Red Sox manager Terry Francona on Friday offered his theory as to why his team’s games against the Yankees take so long to play — essentially, both teams are good and they play on TV a lot.
"There’s various reasons," Francona said in a radio interview with Dan Patrick. "One is, most of them are nationally televised, so you’re going to add a lot of time between innings right off the get-go. Every pitch, every thing is contested. Every pitch is so meaningful, and the players take it that way, the managers take it that way, the coaches take it that way.
"It’s not that people don’t care, that they don’t respect the game. It’s just it’s a big deal, and sometimes the games last longer. I don’t think people mind. Seems like a lot of people are watching."
Boston and New York are playing a three-game series this weekend, with Saturday’s game on Fox and Sunday’s game on ESPN. Their three-game set in April averaged 3 1/2 hours per game, leading umpire Joe West — who worked the series — to call the teams’ pacing "embarrassing," among other things.