Sport: The Dawdlers

Buy me some peanuts and crackerjack.

I don't care if I never get back.

—from Take Me Out to the Ball Game

The modern baseball fan has good reason to change the words of the old song to "I don't know if I'll ever get back." In growing bigger, big-league baseball has also grown painfully slower as pitchers outwait batters, batters outwait pitchers, managers perform for TV, and umpires examine the ball, the plate and the terrain for dangerous specks of dust.

Stopwatches in hand, a team of timers from Parade magazine attended a recent game...

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