October is here, the air is crisp and cool, and playoff baseball has begun—already in the first round of the divisional series we’ve seen a no-hitter thrown by Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, a 14-strike-out complete game performance by San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum and close, competitive games throughout all of the playoffs. With all of that excitement, would you believe that in the average baseball broadcast there is a measly 14 minutes of action? That’s the sad reality for baseball fans, as the Wall St. Journal went to work measuring the amount of actual action during a game, finding that for the 14 minutes of action (pitches being thrown, balls being hit, throws and running across the field) there were 88 minutes of players and managers just standing around…..and waiting. But baseball is a slow game by nature, you might argue—the WSJ did the same analysis for the NFL and found that football players were in action for even more pathetic 11 minutes. Are American sports more about their TV-friendly formats than actual athletic action?
David Biderman, sports reporter for the Wall St. Journal