Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Saturday, July 07, 2012
Fewer than .2 sales per month would, in fact, probably be bad.
What’s going on with Brett Lawrie? His defensive statistics this year would make Ken Boyer jealous. His defensive statistics were very good last year, too, but I don’t remember hearing anything about him being the second coming of Brooks Robinson. Is he really THIS good, or is it likely the statistics are distorted in a way we don’t understand?
I don’t know. I didn’t know, until you asked, that he had good defensive statistics. (I’ve probably seen the same charts that you have, but at my age, things like that don’t stick in your head.)
Based on how he has played against the Red Sox, I would readily believe that he’s the best defensive third baseman in baseball. He’s just made play after play after play against us. I would guess that he has made 8 to 10 seemingly impossible defensive plays against the Red Sox in the space of maybe 20 games.
Rick Reilly recently… was complaining about the amount of time the batter and pitcher screw around between pitches. Do you have a solution to that? Just make the umpire enforce the rules? Also… Reilly suggested the pitcher should get two pickoff attempts, and anything after that a ball is added to the hitter’s count. What do you think of that idea?
. . .it’s something, I guess. I doubt that this rule would cut one minute off the average time of a baseball game, but it would create a barrier to one possible source of future wastes of time.
The throws to first really slowed the game down in the 1970s and 1980s, when there were many more stolen base attempts than there are now. They’re not the actual issue any more, or rather, they might be 15% of the problem. The other elements are a) batters asking for time and stepping out between pitches, which I would estimate is about 30% of the problem, b) pitchers working slowly, which I would estimate is perhaps 15% of the problem, c) excessive pitching changes in the late innings (25%) and d) extended time between innings for commercials (15%). You can’t solve the overall problem by addressing any ONE of those issues.
I don’t think that baseball games are too long for the people who are at the park… Baseball games are too long for sportswriters and announcers, who have to go to the games every day and are inclined to complain about what a hard life it is. Of more relevance, the games are not too LONG for television, but too SLOW…
What will really solve the problem is if the TV producers go the Major League baseball and tell them “Your product is just too slow for us. The ratio of action to time is just too small. You have to do something about it, or we’re not interested in purchasing your material.” Unless or until that happens, there’s limited discipline to attacking the problem.
Random question: Any players besides Tommy John who has something off-the-field or non-performance related named after them? The Mendoza line is similar in that it can be applied in non-baseball settings - “My sales this month have dipped under the Mendoza line.” But the origin refers to on the field performance so it wouldn’t count I guess…
Lou Gehrig’s Disease would be the obvious. I don’t know about anybody else, but in my household, laying on excessive and redundant praise is called “Jetering”.
Hey Bill, I’m curious, do you believe Kenny Lofton is a hall of famer? ...
... Lofton was a very underrated, under-valued player; I certainly agree with that. Whether he is above the Hall of Fame line is a harder question, but he certainly had a remarkable career.
I’m surprised to learn that Lofton never won a World Series. He played in TWENTY post-season series, a total of 95 post-season games. I have a friend who used to spend a lot of time in Japan, back in the 1990s. A Japanese friend once told him, “You know, the thing about your World Series is, it’s the same players every year, but on different teams.” That’s kind of how I thought about Lofton and Roberto Alomar; it seemed like they were in the post-season every year, but you never knew what team they would be on.
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