MLB has been saying for the last couple of years that pace of play is a problem that they're trying to get fixed. In 2017, it took on average 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete a regular season game. Up 4 minutes from 2016, and 14 minutes from 2010.
Now it's not just the total time it takes to complete a game that's a problem. Another huge issue is the lack of action contributing to a 3 hour baseball game.
Baseball has never been more beset by inaction. Games this season saw an average gap of 3 minutes, 48 seconds between balls in play, an all-time high. There were more pitcher substitutions than ever, the most time between pitches on record and longer games than ever.
In regards to pitcher substitutions, "Regular-season games this year saw an average of 8.4 pitchers used between both teams, an all-time high. That’s up from 5.8 pitchers a game 30 years ago."
In regards to time between pitches, "Moreover, the pitchers being added are the slowest: The average reliever takes 1.5 seconds longer between each pitch than the average starter. ........ There were around 3.9 pitches thrown per batter, also the highest on record."
The cat is out of the bag with analytics. MLB teams are becoming more aware of pitching change strategies and shifts to win as many games as possible. Some how Manfred and company have to implement different ideas to speed up this game. Pitch clocks, limiting how many pitching coach visits a team has, whatever works.
Something has to happen before baseball becomes a 3.5 hour game.