Next time you or a friend complains about the high price of a movie ticket, consider this: at least most films have action for upwards of 60 minutes.
Sports games, by contrast, are normally pricier than movies and offer less action. Way less.
An interesting new report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that in any given baseball game, 90 percent of the actual contest is spent standing around. That leaves less than 20 minutes of actual action.
While monitoring three recent MLB games, the authors of the report defined "action" as any of the following: "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." All that came out to an average of 17 minutes and 58 seconds per game.
Everything else -- which includes pitching changes, time between innings, the pitcher playing with the rosin bag -- dwarfed the actual playing time.
Interestingly, the time between innings of the games that the Wall Street Journal monitored averaged 42:41. While that's hefty, it's only about 60 percent of the time between pitches (one hour and 14 minutes).
Whereas the down time is built in to the game, fans aren't even guaranteed much excitement. If, say, there's a pitcher's duel, the "action" time may be lower.
So what was the longest "pure" play that the Wall Street Journal monitored? A whopping 15 seconds for a Bryce Harper triple.
At least baseball fans can take solace in the fact that they may be getting more bat for their buck than football fans. Another Wall Street Journal study clocked the "action time" of a football game at 11 minutes.
To read the full report, see here.