Peak Sports Mailbag: Week 2

Ask and answer both SFU and non-SFU related sports questions. This week: Baseball

Photo credit / Brock University

By: Dylan Webb – Sports editor

Hello readers of The Peak sports section,

My name is Dylan Webb and I’m the new sports editor and this week’s host for the inaugural Peak Sports Mailbag. The Peak Sports Mailbag was introduced last week to engage students from every corner of the SFU sports community. 

Thanks so much to all of our readers for submitting their baseball-related questions, and my apologies if your question didn’t make it into this week’s edition. Usually, the Mailbag host will only answer three or four questions. Don’t worry though, as all questions submitted count for an entry into the raffle draw whether or not they are addressed in the Mailbag. Now, onto the questions!

Question 1: “Why does baseball take so long? It looks like a fun and intense sport, at times, but it seems like it takes forever to watch a whole game.” – P.

Answer: It’s no secret that pace of play has become a significant issue in MLB (Major League Baseball). According to Sports Illustrated, the average length of an MLB game rose last season to an average of three hours and five minutes. At the most basic level, baseball takes forever, and seems like it takes even longer sometimes. This is due to the fact that there is no time clock, something commonly used in many other sports. The pace of play is dictated by a variety of factors including: game situations, player preference, and game strategy. A potential solution to this issue that has been discussed is the introduction of a pitch clock that would require each pitch to be thrown within a given time frame. Far more controversially, another suggestion that has been proposed is the elimination of the third out for the team that is leading the game. While the latter idea will likely never be implemented, I would bet that a pitch clock will be introduced in the next few seasons. 

Question 2: “When do you think the Toronto Blue Jays will have a reasonable chance of making the playoffs again?” – Connor 

Answer: In my opinion, the time frame for the Blue Jays to become competitive again will be determined by both the degree of success the team has in developing starting pitchers internally and the extent to which ownership of the team will be willing to spend on starting pitching in the free agent market. You’ll notice that I mentioned starting pitching in both parts of the answer. This is because I believe that the Blue Jays have already successfully established a core of position players that can, at the very least, make the team competitive for a playoff spot in the next three years. Whether or not Guerrero, Bichette, Biggio, and Jansen end up competing in late October baseball together at some point in their careers will be heavily influenced by the evolution of the team’s pitching staff, through development, trade and/or free agency, over the next three seasons. 

Question 3: “In your opinion, why are there so many more home runs in MLB (Major League Baseball) nowadays?” – Ryan

Answer: This question can only really be answered by a comprehensive scientific study of the game and, more specifically, the ball. I believe that it relates to a change in the production of the baseball. Perhaps even more significantly, I believe there has been a change in the general hitting philosophy taught at the major league level. Analytics have had an enormous influence in baseball over the past decade and I think hitters are, almost across the board, changing their approach. This new philosophy emphasizes hitting the ball harder in the air rather than the classic ‘just make contact’ approach that was, for a long time, baseball common sense. 

If you would like to participate in future editions of the Peak Sports Mailbag and be entered in a raffle for an end-of-semester prize, here’s what you can send to sports@the-peak.ca

  • Sports-related questions that our weekly host will answer
  • Weekly theme ideas to guide our questions

Or: sign up to host the Mailbag (and get paid)!

Thanks to all of you SFU sports fans for blowing up my inbox!

Next week’s theme is: Soccer

Next week’s host is: Keveren Guillou

Send in your questions to sports@the-peak.ca