Dear Jonathan Papelbon,
How did it feel to get your first work of the year in yesterday? I know pitching in the 5th during Spring Training is nothing like the pitching in the 9th during a big game, but it’s a start. You looked good, and quite funny with that one pop-up.
But I’m not writing this letter to talk about that. I’m here to discuss a very important issue that is near and dear to the hearts of all Philadelphia Phillies fans.
That is issue is length of games.
Last year, the Phillies had about 29 or so games under 2 1/2 hrs (baseball-reference). That includes about 5 that lasted under 2 hrs and 10 minutes. Did you read those numbers? About 20% of the games are under 2 1/2 hours. I know, those are times that you can’t understand, but it’s true.
Let’s compare that to the Red Sox, where there were 6 games under 2 1/2 hours (baseball-reference). That’s a big difference.
I know this is going to be a culture shock for you, but it’s important to understand. We have all seen Red Sox/Yankees games (no way to avoid them, since they are on ESPN, MLB Network or Fox whenever the two teams play) that have lasted well over 4 hours. Philadelphia had 6 games last year that lasted over 4 hours. That’s it, SIX. And one of those games was a 19 inning marathon.
Now, the Phillies starting rotation likes getting the ball and pitching it. They do not like wasting time. You need to learn from them.
Please stop taking 5 minutes (or more) per batter! I guarantee that Phillies’ fans will start getting bored when that happens, and well, let’s just say, you don’t want that to happen. It’s in everyone’s best interest to win them over to your side and keep them there.
We like our 2 1/2 hr games. It’s kind of grown on us. And while you have a tremendous responsibility of closing out games started by Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels (ok, so they are going to be closing a lot of their own games, but you get my drift,) you need to be able to close them out in a reasonable amount of time.
I know you are used to rabid fan-bases, so I’m not worried about that. But please, PLEASE work on your speed. It is just better all around.
Loyal Phillies’ Fans
Karilee Jeantet is the Lead Contributor for A View From Section 116. Follow her on Twitter @kjeantet and @Viewfromsec116.