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Average Baseball Game Up 5 Minutes

October 2, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ With the length of games setting a record, commissioner Bud Selig pledged new initiatives Monday.

The average length of a nine-inning game was 2 hours, 58 minutes, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball’s statistician.

That is a five-minute increase from 1999 and an 11-minute increase from 1998. It breaks the previous mark of 2:54, set in 1994.

``I think we can do a lot of things,″ Selig said, without giving details. ``We had a lot of high-scoring games, a lot of games with pitching changes, but I think there’s a lot of things we can do.

``The pace of the game, I believe, can be corrected by a myriad of things, including enforcement of our rules.″

Selig has repeatedly pledged that the pace of games will pick up. He addressed the subject during the 1997 World Series between Florida and Cleveland, when the average time was 3:31 and Game 3 lasted 4:12.

``The ‘Unfinished Symphony’ had a better chance of finishing before that game,″ Selig said then.

In February 1998, a memo was sent to teams outlining a series of speed-up measures, with the goal of cutting the average by 15 minutes.

Owners hope labor peace with umpires will held them enforce rules mandating a faster pace.

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