a stopwatch to it. (Yeah yeah – others might have done the same. But did they reach as many as the WSJ does?)

Representative samples:

51 MIN 27 SEC: TIME BETWEEN PITCHES during a Nationals vs. Reds game.


46 MIN 50 SEC: TIME BETWEEN BATTERS during an Indians vs. Astros game.

Plenty of other timely information in the Journal piece. Well worth checking out.

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One Response to Why The Wall Street Journal Is A Great Sports Paper

  1. This Space Intentionally Left Blank For Me To Point Out That Hockey Games Are Non-Stop Action Between Heroes Who Represent The Best Of Humanity, Including Canada.

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