Once again, the United States has been embarrassed. While Joe West can merely complain about the Yankees and Red Sox playing yet another five-hour classic, new rules in South Korea have shortened baseball games by 14 minutes so far this season.
Games this year are averaging 3:04, down from 3:18 last year. (The Korea Times reports games last 2:52 in Japan and 3:13 in MLB.) Before the season, the Korean Baseball Organization instituted new rules, including a 12-second limit on how long pitchers could hold the ball with no runners on base. There have been 28 warnings this year but no extra balls added to any counts.
Oh, yeah, and the strike zone was widened and "the time spent maintaining the field within a game" was cut down. Of course, as The Korea Times notes:
Overall playing time, however, is expected to take a little bit longer as the season proceeds and the competition intensifies, the KBO predicted.
Is it going to be the same in MLB, too? Uh oh. The last series of the season between the Yankees and Red Sox is never going to end.