Batter Up—and Hurry Up
After complaints from fans that pro baseball games are too long and sometimes boring, Major League Baseball recently instituted changes aimed at speeding things up. They include allowing teams to intentionally walk an opposing batter without a pitcher having to throw four balls, and giving managers a 30-second limit to decide whether or not to challenge umpire rulings. The hope is that shorter games will not only help keep existing fans but also attract younger ones. (TV viewers of baseball are older than for any other major sport.) But some people wonder whether changing the rules will hurt the game.
- What’s going on in the cartoon? Describe how each of the three scenarios relates to the topic.
- How does the cartoonist use humor to address the issue? What point do you think the cartoonist is trying to make?
- Baseball traces its history to the 1800s and is known as “America’s pastime.” Why do you think some fans today find the game to be too slow?
- Do you think the game’s rules should change to keep up with modern times or do you think it’s important to leave the rules unchanged to preserve the game’s tradition? Explain.
- Do you think shortening baseball games will attract younger viewers? Why or why not?
- What sports are most popular among your group of friends? What about those sports do you think is appealing?