August 9, 2011

MLB: Francona expects to hear about length of game

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have been hearing complaints for years that their games take far too long.

click image to enlarge

LONG, LONG NIGHT: Boston starting pitcher Josh Beckett delivers a pitch during the Red Sox 4 hour, 15 minute game against the New York Yankees on Sunday in Boston.

AP photo

UP NEXT

Red Sox vs. Twins
When: 8:10 tonight
Probable starters: Erik Bedard (4-7, 3.55) vs. Francisco Liriano (7-9, 5.03)
TV: NESN

After their latest marathon Sunday night, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he wouldn't be surprised to hear from Major League Baseball again. The Red Sox beat the Yankees 3-2 in 10 innings on Sunday night, and the game clocked in at four hours, 15 minutes.

"We'll probably get a letter, which I understand," Francona said on Monday before his team opened a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins. "It makes sense. They want to get it going and I understand that."

Pace of play has been a hot-button issue in the league office in recent years, with the Yankees and Red Sox two of the biggest targets. Both teams have hitters who like to work deep into counts and pitchers known for taking their time on the mound, such as Boston's Josh Beckett, who started Sunday.

Francona says he didn't think Beckett was stalling deliberately, but the warm night and the Yankees' patient hitters, coupled with the longer commercial breaks for the nationally televised game, caused it to drag.

"I thought Beckett was a little slow last night," Francona said. "If the league wants to send something and say speed it up, I don't blame them. But I'd rather us win. It was hot. They were working him really hard. We talk to all our pitchers about pitching quick because we believe in it. But he wasn't doing it on purpose."

It's a topic that has come up before, including last year when umpire Joe West told The Record in New Jersey that the pace of play in a Red Sox-Yankees series was "pathetic and embarrassing."

Francona said the Red Sox have received letters from MLB in the past advising them to speed up their games, and both players and managers can be fined if the league deems them to not be heeding their calls.

But Francona said the umpiring crew never said a word about the pace of play on Sunday night.

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at KJonline.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


Blogs

Clearing the Bases - TODAY
Pitching, pitching, pitching

More PPH Blogs

High School Football 2013

Fall Sports 2012

Purchase Photos

Find more photos >>