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Adam Wainwright: Widen strike zone to speed up game

Adam Wainwright has twice finished second in NL Cy Young voting, including 2013. (David Durochik/Getty Images)

Adam Wainwright (David Durochik/Getty Images)

Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright doesn't think expanded replay will prolong games too much, but he has an idea on how to speed games up.

“All of the talk for everybody, all the critics, is about the speed of play,” Wainwright told Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Speed of play this and speed of play that. But really the only way to do that, to speed things up, is to expand the strike zone. ... There are millions of dollars being made on the commercials. Millions. And yet they want to talk about the speed of play. If you want to keep the commercials, open the strike zone up.”

He grinned, “It would also help me a whole lot.”

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Each MLB team will make at least $20 million this season from local and national television deals, and local broadcasts often have at least 90 seconds of commercials between innings, according to Goold and Hummel.

Delays are often longer in the postseason, and Wainwright made five playoff starts last season, including two in the World Series.

As far as delays for replay reviews, Wainwright isn't worried. As former St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa said, replays will reduce on-field arguments.

“I’m not concerned about it slowing the game if I’m pitching and a call is made that isn’t the right call,” Wainwright said. “I would rather take the two minutes there to get the right call made. If there would also be a way to take that time to make sure the call helps only me that would be great. Is that possible?”

Wainwright went 19-9 last season with a 2.94 ERA and is 99-57 with a 3.11 ERA in eight seasons. He was 2-3 with a 2.57 ERA in the postseason last season, including a complete game.

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