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Pace Of Play Newsbeat

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Heyman | Real Wild-Card Loser Is Pace Of Play

When they were just finishing the third inning around 10 PM, I knew there was no way I would make it to the end. I don’t need the games done in two hours. Somewhere between 2 1/2 to 3 hours would be fine. 4+ hour games with 8 PM start times means I’m missing the end. That bites. Tonight I have an extra incentive to stay late. I’ve been rooting for the D’Backs all year since I put $100 down on them at 100-1 odds back before Spring Training started. Unfortunately, I might have to find out if they won Thursday morning.

The wild-card game is a wonderful, fantastic, stupendous idea… in theory, anyway. The games are always energizing and almost always riveting.

Now if only someone could stay up to see them.

For those who didn’t make it to the conclusion of the playoff season opener (just about everyone on the East Coast, I assume), the Yankees beat the Twins, ending Minnesota’s gloriously surprising season, in a game that ended on Wednesday on the East Coast after beginning squarely on Tuesday.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 04, 2017 at 01:31 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, twins, wild card, yankees

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Why MLB games are FIVE MINUTES longer this season

But as with two-homer games on Opening Day, this pace would not hold. Baseball added back four minutes per contest last year, and this year’s games will almost certainly set a new record. Despite a few small changes for the 2017 season—requiring managers to decide more promptly whether to challenge an umpire’s call and making intentional walks automatic—the average nine-inning contest is now 3 hours, 5 minutes—the longest average in baseball history and up five minutes from last year. That’s also already the second-largest year-over-year increase since integration. And since games get slower with September call-ups, the final month will quite possibly add a minute or two to that average.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Olney: Madison Bumgarner might not rediscover his velocity - Buster Olney Blog- ESPN

Bumgarner’s velocity has also been down to some of the lowest readings of his career. In his final outing before the accident, he averaged 92.1 mph with his fastball (April 19 vs. Royals). Here are his average readings in the three starts since he returned, per FanGraphs:
July 15: 89.7 mph
July 20: 90.4 mph
July 25: 90.4 mph

It’s too early to interpret the diminishment in velocity. It could be that, much like a pitcher working his way through spring training, Bumgarner is still in the process of building velocity. That’s something that the Giants saw from him in March, when sluggish readings early in the month eventually got better.

Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti also acknowledged another possibility Saturday: The 27-year-old, who has logged more than 1,500 innings in his career, is simply not going to throw as hard as he used to—maybe because of natural wear and tear, maybe partly because of the April accident.

“It was a serious injury,” Righetti said.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2017 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, madison bumgarner, notes, orioles, pace of play

Thursday, July 13, 2017

COLUMN: CAN’T SOMEBODY SPEED UP THE GAME OF BASEBALL?

I’ve criticized the All Star game format and the pace of play separately and previously. The reason for the huge drop in ratings for the game, however, isn’t either of those things. When I was a kid, the only chances to see a NL player (and some AL players) were the Saturday afternoon game of the week and the All Star Game. We can watch every player *every day*. I can literally watch any game I want to watch Friday.

The reasons are varied, and not hard to find. Interleague play has taken the mystique off the All-Star Game, baseball doesn’t manufacture stars like other sports and the game itself is becoming one-dimensional with many of its subtleties fading away.

Mostly, though, it’s because baseball is simply too slow for today’s limited-attention viewers. They’re finding better things to do than watch endless pitching changes, long replay challenge delays and games that always seem to revolve around home runs or strikeouts.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 13, 2017 at 06:52 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: all star game, pace of play

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Baseball’s pressing question: What happens to a sport when nothing happens?

Over the course of three minutes shy of four hours, 90 batters came to the plate and only 40 of them put the ball in play, or once every six minutes. Nine pitchers, all of whom hit 93 to 99 mph on the radar gun, including L.A. starter Clayton Kershaw, paraded to the mound to strike out a National League–record 42 batters. Nobody managed a hit in 13 tries with runners in scoring position. All three runs scored on solo home runs.

Unlike most sports, baseball’s beauty is not only in its action but also in the anticipation of its action. The brief interludes allow conversation among friends, a pondering of the strategies and outcomes that may come next, and the hope—with caps turned backward and inside out—for the greatest excitement the game can allow, the extended rally.

That game is disappearing. In its place grows a game obsessed with power. It is driven by the pursuit of the most blunt of outcomes: strikeouts by pitchers and home runs by batters. Both outcomes, which render useless defense, baserunning and teamwork, happen more frequently this year than ever before.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2017 at 01:26 PM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: home run spike, pace of play

Monday, June 19, 2017

Putting the future in focus: The blueprint for baseball in 20 years

In 20 years, all players will be monitored to an intense degree. Heart rate and brain function will be watched in several ways, including through the bloodstream, and will detect when the stress level, among other levels, is too high. The monitors will determine when a player reaches failure capacity, which could reduce the risk of injury and alert a performance risk. It’s a paradox: Players are bigger, stronger and fitter today, but they get hurt more often. There will be far more healthy players and less use for the disabled list in 2037.

There will be a greater effort to outlaw takeout slides at second base, further eliminating the artistry of our best middle infielders, and rewarding those middle infielders with poor footwork and poor decision-making around the bag. Penalties will increase—a 20-game suspension, at least—for pitchers that gratuitously hit a batter with a 98 mph fastball because that pitcher—the latest being the Giants’ Hunter Strickland hitting Bryce Harper—simply wasn’t good enough to get him out. But baseball is filled with remorseless, vengeful players; retaliation is never going away; it will always be a hard game played by hard men. Human emotion is a difficult variable to control or eliminate.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 19, 2017 at 10:54 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: future, pace of play, player safety, rules

Friday, June 09, 2017

Baseball keeps getting slower, but change will come by 2018 - Buster Olney Blog- ESPN

New rules won’t matter if umpires don’t enforce them.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 09, 2017 at 06:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Baseball keeps getting slower, but change will come by 2018

The preference on both sides is for a negotiated solution—a common ground found through conversation and an exchange of ideas. Manfred spoke about this in March, about how he wants to have more dialogue from the players, more input on how to improve the pace of games. But some players recognize that one way or another, rule changes are coming. One player told teammates recently that they better get used to the idea of a pitch clock “because it’s inevitable.”...

But MLB wants a formal mechanism to push along the pace of action, and by holding the power to change rules on its own, it’s in a strong position to negotiate the terms of a pitch clock and to restrict the number of mound meetings between teammates.

Through negotiation, the players would be in position to get something in return, and in recent weeks some have privately mentioned their hope that the union will push for an automated strike zone, with balls and strikes determined electronically. This would remove the constant debate over strike zone decisions, according to players.


Friday, May 26, 2017

FiveThirtyEight: Pitchers Are Slowing Down To Speed Up

Despite consternation from the commissioner and rule changes to speed up the game, baseball has never been slower than it is right now.1 Even in the short time since last season, the average delay between pitches has jumped a full second. It’s all part of a decadelong trend toward more sluggish play, and there’s an alarming reason baseball’s pace problem is likely to get even worse going forward: Slowing down helps pitchers throw faster.

Compared with 2007, the average MLB pitcher now holds the ball a full two seconds longer between consecutive pitches. This leisurely behavior has helped drag the average game out to a full three hours, five minutes — roughly 10 minutes longer than it was two years ago. Some have argued that the pace of the game isn’t a problem, but MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has announced that he intends to make baseball faster “for the benefit of the game and the fans.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2017 at 12:35 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: fivethirtyeight, pace of play

 

 

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