WITH THE Red Sox playing in the World Series, people who aren’t much interested in baseball are now watching a few games. But when they do, they wonder why so many of the team’s supposedly great hitters are striking out. The Sox stand there, bats on shoulders, watching pitches come right straight through the zone. What’s going on?
Globe sports writer Peter Abraham explained one way all those strikeouts can actually help the Red Sox (“Big plus in those Sox strikeouts,” Page A1, Oct. 22). By wearing out the opposing teams’ best pitchers, the Sox have won many games in the late innings when they bat against weaker relief pitchers.
However, he fails to mention the downside of this strategy, which has spread throughout professional baseball and harms baseball as entertainment. These long at-bats and many strikeouts are stretching out the length of baseball games, and they are mainly very boring. The ball mostly goes back and forth between the pitcher and the catcher. The ball doesn’t go into play, and the seven other players just stand around. The only possible excitement is if a fan catches a foul ball.
How many of the occasional fans will watch through these long periods, and how many will come back for more games?