"Grumble." Photo Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Dealing with the pace of play has been a huge issue for Major League Baseball. Bud Selig’s successor Rob Manfred takes over just as game times are expanding and pace of play rules are finally being experimented with. Though Manfred says the rules haven’t been put to use long enough to see if they actually work, it seems the batter’s box rule and the pitch clock are gaining traction. And nothing angers old-time ballplayers like something that smells even remotely new.

Mike Schmidt, of course, is not okay with the pitch clock. For one, he thinks it’s not worth implementing because the time it takes off the game is negligible. He also argues, fairly, that penalizing batters for stepping out of the batters box could mess with their routine and rhythm. That’s fine, but Schmidt loses me when he worries about the poor, poor sponsors and vendors:

“The other change won’t offer much time savings, but might anger some sponsors as fans will rush from the concession areas in order to not miss a pitch.”

I don’t think anyone, especially at Citizens Bank Park, is rushing out of lines to get back to their seats. But there’s another person who hates mostly everything these new rules– slow-ass pitcher Jonathan Papelbon. According to Paps, he was told the pace of play stuff was the “Jonathan Papelbon Rule,” since he always takes so long to stare down his opponents like a self-indulgent jackass. As always, though, Paps has his eye on the biggest prize:

“You can’t win an Academy Award for an hour and 10 minute movie.”

For what it’s worth, 1955’s “Marty” is the shortest Best Picture winner, with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Last year’s baseball games averaged a runtime of about 3 hours and 10 minutes— about ten minutes shorter than “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” and “Titanic.” So yeah, you can’t win an Academy Award for an hour and 10 minute movie. But just remember next time the Phillies are making a pitching change in the 7th inning, the boat hasn’t even sunk yet… at least in the movie.