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There’s a great deal of complaining these days about the length of Major League baseball games, which currently average about 10 minutes short of 3 hours long, or 10 minutes shorter of the average NFL game. I don’t want to see baseball games get any longer, particularly when I go to the ballpark on a Tuesday night and have to work the next day, but there are times when a five hour ballgame suits me just fine. Sunday’s Red Sox game against the Yankees was the perfect example.
When you’re enjoying a seaside family vacation, as I am this week, a game that starts at 8 and ends at nearly 1 in the morning is timed for maximum pleasure. The early innings foreshadow a seesaw battle, as the visitors score 3 quick runs before being overtaken by the Red Sox putting up a 4-spot in the third. At this point, it’s already way past your five year old daughter’s bedtime and you’ve had a few glasses of wine. You read her a book in bed, and once lights are off you fall asleep instantly yourself. An hour and a half later, you awaken with a start to find everyone else asleep and the dishes still not finished. There is no better accompaniment to late-night dishwashing duties than 3 innings of baseball fading in and out of tune on an old radio, except when 3 innings turn into 5. With the dishes done, you can have one last glass of red wine while listening to the last hour of tension-filled baseball, with a backdrop of waves lapping against the rocks below. Finally, at 12:50 a.m., Mike Napoli hits a bomb and sends you to bed happy.
If that had been a 2 hour and 50 minute game, I surely would have missed the ending.