#Hot Corner

The opposite of Steve Trachsel

A rare daguerreotype of Ross Barnes, pioneer of the fair-foul bunt - Matthew Stockman

Remember Steve Trachsel? According to Wikipedia, Trachsel was nicknamed "The Human Rain Delay" because he liked to check his email and Twitter between pitches. Something like that. Anyway, I know this violates Baseball Nation's charter, but here's something you probably didn't know about Roger Federer:

Roger Federer has been one of the biggest draws in tennis since winning his first Grand Slam tournament a decade ago. Unfortunately for TV executives and tournament officials, Federer also plays some of the shortest matches on tour.

Federer matches are often one-sided, but even when they aren't, he plays like he is in a hurry. He takes little time between points, much less than average on tour ...


Over the last five years, counting the 2008 French Open, Federer has played 108 completed Grand Slam matches against non-Big Four players. One in six of those have ended in under 90 minutes. That is twice as many such matches as [Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal] have, combined, over that span.

After his win Sunday, Federer said he hasn't fielded any requests to stall more so his matches can last longer. "I think it's nice to keep it moving, you know, for everybody involved," he said, adding, "I've definitely saved a lot of energy over the years playing quicker." [e.a.]

Maybe Trachsel had to take a lot of time between pitches to be effective, but maybe he -- and other human rain delays -- could have pitched deeper into games had they adopted Federer's attitude. Roger Clemens always preached the importance of running to keep your legs strong. Think about the last time you went to a museum, and how tired you were after a couple hours of standing around. Pitchers do that every fifth day. Maybe it's in their self-interest to keep the game moving.

But even if it isn't, it's certainly in Major League Baseball's self-interest to keep the game moving. Luckily, according to this newspaper article from 1997, the commissioner is ON IT.

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