Between Innings Clock Dilemma

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We are a week into spring training games using the newly implemented between-innings clock, and the general consensus is that the players are easily adjusting to the reduced transition time. The pace of the game seems to have improved nicely without being overwhelming, and this clock thing may have been long overdue.

However, we the fans have some strategizing to do if we don’t want to miss any game action this season. Baseball fans do not have the luxury of a halftime or intermission to begin with; and now we only have 2 minutes and 25 seconds to get what we need to get done, or buy anything not provided by an in-crowd vendor.

Oct 12, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams hits a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the 8th inning in game two of the 2014 NLCS playoff baseball game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know about you, but I’m slightly concerned about the pressure to spend my in-between innings time wisely. I am still scarred from standing in the ladies’ room line when Matt Adams hit a home run during Game 2 of the NLCS last season. And ladies, we gotta figure something out to get our line moving faster, am I right?! (I’m not above petitioning Busch Stadium to build more restrooms…)

Back in the summer of 1998 my superstition tradition of “bottom of the 3rd nachos” was born. It all started when I had just shoveled one bite into my mouth as Mark McGwire hit a home run–in the bottom of the 3rd inning. I almost dumped that boat of over priced cheesy goodness all over my lap out of excitement. Ever since then, if I want to do my part to help the Cardinals win, I have to start eating my nachos in the bottom of the 3rd inning.

Last summer I went to a game on a field trip. Having to wait for an entire group of 3rd graders to get through the concession line was bad joo joo. I even took a bite of someone else’s nachos out of desperation (I don’t know what that says about me). I didn’t get my nachos in time and the Cards suffered an ugly loss that day.

This year I need a well executed plan if I want to bring home a winner without missing any of the game. Bring someone to stand in line for me? Probably. Buy the nachos before the game starts and endure cold, soggy nachos by the 3rd inning? Perhaps.

My scorecard on the left, another fan’s scorecard on the right.

When I filled out a scorecard for the Yankees vs. Cardinals on May 27th last year, I fully committed to not taking any restroom breaks so I wouldn’t miss documenting a pitch of the special occasion. And I was pregnant at the time! My awesome husband who puts up with my weird baseball quirks, missed the entire 2nd inning to retrieve my nachos for me. Turned out to be a great sacrifice though, as Lance Lynn threw his first career complete game shutout.

The players have a few more weeks to fully adjust to the new pace-of-game clock and rules. May I suggest you also spend some time to consider how to use your in-between innings time wisely? The fate of your favorite team may depend on it.

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