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MLB Games are 28 Minutes Shorter Now; Here's 13 Ways To Use That Time

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 8 mins

MLB Games are 28 Minutes Shorter Now; Here's 13 Ways To Use That Time

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MLB games are 28 minutes shorter in 2023 than they were last year, producing the shortest average-game time in 42 years. This decrease follows the addition of a pitch clock, a timer on batters, and several other rules designed to speed up play.

The average MLB game time in 2023 is 2 hours and 38 minutes, down from 3 hours and 6 minutes in 2022.

The last time games were this short on average was 1981. That year was halted by a players' strike. There were no games played from June 13 through Aug. 9. In all, teams that year played an uneven schedule, ranging between 103-111 games. 

The Dodgers would beat the Yankees in the World Series. Milwaukee reliever Rollie Fingers was the American League MVP. That year, Milwaukee was still in the American League and was part of the six-team AL East.

Mike Schmidt of the Phillies was NL MVP. Both Schmidt and Fingers are in the Hall of Fame. 

The last full season in which games averaged less than 2 hours and 38 minutes was 1979. Average games hit the three-hour mark for the first time in 2000, when they averaged 3 hours and 1 minute. That number slipped for the next decade, before hitting 3 hours again in 2012. Games had averaged longer than 3 hours ever since - that is, until this season. 

The longest average game time was 3 hours, 11 minutes per game in 2021. A century earlier, games averaged just 1 hour, 54 minutes in 1921 and 1923. 

The changes to shorten games this season could have a profound effect on the long-term careers of ballplayers, in addition to the convenience of fans and lost revenue in in-stadium beer sales. 

The shorter games mean that position players are spending, on average, 14 fewer minutes in the field each night. That doesn’t sound like much on its own. But if you extrapolate that over a full season, that translates to 2,268 fewer minutes (or 37.5 hours) spent standing or moving around in the field. Over the course of a 10-year career with an average of 145 games played per season, these shorter games could wipe away as many as 20,300 minutes, or 338.3 hours, or 14 days, of wear-and-tear on a ballplayer’s body. 

What Can You Do In 28 Minutes Or Less? Here Are 13 Things That Might Surprise You

The extra time available for MLB betting fans this season opposed to last has opened up limitless possibilities. Now you're saving that time, much can be accomplished in 28 minutes or less:

1. Watch Your Favorite Sitcom

American sitcoms are usually written to last 22 minutes, leaving 8 minutes for commercials. Streaming has removed these hard limits. But you can still watch your favorite episodes of “Friends,” “Seinfeld,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Cheers,” or “The Simpsons” and have enough time left over to grab some snacks or let the dog out. 

2. Run 10,000 Meters

If you’re very, very fast, that is. The world record in the 10,000-meter run was set by Joshua Cheptegei on Oct. 7, 2020 during a race in Spain. He covered the 6.214-mile course in 26 minutes, 11 seconds. The 28-minute mark was first crossed in the 10000-meter run back in 1965. 

3. Turn The Tide In World War II

The three-day Battle of Midway in 1942 swung in a span of “six minutes that changed the world.” A total of 47 U.S. Navy Dauntless SBD dive bombers knocked out three Japanese carriers, effectively ending Japan’s advance in the Pacific. “At 10:24 Japan had been on top,” said Rear Adm. Samuel Eliot Morison. “Six minutes later on that bright June morning, three of her big carriers were on their flaming way to death.” 

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4. Fly Into Space

What is space? The Kármán Line is generally agreed to mark the official boundary between Earth's atmosphere and 'space.' That demarcation point is 62.1 miles above mean sea level. The Artemis 1 spacecraft took 8 minutes, 20 seconds to reach an altitude 100.6 miles above Earth on Nov. 16, 2022. 

5. Walk From The White House To Capitol 

It’s generally agreed that driving in Washington D.C. is not recommended. Our Nation’s Capital has a larger public transit system. But walking is a great way to get around the city, especially when you’re visiting some of our most notable sites. The walking distance between the White House Visitor Center and the west-facing side of the U.S. Capitol is 1.3 miles and, according to Google Maps, takes 26 minutes. That leaves just enough time for a couple of selfies on Pennsylvania Avenue. 

RELATED: The Worst Seat In Every MLB Stadium Ranked

6. Become An Expert In (Almost) Anything

The “20 Minute” rule holds that if you spend 20 minutes per day focused on any singular task without any interruption or outside distraction for 30 days, you will eventually be able to master it. Or at the very least become more proficient in doing it. This works for both learning something new (playing the guitar, speaking Spanish) or trying to solve a challenging issue at home or work. This could be as varied as 20 minutes listening to your favorite podcast on a new subject, playing a musical instrument, or doing pushups. Or how about working on your MLB picks for tomorrow's games? This formula is built upon the premise that the brain loves anything that is habitual. And these habits make the brain more efficient. 

7. Fly From Los Angeles to San Diego 

There are 18 flights a week that can take travelers from Los Angeles to San Diego. The distance between the two Southern California cities is 109 miles. The flying time from takeoff to landing is 26 minutes. Airport conditions usually add another 20 minutes for taxiing. Still, that still beats the time spent watching batters take practice cuts or pitchers wander around the mound each night. 

8. Swim A Mile

Now, you don’t have to be a world record holder to swim a mile in under 28 minutes. But you do need to be in very good condition. And be swimming in a pool. The average advanced male swimmer, who has been doing it for at least five years, can swim a mile in under 28 minutes up until age 50. Elite male swimmers at age 25 average a mile in 19:42, while the top females of the same age clock in at 22:21. 

9. Walk Through Four Different States

The Four Corners Monument rests at the intersection of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. It is the only place in the United States where this many states intersect at the same point. In four simple steps, you can traverse each state. That leaves plenty of time to stroll to Grandma’s Frybread Shack and grab a piece of fried dough, with your favorite topping, and a drink. 

10. Make A Healthy, Home-Cooked Dinner

We’re not talking about soup and grilled cheese. Or hitting the McDonald’s drive-thru. Nope. How’s this: 4 Spicy Shrimp Tacos With Mango Salsa. Sounds delish. And it’s good for you, too. According to this recipe from Pure Wow, you can be enjoying this yummy dish in 20 minutes from start to dinner. 

11. Take a Roundtrip To Alcatraz Island

Known as “The Rock,” Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay is the location of the most notorious federal prison in U.S. history. The prison held a who’s-who of famous real-life villains from 1934 until it was closed in 1963. No prisoner was ever believed to have survived an escape attempt, although Hollywood would beg to differ. The boat trips for tourists and others to visit the Island average about 13 minutes each way from Pier 33 on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

12. Meet the Beatles

Actually, that’s “Meet The Beatles.” The original Fab Four released this album in 1964. It features iconic songs “All My Loving,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and it lasts 26 minutes, 43 seconds. So you can listen to the mastery of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Or watch pitchers rub the baseball. Your call. 

13. Read A Bedtime Story - Or Three

Millions of minutes that could have been spent with our kids have been wasted watching batters adjust their stance and pitchers throw to first base. “The Cat In The Hat,” “Goodnight Moon,” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” are three of the most-read and most-beloved childhood books of all time. Combined, they take about 27 minutes to read aloud. Throw in a good night hug, a forehead kiss, and you’re in and out in time. 

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About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.