Cobb, Rays talk length of games

Cobb, Rays talk length of games

CLEVELAND -- Time of game is on the front burner for Major League Baseball to study as it has put together a committee to find ways to shorten game times. The Rays lead the Major Leagues in length of game, averaging 3 hours, 12 minutes and 40 seconds per game.

Rays right-hander Alex Cobb said he was all for "whatever makes the game more popular."

"If the speed of game captures kids' attention a little more, there's more action, I completely understand," Cobb said. "It's going to be tough to do that without bothering some of the players' routines during the game.

"They're going to have to do things like expand the strike zone a little bit -- not expand it, but call strikes strikes. Just get the guys to swing the bats a little quicker. Stepping out of the box, walking around the mound, stuff like that might have to be altered a little bit. That could really bother some of the players."

Cobb believes some players go overboard following their routines, which can add time to the games. He also noted that more pitchers could do their fielders a favor by "getting the ball and throwing it."

"Because the less standing around they do, their feet don't get that cement-like feeling, like they've got bricks on their feet," Cobb said. "They don't get heavy. It can be tiring just standing there waiting and they throw ball, ball, ball. It gets a little bothersome out there for them. There's a few things they can do."

Rays manager Joe Maddon recently noted that the time of game issue is "a much bigger issue for everybody else than it is for me."

"So I would be the wrong guy to talk to about it," Maddon said. "I don't understand or necessarily see where the times are going to come from. … To make the games 15 minutes quicker and think that's going to make it more attractive, I don't understand."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.