Baseball. It sure goes slowly. Sometimes something happens. Mostly, nothing happens.
People at the Wall Street Journal watched baseball. They noticed how deliberate the game is. They thought, huh, there sure is a lot of not much happening.
They could have stopped there. They could have written "baseball games are the overinflated snack-chip bag of sports." They could have written "unless you're getting pleasantly day-drunk or teaching your kids the manly art of shelling peanuts with one hand, baseball is an expensive waste of an afternoon." But no. Those sorts of unsupported statements do not sell papers. In fact nothing sells papers anymore. Still they decided to try to sell papers by finding out numbers. Old habits and all.
They watched baseball games and timed the things that happened. They concluded that in a baseball game that takes three hours, about 18 minutes of stuff happens. The paper's sample size was n=3. This is not considered a large pool from which to draw conclusions. But it would take forever to watch more games. Have you seen how slowly they go? So three it was.
Here is what the paper found constitutes the dark meat on baseball's basket of hot wings:
The almost 18-minute average included balls in play, runner advancement attempts on stolen bases, wild pitches, pitches (balls, strikes, fouls and balls hit into play), trotting batters (on home runs, walks and hit-by-pitches), pickoff throws and even one fake-pickoff throw. This may be generous. If we'd cut the action definition down to just the time when everyone on the field is running around looking for something to do (balls in play and runner advancement attempts), we'd be down to 5:47.
Wait, so. Really only six minutes of stuff happens. Why that is not much at all. How will you fill the other 174 minutes you spend at the park? We begin to see where this recent spate of baseball poindexters comes from. They like to read during the 34ish minutes between batters, and during the 43ish minutes between innings, and the 75ish minutes between pitches.