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Bad Ideas Newsbeat

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Goodbye, Safeco Field. The Mariners’ stadium is now called T-Mobile Park

Welcome to T-Mobile Park.

For the first time since its construction in 1998 and opening in 1999, the baseball stadium in the Sodo district will be called something other than Safeco Field.

On Wednesday the Mariners and the Bellevue-based telecommunications giant announced a 25-year naming-rights agreement. The deal must be approved by the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (PFD).

For those of you wanting a justification for our project to come up with new stadium names….

QLE Posted: December 20, 2018 at 07:58 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, mariners, naming rights, safeco field, t-mobile park

Thursday, December 06, 2018

MLB players concerned about retooling teams, attendance drop

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players are concerned the Seattle Mariners have become yet another rebuilding team and may be joined by others following a season of steep attendance drops among clubs that faded early and never contended for the playoffs.

Union head Tony Clark and new collective bargaining director Bruce Meyer said Wednesday their members also are concerned about rapid change in the way games are played, such as the increased use of relief pitchers, and are willing to speak with management this offseason about whether counteracting changes are needed.

Altering the amateur draft to include an NBA-style lottery for the top picks, the 10-day disabled list and the 10-day minimum for the recall of players optioned to the minors are among the topics the union is prepared to talk about as part of a wider discussion. So are possible rules to counter offense-suffocating defensive shifts.

A reminder that a lot of players are as alarmed by tanking as those of us who watch it from the stands….

 

QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, bad ideas, bruce meyer, lottery, mlbpa, tanking, tony clark

Banning defensive shifts would be lazy solution to non-existent problem for MLB

It’s that time of year again. That time when Major League Baseball says it’s prepared to make big changes to the way teams are allowed to play defense.

As always, the proposed changes center around defensive shifts, an analytics-based method that has influenced teams to change the positioning of its defenders in an effort to counter a batter’s tendencies. The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reported Wednesday that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is receiving “strong backing” from the league’s competition committee to try limiting the use of these shifts during MLB games.

Perhaps this year they’re really serious about it. The report adds that rules aimed at limiting defensive shifts could be put in place before opening day. Or maybe it’s just blowing more smoke to pacify those purists who remain against the idea of a third baseman playing in short right field. For now, we’ll assume it’s the latter. But since the commissioner is openly talking about it, we at least have to assume it’s still a primary discussion in league circles.

To that we say, why are they still wasting their time?

Some blunt commentary on a recent subject of argument.

QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, manfred is thinking about it, shifts

Thursday, November 29, 2018

No, MLB partnering with MGM Resorts does not somehow vindicate Pete Rose

Yesterday I wrote about how Major League Baseball and MGM Resorts have become business partners, with the latter being “the official gaming partner” of MLB.

While some people’s response to that has been about what the partnership means on a practical level, the overwhelming response has been “BUT WHAT ABOUT PETE ROSE?!!!! HOW CAN MLB KEEP HIM BANNED?!! HYPOCRITES!” For a sampling of that go here and here and here and here and here and here and here and then take my word for it when I say that that sentiment was repeated a MILLION times yesterday and into today. Even people who, you’d think anyway, would know the significance of a sponsorship deal are trafficking in this stuff.

Claiming there is some connection between these two things is dumb, people. Don’t be dumb. Because being dumb is dumb.

QLE Posted: November 29, 2018 at 07:45 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, gambling, pete rose, twitter

Saturday, October 27, 2018

WSJ: Our Insane Ideas To Save Baseball

Wall Street Journal sports writers “bullpen” a rules change article:

The one way to fix baseball involves changing one of the most sacred aspects of the game. Are you ready for Strike Four? Here’s why baseball needs a fourth strike: Batters have never been worse at making contact. Sure, they hit tons of homers—but they’re striking out more than ever, which means you can wait in line to get beer and never miss the ball even going in play. Three strikes just isn’t enough anymore. Four strikes means fewer strikeouts.

This plan also will reduce pitching changes: four strikes only gets implemented when a team brings in a second pitcher during an inning. The pitcher who begins an inning gets the normal three strikes. Someone who comes in mid-inning, well, he has to deal with four. Is it worth bringing in a reliever to get one out midway through the fifth inning if he has to deal with four strikes?

One flaw: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” doesn’t have the same ring if it becomes “three but sometimes four strikes you’re out at the old ball game.”

This is behind a leaky paywall - if you Google some of the text, you can get to the full article via the Google link. The best part of the exercise is the poll at the end on which idea is the worst.


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Dave Littlefield latest candidate to interview for Mets’ GM role

The Mets have interviewed Tigers’ vice president of player development Dave Littlefield for their open GM role, SNY’s Andy Martino confirmed on Wednesday.

New Yorkers unfamiliar with the peculiarities of Littlefield’s disastrous time in charge of the Pirates may at least recall his official scouting assessment of the height of Derek Jeter’s butt.

Everyone gets intrusive thoughts from time to time (e.g. “I wonder how far I could throw that baby), but it’s almost never a good idea to act on them.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-19-2018

Washington Times, September 19, 1918:

A stereotype habit of Boston baseball writers during the bleak winter months is to visit the homes of the various ball-flinging athletes.
...
[Melville Webb tells the story of his visit to Babe Ruth’s house:] “The fire was finally started,” Webb continued, “but after a few minutes Babe took a look at it and was far from satisfied the way it was progressing.

“The big fellow walked over to a corner of the kitchen, picked up a five-gallon can of kerosene and proceeded to pour the ingredient on the smoldering wood.

‘I say, Babe, aren’t you taking a chance there?’
‘Oh, no, Mel, there’s no danger. I never “booted one” doing this—that is, ‘cept twice. Once it was my fault, and the other time it wasn’t. The time it was my fault I poured the kerosene in under the fire through the draft door. I sure was wrong that time, for the physics blew the top right off the stove. The time I wasn’t to blame was when I made a mistake and grabbed the gasoline can.’

Babe being Babe.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:25 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history

Friday, August 17, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-17-2018

Chicago Eagle, August 17, 1918:

“The most peculiar happening in baseball during my career took place when I was with the St. Louis Feds,” said Bob Groom. “In a game at Pittsburgh, we had the bases filled and Larue Kirby came to bat. He hit for a home run, his hit accounting for four runs. Then the Pittsburgh management discovered that according to the score card Delos Drake should have hit ahead of Kirby. The umpire ruled Drake out for not having batted and allowed Kirby to hit over again. This time he tripled, driving in three runs, a total of seven runs in one time at bat.”

A neat story, but Larue Kirby never hit a triple against Pittsburgh or had more than two RBI in a game.

But it does lead me to wonder if there’s any situation in which it’s advantageous to intentionally bat out of order. A situation something like extra innings, first and third, one out, no pinch hitters available, and a horrendous-hitting pitcher (Don Carman and his career .057/.066/.057 line, for example) at the plate. He’s almost certainly going to make an out and if he manages to make contact, it’s probably not getting out of the infield. He’s at least as likely to hit into a double play than score the run. Can a manager skip the pitcher, report it to the umpire himself, and send the next batter to the plate?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 17, 2018 at 10:05 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, batting out of order, dugout, history

 

 

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