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Shut up and play

Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox is one of the best second basemen in the game. He's also, apparently, a big weenie.

This after Pedroia popped off about comments from umpire Joe West this week, who, in so many words, said the Yankees and Red Sox took so long to play the games in their opening series that little kids who came to the games had reached drinking age by the time they were over.

First of all, West was dead-on right. It took the Yankees and Red Sox nearly four hours to play two of their games, both regulation nine-inning games. The shortest of their games took 3:21. That's absurd.

Even more absurd was Pedroia whining that it was so important to do well in games against the Yankees that "if I'm going to take a deep breath and focus before I get in the box, I'm going to do it."

Please. If you're not already focused by the time you come to the plate, what are you even doing out there? I thought that's what the on-deck circle was for.

Maybe this strikes a nerve because I happen to be reading Cait Murphy's marvelous chronicle of the 1908 season, "Crazy '08." In it, she notes that baseball was a much faster-paced game in those days, with most games finishing in two hours or fewer.

Translated to the modern day, that means even allowing for TV commercial time, games should rarely run more than 2:20 or so. If it's taking teams almost 90 minutes more to get in nine innings, that suggests to me they're just dawdling -- as West correctly pointed out.

So, Dustin?

In the immortal words of many: Shut up and play, ya big weenie.

Ben Smith's blog.