WASHINGTON—With Major League Baseball at risk of losing fans due to the sport’s increasingly slow and lethargic pace, Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg reportedly urged pitchers across the league Monday to shorten games by increasing the speed of their fastballs. “No one wants to sit there for three hours to watch one baseball game, so by just upping the velocity of fastballs from, say, 94 miles per hour to 95 miles per hour, we can really quicken the game’s tempo,” said Strasburg, explaining that each slightly accelerated fastball would take roughly 18 fewer milliseconds to reach the plate, which “really adds up” given 300-plus pitches over nine innings. “With this simple change, we can reduce the average length of a game from three hours, four minutes, and 17 seconds to as low as three hours, four minutes, and 11 seconds. It’ll make the experience far more exciting for fans, and frankly, I’m surprised we haven’t done this sooner.” In a further effort to speed up the game, Strasburg suggested that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred restrict all hitting to bunts and line-drive singles.
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