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SportsBaseball

Bud Selig seeks ways to speed up games

MLB commissioner Bud Selig speaks to the media

MLB commissioner Bud Selig speaks to the media before a game between the Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. Credit: AP / Kathy Willens

Bud Selig is so concerned about the sluggish pace of games this season that he formed a committee this week to tackle the issue.

Derek Jeter? Not so much.

Sitting next to the commissioner at Tuesday's news conference, Jeter was asked if rules to eliminate the time-gobbling aspects of a player's routine would be a good idea. He answered in typical Jeter fashion.

"I don't know,'' he said, smiling. "I'll be gone.''

A moment later, Jeter provided a more thoughtful answer.

"The great thing about baseball is there's no clock,'' Jeter said. "It's one of the few sports there's no time. Some fans come to the games and they enjoy the experience and they want to stay here for a long time.

"That's a tough question. You're going to speed it up by five, 10 minutes? Personally, I'm only in there for a couple pitches anyway, so I don't think I can relate to it.''

Selig, however, feels differently. Major League Baseball obviously believes that shorter games are a better sell to the younger generation of fans, or it wouldn't have assembled a committee. Fixing the problem isn't that easy. Selig said Tuesday that he didn't have a target time in mind, but thought helpful changes could be made.

"We've had a lot of 2:30, 2:35, 2:40 games -- it's been remarkable,'' Selig said. "Then we get a clunker that goes for three hours and something. I don't want to set a goal. I want to be reasonable. I don't want to be irrational.

"I agree with Derek. While I'm proud of where we are in this sport, I think we can do even better. I don't want to start guessing. Nothing huge -- but significant. If you're asking me what that means, ask me again in 30 days.''

When a reporter suggested eliminating the manager's deliberate walk on the field for a replay challenge, Selig refused to lay all the blame on some of the finer details in his new expanded replay system as a whole.

"The average replay is 1 minute, 57 seconds,'' Selig said. "I remember Billy Martin, Earl Weaver, Sparky Anderson, Lou Piniella . . . throwing bases, kicking dirt, going wild for 10 to 12 minutes. We don't have that anymore.

"Do I believe [replay] has contributed to it? I do not. We're going to talk about that in the offseason, too.''

New York Sports