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The Truth of Why a Baseball Game Lasts So Long

Updated on October 29, 2018
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.

World Series 2018 – By the Numbers

are this: Oct. 23: Red Sox 8, Dodgers 4; Oct. 24: Red Sox 4; Dodgers 2; Oct. 26: Dodgers 3, Red Sox 2; Game 4: Red Sox 9, Dodgers 6, Final Game: Red Sox 5, Dodgers 1 . . .and please pardon me for the less-than-stellar break-down of America’s Game, MLB, (Major League Baseball), because I will be honest with you as I can. I am not a huge baseball fan. Nor am I a card-carrying Communist and nor am I a party of some underground cult that preaches that I am the direct link to the Silver Back Gorilla.

Like it or don’t, I am a mortal male. 64 years of age and proudly call my home Alabama and my country now and forever, America, and yes, the last time I looked, “she” still looks mighty pretty all adorned in her red, white, and blue furles. Yes, my fine-feathered Americans, I am so patriotic that I salute my breakfast biscuits before dining. Would you believe that even in 2018, there are a lot of people that (if they read this statement) would think me crazed.

4 games to 1. Hardly a spark of creativity large enough to write a Broadway production, but maybe there will be a theatrical production devoted to “Hail to The Horse Hide,” and “Clap for The Chawin’ Tobacco,” because at last check, MLB forbad any form of tobacco use in any stadium where the “Boys of Summer” enjoyed their nine-innings worth of life. As for the horse hide, that is the most-enduring staple of all the baseball notions. Forgive me, Abner Doubleday.

David Price, one of the winning  Red Sox pitchers.
David Price, one of the winning Red Sox pitchers. | Source

And to The Many Wives

and girlfriends of the MLB players, this hub is dedicated to you. No one else. And I may be sitting on some of your nerves, those pro baseball wives and girlfriends who secretly despise the unneeded pomp and foolish circumstance that surrounds a simple creation as what happens when a pitcher of some MLB team and how many idioms and isms have to take place before that baseball leaves his left or right hand—I am on your side, the disgusted wives and girlfriends who have sat and watched a nine-inning game of professional baseball last for as long as 18 innings. Don’t believe me? This is documented proof: Los Angeles’ 3-2 victory in 18 innings set the record for longest World Series game by both time and innings, and it wasn’t close. The seven-hour, 20-minute affair marked the longest game in any championship series among all four major professional sports.

(These) forlorn females who are married to the Big League ballplayers, who are monetarily-rewarded mighty fine if you ask me, these girls have feelings! I wonder how many of you pro baseball guys would ever just say, “no, I am taking my wife to dinner tonight,” and tell his agent, lawyer, publicist, and best pal that he had much rather enjoy the company of a lovely woman who just gets lonely when her hard-working pro baseball husband is gone for days on end when his team is living in Chicago playing a four-game stretch against the Cubs—which are my favorite team.

That is all these Baseball Wives with Lonely Hearts really want: a few hours of attention from their Pro Baseball Husbands.


L.A. Dodgers' pitcher, Clayton Kershaw.
L.A. Dodgers' pitcher, Clayton Kershaw. | Source

Now Let’s Talk About

what I started in the first of this piece: the numerous needless, annoying, time-wasting ism’s that a lot of MLB pitchers have to peform (in my view) just to get his fast ball go over home plate sucking wind like a Phantom jet. I would say OCD (Obsessive Compulsion Disorder), but I won’t go that far. I have OCD and even if God had blessed me with the gift of sport and love for baseball, I do not think that I would go through with most (maybe all) of some of the things that I watched both the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers do this World Series 2018.

And to Philadelphia Phillies legendary pitcher, Steve Carlton, is reading this hub, please forgive me. I remember well watching you take as long as five long minutes before you could send a Sinker at some impatient batter. I think this is where my love of the game went south.


Here is just a sample of what (some) MLB pitchers do before they can pitch a great curve ball . . .


“Batter up,”yells the Head Umpire.

The Catcher takes his place and begins to give his Pitcher a series of Finger Symbols as a way to tell the Pitcher which pitch will work the best.

The Batter is nervously-awaiting the first pitch of his (what he hopes) will be a long,

prosperous career. His nerves are moving clockwise and counter clockwise, a sure

sign that he cannot hide the fear that he has dreaded facing tonight’s pitcher: “Alan

“Alligator” Akin, known for his fast ball being thrown so fast that the ball almost

takes a slice out of a batter’s exposed skin on his left (or right) arm . . .

Pitcher looks at the Catcher’s fingers . . .snaps his eyes shut no less than five times;

Digs the Pitcher’s Mound with this cleats as to dig a small irrigation ditch leading from

the mound to First Base—this is not only an ism of the pitcher, but serves to keep rain

from collecting on the mound.


Pitcher now scratches his “privates,” but not long enough for the TV cameras to focus

on what he is doing; he now spits three times; Brings up his glove to his mouth to where

he is mouthing some chant to appease the Baseball Spirits in the fabled town of Mudville;

He turns around on the left leg, stops, gazes at the catcher again, leans toward the catcher,

Now the Head Ump is getting impatient and almost starts out to rebuke him . . .

He sets for the wind-up which is no less than three and a half hops that he has learned during

the week—so with his right hand cocked with the ball and left eye shut tightly, he heads

into the delivery . . .but the catcher has called him off because the choice of pitches is wrong

and the pitch has to be perfect.


Pitcher holds the ball behind his back; spits; grinds left foot into the ground twice; then grinds

his right foot three times; touches the bill of his cap; tugs his uniform to see if the top is

buttoned; winks six times with his left eye while standing on right foot and silently humming

“Oklahoma” looking right at the Pitcher.

Pitcher glares at the Batter spitting at the ground on his right side. The Batter doesn’t know just

what is happening, so he steps out of the Batter’s Box. The Pitcher is stunned at the Batter’s

sudden movement.

The crowd, now growing disgruntled at the lack of action, begins a low-but-harmonious B-O-O!

Pieces of popcorn is now being thrown to the Baseball Diamond and that summons hundreds of

hungry pigeons causing the Grounds Keepers to charge in full-force dragging their rakes, shovels,

and water hoses turned on high. The pigeons are quickly drove away along with the popcorn.

It is now 10 minutes since we noticed the Pitcher begin his “dance” of dances, signals, winks,

spitting and other signs of OCD that he used to ensure himself a strike each time the ballplayer sleaves his hand.

At this rate, we should see the last out of this inning some time next Saturday.

Oct. 29, 2018_______________________________________


Pitchers David Price and closer Craig Kimbrel embrace as the celebration begins after the Red Sox clinched the ALCS.
Pitchers David Price and closer Craig Kimbrel embrace as the celebration begins after the Red Sox clinched the ALCS. | Source

© 2018 Kenneth Avery

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    • profile image

      Ken Avery 

      2 years ago

      Hi, Liz -- thanks for the nice words. But although my observations may seem to be wasting time, they are seen as "strategy" that are given by each team's manager and each signal has its place.

      And to me, they are Very Boring.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 years ago from UK

      Your time-wasting observations are fascinating. In the UK I'm sure some football players are guilty of doing similar when they are on the winning side.

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