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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

‘I Find It Very Difficult’ to Watch: Why MLB Greats Think Baseball’s in Trouble | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

I’m not a fan of how long it takes to play games but, other than that specific complaint, baseball is awesome. I say this as someone who, thanks to streaming, gets to enjoy more games than ever. As for the rest…pitchers are better than ever. Batters hit the ball harder than ever. (Jimmy loves the long ball.) Fielders are the most athletic than they have ever been. I love the game. If they just cut down the time between pitches and between innings, It would be perfect.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2018 at 11:17 AM | 120 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general, get off my lawn

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   1. Jon W Posted: August 21, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5730701)
Nothing in this article mystified me more than the idea, mentioned twice, that emotion has been drained from today's game. Whatever your thoughts on pace of play or strikeouts or whatever, if you aren't seeing players who are invested and excited and intense and emotional, I truly don't trust that you've been watching at all.
   2. McCoy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5730705)
Using Goose Gossage as your quote source for what's wrong with baseball seems just lazy and renders your thesis as pointless.

Old timers time immemorial have rarely found the modern game to be all that pleasing. Most baseball players are not fans of baseball. A huge ton of them do not enjoy simply watching a game.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5730707)
Nothing in this article mystified me more than the idea, mentioned twice, that emotion has been drained from today's game. Whatever your thoughts on pace of play or strikeouts or whatever, if you aren't seeing players who are invested and excited and intense and emotional, I truly don't trust that you've been watching at all.

Sure, but I don't really care about emotion, I want action. Given the high financial stakes, players probably care too much about every PA. That's part of what causes them to slow down.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5730710)
Old timers time immemorial have rarely found the modern game to be all that pleasing. Most baseball players are not fans of baseball. A huge ton of them do not enjoy simply watching a game.


I once got a chance to do a one-on-one interview with Brooks Robinson, about 20 years after he retired. What struck me was how much he enjoyed talking about and was a fan of the then-modern game.

   5. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5730711)
If they just cut down the time between pitches and between innings, It would be perfect.


Mostly agree, but I am also increasingly dismayed by pitcher usage. More and more, managers are not using relievers more than 1 day in a row. There are more pitches on active rosters than ever before, more pitchers on the minors to majors shuttle, and yet there are record numbers of position players taking the mound. It's absolutely ridiculous. The Cubs have the best record in the NL, and they have used 33 different pitchers this year, including 5 position players. That's the kind of thing you used to see only on the worst teams, and not that long ago.
   6. Stormy JE Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5730716)
Pete Rose of all people hit the nail on the head: While not the only factor, of course, why should anyone be surprised that when you keep moving the fences in ("Chicks dig the long ball!!"), it would only be a matter of time before most batters started swinging for the fences in their plate appearances?
   7. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5730722)
I stopped watching baseball this year, after having been an extremely passionate fan all my life.

Way way way too much dead time. The game has become really ####### boring, and it makes me sad.

(I still follow the box scores and stats and standings and stuff, but the idea of parking my butt in a seat for 4 hours to watch a game is agony.)
   8. BDC Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5730724)
They should restore onions to the players' belts.
   9. Stormy JE Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5730726)
Way way way too much dead time. The game has become really ####### boring, and it makes me sad.
You know what else is "really ####### boring," Davo? A .304 winning percentage. #justsayin
   10. Rusty Priske Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5730729)
Baseball is as good as it has ever been.


(Though I am also not a fan of current pitcher usage...)
   11. Batman Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5730730)
Former baseball players have said baseball has been in trouble every time anything has changed.
   12. Rusty Priske Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5730731)
Oh, and the same people who claim the 'emotion is gone from the game' would likely be the the ones who complaining about bat flips and the like. 'Playing the game like you have been there before."
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:40 PM (#5730734)
Baseball is as good as it has ever been.

The level of talent is as good as it has ever been. The game, as entertainment, is as bad as it has been in my lifetime.

You may be fine with it, but that fact that many die hard fans here don't bother to watch the games anymore says something big.
   14. McCoy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5730736)
but that fact that many die hard fans here don't bother to watch the games anymore says something big.

That they're getting older? That they have more things going on in their life? That their home team is losing? That baseball and baseball clips are available 24 hours a day every single day?
   15. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5730737)
9- Doesn’t help of course, but, OTOH, I watched the Twins religiously during the Ron Coomer/Matt Lawton/Cristian Guzman dark days.
   16. Rusty Priske Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5730739)
#14 is absolutely, fundamentally right.

Just because something no longer appeals to YOU does not mean it is wrong.

I used to love pro-wrestling. Now I find it boring. I don't claim that they should keep pumping out Hogan-era product just because that is when I enjoyed it.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5730742)
Given the high financial stakes, players probably care too much about every PA. That's part of what causes them to slow down.


That's pretty silly. Most of the players today are financially set for life, whereas a 32-year-old coming to the plate in September of 1973 would have been acutely aware that every failed plate appearance brings him one step closer to selling used cars. I don't see how you can say one would care about each PA more than the other.
   18. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:50 PM (#5730744)
I think the changes to the television landscape are going to result in the decline in the popularity of professional sports. But even apart from this trend, baseball does have a problem. Yeah, we've been hearing about the problem for a while now (while revenues have only increased) but MLB's fanbase problems are getting worse:

Baseball has the oldest viewers of the top major sports, with 50% of its audience 55 or older (up from 41% a decade ago), according to Nielsen ratings. The average age of baseball viewers is 53, compared with 47 for the NFL and 37 for the NBA, according to the ratings. And fewer young people are playing the sport: The number of people between the ages of 7 and 17 playing baseball in the U.S. decreased by 41% from 9 million in 2002 to 5.3 million in 2013.


The article is from February 2017.
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5730747)
whereas a 32-year-old coming to the plate in September of 1973 would have been acutely aware that every failed plate appearance brings him one step closer to selling used cars.
But a transition to selling used cars in 1973 was not the same salary drop-off as it is today.
   20. The Duke Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5730748)
What’s really changed is that all the emotion has gone out of the game. What’s needed are, in no particular order:

1. More bullpen carts
2. Eliminate replay
3. Bring back collisions at home, and take out slides
4. Mel Allen
5. More straight- A nights at the ballpark
6. Limits on shifting
7. Make pitchers step off the rubber to throw to first(ie more stolen bases)
8. Big chest protectors for American League umps
9. Limits on relief pitcher usage
10. 154 game season
11. Lower the mound or reduce strike zone or both
12. More double-headers


   21. McCoy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5730750)
The big 4 youth sports have experienced declines. The only kids playing more sports now than then is rich kids.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5730752)
The number of people between the ages of 7 and 17 playing baseball in the U.S. decreased by 41% from 9 million in 2002 to 5.3 million in 2013.

That statistic is shocking, although I followed the link and I saw that participation in basketball and soccer was also down substantially (but not as much as baseball) over the same time period. I get that kids are spending less time outdoors these days but the magnitude of those numbers was pretty surprising to me. Is it because kids are specializing more these days, so kids like me who played soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring are less common?
   23. McCoy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5730753)
But a transition to selling used cars in 1973 was not the same salary drop-off as it is today.

Men in 1973 made $8,060, if you were black you made about 60% of that. In baseball the minimum salary was $15,000 and the average salary was $36,500. Losing your baseball job in 1973 obviously didn't cost you a shot a millions a year but it most definitely jeopardized your status as a middle class to upper middle class earner.


I make a lot of money relative to my cost of living and what I have made before but I don't make anywhere near what baseball players, and I truly mean anywhere near. Not caring about my day to day performance and jeopardizing my job won't cost me millions. It could cost me thousands and I care very much about those thousands.
   24. McCoy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5730754)
That statistic is shocking, although I followed the link and I saw that participation in basketball and soccer was also down substantially (but not as much as baseball) over the same time period. I get that kids are spending less time outdoors these days but those numbers were pretty surprising to me. Is it because kids are specializing more these days, so kids like me who played soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring are less common?

Money is so far is believed to be the biggest factor. Youth sports have become more and more serious and costly and kids that don't have parents that can afford to pay for these sports, equipment, travel, and training are dropping out at higher rates than they once did.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5730757)
Youth sports have become more and more serious and costly and kids that don't have parents that can afford to pay for these sports, equipment, travel, and training are dropping out at higher rates than they once did.

Do they no longer have more casual local leagues where everyone on the team shares like 3 bats, and everyone sucks, but it's still fun?
   26. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5730758)
One thing that is strange to me is the obsession with in-game attendance drops and, to a lesser extent, TV numbers.

This isn't 1987, and it seems silly to continue to tout this statistic with the same level of importance. I haven't gone to a game in years, and don't even watch it on TV anymore, since we don't have cable. But I probably consume more baseball than I did in the mid 90s, when I was going to several games a year and watching dozens

I can follow a game's play-by-play on my phone through ESPN's gamecasts, watch video highlights (and even condensed games) the next day on YouTube, go to B-R/FG to see how the numbers have changed, and argue about it on Twitter and here. I'm likely an anomaly to an extent, but we really should consider other ways of measuring engagement and interest in a sport beyond in game attendance and Nielsen info.
   27. McCoy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5730762)
I also think a lot of the drop is for older kids. The trend is that kids aren't staying long as they used to in organized sports because of the seriousness of the sports nowadays.

My sister I and from the 1980's is kind of a good anecdote. Our parents put us in organized sports at a young age. I was playing soccer and baseball around kindergarten/first grade. They put my sister, who is a year older than me, into soccer/softball around the same time to a year later. My sister had no interest in soccer at all and some interest in softball to the point where my sister would be in the middle of the field chatting away with some player from the other team while the ball and play raged on around her. My parents kept her in soccer for three seasons and softball for about 4 despite her not really being into any of it. I was into it and stayed with it until junior high. I went to camps and training for both sports occasionally. Nowadays my sister would probably be done with organized sports after a season or two and my parents would have had to make a decision as to how much they wanted to invest in my interest in sports and if they had splurged I probably would have followed a path similar to my much younger cousin who grew up in 00's and 10's which was a lot of investment and devotion to one sport and trying to breakthrough to varsity baseball or soccer all the way up to my junior year or so.
   28. McCoy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5730763)
Do they no longer have more casual local leagues where everyone on the team shares like 3 bats, and everyone sucks, but it's still fun?

Those are the intro leagues. The drop offs according to what I have seen is at the older levels.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5730764)
That they're getting older? That they have more things going on in their life? That their home team is losing? That baseball and baseball clips are available 24 hours a day every single day?

Getting older usually correlates with higher baseball interest. More 50 year olds are home on the couch every night than 25 year olds.

I have the time to watch MLB, I just don't. I absolutely rather play a series or two in my DMB league than watch a ball game. I'm in 2 roto leagues, and 4 DMB leagues. I still spend a ton of time on baseball, including reading articles and following the races and stats. I just don't follow the live action.

That's not a problem with my interest in baseball, it's a problem with the quality of MLB as entertainment.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5730768)
Those are the intro leagues. The drop offs according to what I have seen is at the older levels.


That makes sense. How much is just demographics? If you're 17 and you got to a high school with 300+ kids, you're probably not going to be good enough to play baseball on the team even if you wanted to. This could be partially related to those ever-growing classroom sizes we have been hearing about forever.
   31. McCoy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5730772)
Getting older usually correlates with higher baseball interest. More 50 year olds are home on the couch every night than 25 year olds.

There are no indicators that older people are losing interest in baseball. That part of my statement had more to do with some 20 year old college kid who is a die hard baseball fan from 16 years ago who is now in his 30's as a ton more going on in his life than playing with T-80 calculator.
   32. McCoy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5730774)
That makes sense. How much is just demographics? If you're 17 and you got to a high school with 300+ kids, you're probably not going to be good enough to play baseball on the team even if you wanted to. This could be partially related to those ever-growing classroom sizes we have been hearing about forever.

Don't know about high school. Though I would think that would stay somewhat static but has more to do with say 10 or 11 year olds sticking with baseball/organized sports as a casual hobby or dropping out because the game is just getting too hard/expensive for the kid and parents.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5730775)
That part of my statement had more to do with some 20 year old college kid who is a die hard baseball fan from 16 years ago who is now in his 30's as a ton more going on in his life than playing with T-80 calculator.

OK, but that's not the situation of most of the posters here reporting declining interest in the live product.
   34. Rusty Priske Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5730777)
OK, but that's not the situation of most of the posters here reporting declining interest in the live product


I believe that says more about the posters here than baseball fans at large.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5730779)
That part of my statement had more to do with some 20 year old college kid who is a die hard baseball fan from 16 years ago who is now in his 30's as a ton more going on in his life than playing with T-80 calculator.


This is an excellent description of me, and my declining interest is 95% life circumstances and 5% slow baseball games. If I were older, didn't exercise, kids were out of the house etc I imagine I'd watch a ton of baseball.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5730781)
I believe that says more about the posters here than baseball fans at large.

Well attendance is down. Ratings are down.
   37. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5730794)
High schools are seeing less interest in athletics. My daughter's large-ish (~1800) high school dropped from three soccer teams (freshman, JV, varsity) to two (JV, varsity), because not enough kids are going out. I've heard that this is going on everywhere.

Why aren't kids going out? I don't know. When I was in high school in the late 80s, people just showed up for the first day of the sport and went out for the team. Now my daughter, who is only moderately interested in soccer, is expected to participate in conditioning in the offseason during the school year, and was expected to weight train this Summer. She did the conditioning, but barely showed up for organized lifting.

I can see why a lot of kids would think its too much of a hassle.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5730796)
We are hurtling towards a future where there is virtually no mainstream entertainment, and everything is niche. Sports is probably more protected against this future than television or music, but probably not that much more protected.

While we look at the young generation with shame - these fat losers would rather share Snapchat videos than go outside! - they will undoubtedly look back at their youthful participation in the digital community as a great freedom. Grandpa had to play soccer and baseball with a bunch of people he had nothing in common with, in a sport that he had no future in, because he was stuck in a small town with nothing else to do. But a 12-year old nowadays can pursue specialized interests and forge friendships across the globe.
   39. Rusty Priske Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5730799)
Well attendance is down. Ratings are down.


As explained earlier in the thread, these are both poor metrics to measure the popularity of the sport. Times change. The way people consume entertainment change.
   40. Rusty Priske Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5730802)
https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2018/04/11/baseball-team-values-2018/#1d5df00c3fc0
   41. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:57 PM (#5730806)

Mostly agree, but I am also increasingly dismayed by pitcher usage. More and more, managers are not using relievers more than 1 day in a row. There are more pitches on active rosters than ever before, more pitchers on the minors to majors shuttle, and yet there are record numbers of position players taking the mound. It's absolutely ridiculous.
Bill James observed recently that the fact that so many position players are being used on the mound is evidence that pitcher usage strategy has simply reached its limits. They can't squeeze any more of them onto the roster -- you just can't, practically, have less than a 3-man bench -- and yet they want to keep using more. They reached the regular limits a few years ago, and then converting the old AAA shuttle into a daily revolving door enabled them for a few years to keep going, but they've even blown right past that. So, now, position players pitching.

They need rule changes to fix pitcher usage.
   42. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:57 PM (#5730807)
Well attendance is down. Ratings are down.


As explained earlier in the thread, these are both poor metrics to measure the popularity of the sport. Times change. The way people consume entertainment change.


I watch baseball almost exclusively on MLB TV. Do I count in the ratings?
   43. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:57 PM (#5730808)

You know what else is "really ####### boring," Davo? A .304 winning percentage. #justsayin
That's why the Orioles are striving mightily to avoid such a good record. With no help from the Mets.
   44. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5730811)
This isn't 1987, and it seems silly to continue to tout this statistic with the same level of importance. I haven't gone to a game in years, and don't even watch it on TV anymore, since we don't have cable. But I probably consume more baseball than I did in the mid 90s, when I was going to several games a year and watching dozens

I can follow a game's play-by-play on my phone through ESPN's gamecasts, watch video highlights (and even condensed games) the next day on YouTube, go to B-R/FG to see how the numbers have changed, and argue about it on Twitter and here. I'm likely an anomaly to an extent, but we really should consider other ways of measuring engagement and interest in a sport beyond in game attendance and Nielsen info.
But baseball probably made more money off of you from your mid-90s habits than your current ones.
   45. Rusty Priske Posted: August 21, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5730812)
I watch baseball almost exclusively on MLB TV. Do I count in the ratings?


I do too... and I have no idea.
   46. PreservedFish Posted: August 21, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5730813)
Bill James observed recently that the fact that so many position players are being used on the mound is evidence that pitcher usage strategy has simply reached its limits.


It's that, but I think it's also the cynical, data-driven mindset. In the 9th inning it only takes a 4 run gap to get a win expectancy of 99%. Why waste a proper inning on that?
   47. Vailsoxfan Posted: August 21, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5730822)
In reponse to the drop off in youth baseball participation, Lacrosse is blowing up all across the country. Its the fastest growing participation sport in the country and its a spring sport parallel with baseball. My kids played both in rec leagues when they were young but both chose lacrosse when they could only play one at a time because of schedules. Our youth and high school baseball programs which were decent small town programs have kind of fallen apart when the high school added lacrosse. We are in Colorado and we are seeing teams in tournaments from Texas, California, Oregon, Washington, Utan and Montana now. That may be why youth baseball has taken a bigger hit, more direct competition.
   48. Lonnie Smith for president Posted: August 21, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5730838)
I am employed in a library and want more emotion -- the right emotions, of course -- in my workplace, too. I will follow the suggestions from #20 to the letter, as I feel certain they are applicable. Don't ask the library's staff too specifically, though, as they believe every night is Straight A Night. Oh, how they believe it...
   49. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 21, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5730840)
But baseball probably made more money off of you from your mid-90s habits than your current ones.


Quite possibly. But if the focus is popularity and enjoyment of the game, there's more to it than using two metrics.

I have a friend who complains non-stop that Mike Trout needs to move East because half the country can't see half his games, and it's the same thing: There are plenty of avenues for watching and discussing the greatness of Mike Trout that don't revolve around watching him live.
   50. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5730853)
yet there are record numbers of position players taking the mound. It's absolutely ridiculous.

Why do you not like position players pitching? I believe you like pitchers hitting, which is even worse.
   51. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5730872)
Why do you not like position players pitching?

To me, it's the aesthetic difference between mopping up a blow-out from the days of the 5 and 6 (!!!) man bullpens, and the strategic decision to not waste any of the precious innings in the arms of the 8 guys in the bullpen for today's game.

I turned 50 earlier this year, been sorting baseball cards in my game room much of the season as I try to work up an appraisal for my collection, have a nice big TV in there perfect for watching live games, but yet I'm more interested these days in what's on my DVR, and this is the first year I've been like that. Previously, if there was live non-Yankee baseball on anywhere, I was watching it. Now I usually flip over to MLB Network some time during Quick Pitch but reflexively reach for the OFF button on the remote as soon as they launch into their nightly sponsored gambling update.
   52. crict Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5730874)
I can only watch a game on TV as a background noise now. Even going to the stadium is not very attractive anymore. I feel like the biggest change is to my attention span. Smartphones and all have probably broken me, but I just can't watch a game without doing something else at the same time. When the playoffs come, I do try to focus my attention on the games, but I almost inevitably end up asleep on the couch. Part of that I'm sure is growing older (I'm 39). I have been able to focus better watching other sports, tennis notably.

   53. RoyalFlush Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5730887)
I have the time to watch MLB, I just don't. I absolutely rather play a series or two in my DMB league than watch a ball game. I'm in 2 roto leagues, and 4 DMB leagues. I still spend a ton of time on baseball, including reading articles and following the races and stats. I just don't follow the live action.

That's not a problem with my interest in baseball, it's a problem with the quality of MLB as entertainment.


Is there really anything baseball can do to change that? If baseball magically regressed to 1976 pace-of-play/pitcher usage/etc., would that be enough to get you to ditch half your leagues and watch more live baseball?

From what you wrote, it sounds as if it is the progression of other baseball options rather than the regression of the product on the field that's causing your issues.
   54. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5730888)
To me, it's the aesthetic difference between mopping up a blow-out from the days of the 5 and 6 (!!!) man bullpens, and the strategic decision to not waste any of the precious innings in the arms of the 8 guys in the bullpen for today's game.


I agree with this comment 100%.

   55. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5730898)
I’m told that in football that although the quality of your offensive linemen matters a great deal, that even your >5% of committed fans would have a tough time naming the linemen on any teams other than the one they root for; that, save the few superstars that showed up in that “Blind Side” book, it’s mostly an anonymous group (and, since they’re football players, they have very short shelf lives and they switch teams a ton. But yet....how good they are really matters a ton!

I kinda feel like that’s where MLB is at when it comes to bullpens. Relievers are pitching around 40% of all innings, and come this postseason it’ll very likely be over 50. Can anyone on this site who’s not a fan of either team name the top ~4 relievers coming out of the Braves or Phillies or Mariners bullpen? I know I can’t. And yet they’re gonna be on the mound at the biggest moments of the biggest games.

It’s not great, Bob.
   56. , Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5730903)
I think I probably watch as much baseball now as any point in my life. It's just a lot less than what I could watch. I watch parts of 3 or 4 games a week and most of one game or even an entire game if I can, on the weekend.

It's just that I could watch two or three games a day, which I've never been able to do. Makes it seems like I don't watch much.

I definitely agree pace of play is terrible.
   57. Jay Z Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5730905)
I’m told that in football that although the quality of your offensive linemen matters a great deal, that even your >5% of committed fans would have a tough time naming the linemen on any teams other than the one they root for; that, save the few superstars that showed up in that “Blind Side” book, it’s mostly an anonymous group (and, since they’re football players, they have very short shelf lives and they switch teams a ton. But yet....how good they are really matters a ton!

I kinda feel like that’s where MLB is at when it comes to bullpens. Relievers are pitching around 40% of all innings, and come this postseason it’ll very likely be over 50. Can anyone on this site who’s not a fan of either team name the top ~4 relievers coming out of the Braves or Phillies or Mariners bullpen? I know I can’t. And yet they’re gonna be on the mound at the biggest moments of the biggest games.

It’s not great, Bob.


NFL O-Line is a lot more stable than baseball bullpens. No starter is going to wind up playing for 8-10 teams in his career. Plus it's the one position in football that rarely sees in-game substitution. Barring injury, it's the same 5 the whole game.
   58. Jay Z Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5730909)
I have a friend who complains non-stop that Mike Trout needs to move East because half the country can't see half his games, and it's the same thing: There are plenty of avenues for watching and discussing the greatness of Mike Trout that don't revolve around watching him live.


But years ago, it was hard to see games in other markets. Trout was in the same boat as anyone else. Now if you live in Philly, you can easily watch any other East Coast team. But the West Coast is still 3 hours away.

Trout's situation isn't any different, but tech has improved other options. It hasn't done anything with the time difference.
   59. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5730911)
Using Goose Gossage as your quote source for what's wrong with baseball seems just lazy and renders your thesis as pointless.

as I said in a thread a few weeks ago, there are 2 people who should NEVER be interviewed or quoted about baseball:
Goose Gossage and Scott Boras
   60. Jay Z Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5730912)
Bill James observed recently that the fact that so many position players are being used on the mound is evidence that pitcher usage strategy has simply reached its limits. They can't squeeze any more of them onto the roster -- you just can't, practically, have less than a 3-man bench -- and yet they want to keep using more. They reached the regular limits a few years ago, and then converting the old AAA shuttle into a daily revolving door enabled them for a few years to keep going, but they've even blown right past that. So, now, position players pitching.

They need rule changes to fix pitcher usage.


What rules would solve this problem? The position players pitching comes from the increasing list of pitchers who are ruled out of a particular game. You're going to force teams to leave their starters in 7 innings, to use relievers 3 days in a row?
   61. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:46 PM (#5730925)
So, the 50 year olds are watching less MLB because of short attention spans and other entertainment options.

Aren't 50 year olds also angry that millennials have short attention spans and other entertainment options?

   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5730933)
Is there really anything baseball can do to change that? If baseball magically regressed to 1976 pace-of-play/pitcher usage/etc., would that be enough to get you to ditch half your leagues and watch more live baseball?

If the games started at 8 PM, and were routinely over by 10:15-10:30, like they did in the 70's, I'd watch a lot more. I get bored with the 30 seconds between each pitch, and am not going to dedicate my whole evening to a single game.

I'm getting the same 'quantity' of entertainment, but it takes 20-40% longer. The post-season is the worst. I just can't commit 4+ hours to any entertainment.

If all the 1:45 minute movies out there suddenly became 2:30, by adding a bunch of uninteresting filler scenes, I wouldn't watch them either.
   63. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5730940)
So, the 50 year olds are watching less MLB because of short attention spans and other entertainment options.

This, not-yet 50 year old (but getting too close for comfort) has no issue with my attention span. I read as many books as ever. I watch more movies than ever (thanks to all the streaming options) and I never multi-task during movies.

It's almost entirely a pace-of-game issue, which translates directly into a game length issue. I just get sick of sitting there thinking "Throw the ball. Throw the damn ball!" When I occasionally stumble on a crisp, well pitched game, I'll watch it all the way through.
   64. perros Posted: August 21, 2018 at 05:47 PM (#5731076)
• The ball is not put in play in roughly a third of all plate appearances, 31.6 percent of which end in a strikeout, walk or hit batter.

• The .248 MLB batting average is the lowest since 1972, the season before the American League instituted the designated hitter, when it was .244.

• There were more strikeouts than hits in a month for the first time in MLB history in April and, through early August, MLB had accumulated more strikeouts than hits overall. The race is on for whether it will happen in a full season for the first time.


This. It's like watching paint dry. There's little baserunning, either. Guys take awkward, off balance swings and the ball goes out. Pretty cool when it was Kirk Gibson, but every game...

And the fieding! Admittedly that's too much Phillies, but the Dodgers aren't great, either.

I love baseball, and I want to watch, but the thrill is gone.
   65. Colin Posted: August 21, 2018 at 07:16 PM (#5731201)
Why aren't kids going out? I don't know. When I was in high school in the late 80s, people just showed up for the first day of the sport and went out for the team. Now my daughter, who is only moderately interested in soccer, is expected to participate in conditioning in the offseason during the school year, and was expected to weight train this Summer. She did the conditioning, but barely showed up for organized lifting.

I can see why a lot of kids would think its too much of a hassle.


I have a 14 year old who's been a junior athlete since age six. Started with soccer, tennis, then basketball and little league. Dropped basketball about three years ago, dropped little league two years ago, and played his last travel soccer league this summer. Started high school this fall, and is focused solely on tennis.

To agree with others, first main reason for participation declining is this stuff is expensive. Rec leagues exist, but if your kid is talented enough to outgrow them then you'll be dropping serious coin to facilitate their growth. Tennis is crazy expensive. Travel soccer was moderately so, but his team never traveled more than a few hours away and never for out-of-state tournaments. HS sports also come with their costs, varying by sport and how competitive it is and how your state has been treating school funding.

Second thing I'd note that if the article above was citing participation numbers from 2013, then that was solidly after the recession had probably priced a bunch of kids out.

My third observation is that high school feels way, way more academically high-stakes now than it did when I was a kid. College is expensive and good colleges more selective - many of my generation's "safety schools" are now regarded as aspirational. Consequently, more pressure is on high schoolers than in the past, time demands are intensive, and something has to give. Schools have been cutting PE at the younger years so as to shoehorn in more standardized test prep, so that factors in. And, as noted above, many HS sports programs demand time consuming summer work.

Probably the tech stuff factors in as well, but hell, a kid today probably spends no more time watching Youtube than I ever did watching cartoons.
   66. Colin Posted: August 21, 2018 at 07:19 PM (#5731204)
As to baseball, the most shocking thing to me in this article was the low number of CGs in the national league this year. As of today, only eleven. Good grief, pitcher usage has gotten tedious, and the only suspense at this point is whether your starter might make it into the seventh inning. There's entertainment value in a guy going after a complete game or a shutout, that just isn't as fun when you cycle through three to four relievers. I'm sure some people find it entertaining, but it's lost me.

And when I do watch I spend much of my time yelling at the TV, "JUST THROW THE **** BALL ALREADY!"
   67. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 21, 2018 at 07:28 PM (#5731211)
I believe you like pitchers hitting, which is even worse.


Not me. I'm pro DH. Always have been.
   68. BDC Posted: August 21, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5731215)
The game, as entertainment, is as bad as it has been in my lifetime


To this, I'd only say what I say about ballparks: Shea Stadium was the worst I'd ever been to in my lifetime, and it was still better than 99.9% of the other places on the planet.
   69. Baldrick Posted: August 21, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5731216)
I kinda feel like that’s where MLB is at when it comes to bullpens. Relievers are pitching around 40% of all innings, and come this postseason it’ll very likely be over 50. Can anyone on this site who’s not a fan of either team name the top ~4 relievers coming out of the Braves or Phillies or Mariners bullpen? I know I can’t. And yet they’re gonna be on the mound at the biggest moments of the biggest games.

Mariners are my team, so i won't do them. The others:
Barves: Vizcaino is still hurt, I think but the next three would be Minter, Winkler, Brach
Phillies: Dominguez, and...Neris is bad now, so he doesn't count. That's all I've got.

I agree that the parade of anonymous relievers is terrible, and feels like it's grown MUCH worse in the past few years. That and pace of play are two things that would definitely increase my desire to watch the game. That said, I still watch at least a hundred, and probably closer to two hundred games a year so I'm probably not the issue here.
   70. BDC Posted: August 21, 2018 at 07:34 PM (#5731221)
And as to offensive lines as analogues to bullpens, I think both Davo and Jay Z make good points. The other team's, who the heck knows who they are. Your own team, you may well know and have some detailed assessment of.

But even at that, I think I knew the Cowboys' offensive line, when I followed them intently, better than the Rangers' bullpen (and I am a much bigger baseball fan). O-lines do play every (offensive) down, and you can follow an entire play fruitfully by "keying" on a given lineman. With bullpens, they all seem the same, they have a couple of speeds of fastball at best, an offspeed pitch if they're lucky, a few pitches and they're gone. They are not nearly as interesting to follow as offensive linemen.

And they all need to get off my lawn.
   71. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 21, 2018 at 07:35 PM (#5731222)
To me, it's the aesthetic difference between mopping up a blow-out from the days of the 5 and 6 (!!!) man bullpens, and the strategic decision to not waste any of the precious innings in the arms of the 8 guys in the bullpen for today's game.


Yes, this. But it's worse than that. No one has 8 man bullpens anymore. Most have 15-20 counting the AAA shuttle. The Cubs have had 20 different actual pitchers make at least one relief appearance and are still on the 40 man roster. Think about that for a second. Half of the Cubs 40 man roster is relief pitchers.
   72. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5731239)
Yes, this. But it's worse than that. No one has 8 man bullpens anymore.

Agreed, and why I added the "for today's game" disclaimer, knowing full well that after a long game or blowout that guys 7 and 8 and maybe 6 are bound for AAA that night in exchange for a couple other anonymous interchangeable spare parts to fill their roles tomorrow night.
   73. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 21, 2018 at 09:50 PM (#5731295)
If the games started at 8 PM, and were routinely over by 10:15-10:30, like they did in the 70's,

8:00 PM starting times were on their way out by the mid 70's, but it's true that game times hovered around 2:30 all through that decade.
   74. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: August 21, 2018 at 10:06 PM (#5731309)
Aren't 50 year olds also angry that millennials have short attention spans and other entertainment options?

As a 53-year-old, I'm angry millenials have anything.
   75. Walt Davis Posted: August 22, 2018 at 12:31 AM (#5731388)
[Cubs] have used 33 different pitchers this year, including 5 position players. That's the kind of thing you used to see only on the worst teams, and not that long ago.

In fairness, this has mostly been due to injuries and the fact that everybody we have at AAA has kinda sucked -- and legit injuries near as I can tell, not "this reliever has sucked recently, let's hide him on the DL" type. The Cubs started the year with a very "stable" veteran rotation and pen and the only guy likely to be dropped (for non-injury reasons) as the season went on was mop-up guy, 13th pitcher Eddie Butler. The Cubs had another long man in Montgomery and even Duensing as a former starter could give multiple innings. Then Butler got hurt, then Darvish got hurt, putting Monty into the rotation ... and Duensing sucked. Now the Cubs didn't have any inning-eating relievers on the roster which is when the rotation started going south on us and we had the most need for them.

I don't want to over-sell it -- I found a site that does track DL days (sorta) and the Cubs are near the bottom. But a number of short-term reliever injuries ... and then suckitude of pretty much every AAA pitcher we called up. I could be wrong but I haven't had the impression of a lot of AAA shuttle -- Farrell got a lot of innings (why?), Rosario got a lot of innings (excellent ERA, terrible FIP), pretty much everybody else they tried stunk. So at the deadline and after, they added Kintzler, de la Rosa and Chavez.

So in general, we've needed 2-3 relievers from AAA on the 25-man roster for most of the year. Nothing unusual about that these days. But, except for Anthony Bass who deserved more time, those guys kinda stank. Are the Cubs supposed to keep rolling out the same crappy AAA relievers rather than trying a new set to see if we get lucky just to keep total roster usage numbers down?

Bill James observed recently that the fact that so many position players are being used on the mound is evidence that pitcher usage strategy has simply reached its limits.

Mostly yes but I think it's also now intentional strategy for blow-outs. In just the 2nd game after the break, down 15-1, Maddon used 3 players to pitch the last 3.1 innings. This in part because he had over-reacted the day before and used 6 relievers to get through 4.1 innings. But he used his 3 most marginal guys in this game just to get into the 6th** then decided not to waste back-to-back appearances from any reliever that might matter.

Somewhere there's a nerd model that rings the bell when the game is so out of reach that there's no point wasting even a single pitch from somebody who might deserve to pitch in the majors.

But on the broader point -- agreed as I've been saying this for some time. To push this farther, you either have to further expand the bullpen -- very difficult if we're staying at 25-man rosters -- or push individual relievers substantially harder while the trend has been in the opposite direction.

** You'd think he'd push them deeper but reliever #1 threw just 6 strikes in 17 pitches, getting no outs, he had to get him out of there. Reliever #2 gave him two and probably could have given him a third. Then Duensing stank up the joint and it probably would have been more embarrassing to leave him in than to bring in LaStella.

Now Joe's over-reliance on position players has been annoying and silly. But there are a lot of little things about Maddon that are annoying but we're generally OK with that if we keep winning 90+ a year.

The Cubs have had 20 different actual pitchers make at least one relief appearance and are still on the 40 man roster. Think about that for a second. Half of the Cubs 40 man roster is relief pitchers.

This has been true of pretty much everybody's 40-man roster for at least the 2010s and probably longer. You've got 12 position players (formerly 13) on the 25-man, a 3rd C at AAA and then 2-4 aging but maybe not useless position player prospects (i.e. too good to have made available in rule 5, not good enough for the 25-man) ... and 24 pitchers. But yes, my impression is that more of those 24 pitchers, plus various waiver wire claims, etc. will see ML time in a season.
   76. Leroy Kincaid Posted: August 22, 2018 at 06:26 AM (#5731432)
I rarely watch anymore. But it's mostly due to how it's televised: Constant yapping of the broadcasters, "sideline" reporters, interviews during the game, etc. Haven't been to a game in a long time but the constant pumped-in noise has to be even more obnoxious than when I hear it during radio broadcasts (especially the walk-up music). As far as the game itself, I agree mostly with the complaints about the pace. Saw a bit of a game this season and a lefty batter for the Phils stepped out of the box AFTER EVERY PITCH and the ump did nothing about it. Replay isn't helping but it would be much improved if they took the challenges away from the teams. Only the officials watching the games in NYC or wherever can initiate a review and only if it's clearly obvious that the call was wrong. No more wasting time on bang-bang plays and whether a baserunner came off the bag for a split-second. And if anyone argues the decision it should be an automatic ejection and $10,000 fine.
   77. Sunday silence Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:56 AM (#5731455)
one of the bigger elephants in the room that no one seems to mention is: How do we address the too many pitchers thing? Do we limit rosters? Im beginning to think we should but then you have the problem that you will never again see a position player take the mound. And I think that is something to think about even though it doesnt happen very often.

Or do you make a rule like; A position player may pitch, but no more than one inning per week. Maybe that would work.

I do think we need make some rule as I prefer a game with more position player subs. THeres very few defensive replacements, almost no pinch runners, very few platoons etc. I like watching a guy like Earl Weaver or Gene Mauch manage.
   78. BDC Posted: August 22, 2018 at 08:22 AM (#5731460)
The last TV game I watched was Game Seven of the '17 World Series. Can't stand it, and don't have cable anyway. I go out to the park a lot, though.
   79. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5731534)

8:00 PM starting times were on their way out by the mid 70's, but it's true that game times hovered around 2:30 all through that decade.


I think the Yankees stuck with 8 PM into the early 1980's, but I think they may have been the last.
   80. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5731549)
one of the bigger elephants in the room that no one seems to mention is: How do we address the too many pitchers thing? Do we limit rosters? Im beginning to think we should but then you have the problem that you will never again see a position player take the mound. And I think that is something to think about even though it doesnt happen very often.

Yes. Maximum 11 pitchers on the roster, but allow a limited number of position player IP per month, with the rule that the position players can only be used in extra innings.

You also need to tighten the promotion/demotion rules from AAA/AA. Make farmed guys stay down longer, make extra trips back and forth burn more options or accrue MLB service time. e.g. if a player is sent down more than twice in a season, that uses two options, and all his miLB time counts as MLB service time.
   81. Sunday silence Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5731552)
I thought about that but I still think there is something great about Campaneris playing 9 positions in 9 innings. It was a stunt I guess, but still pretty coool. So I say: 1 inn. per week per player.

probably suggest 12 pitchers per roster, but that's me.
   82. I Knew A Guy Who Knew A Guy Who Knew Rey Ordonez Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5731570)
I think the Yankees stuck with 8 PM into the early 1980's, but I think they may have been the last.


The Mets were at 7:10 for spring/fall and 7:40 for summer games into the late 90s when I was growing up and listening to WFAN. The 7:10 start was to accommodate families bringing kids to the game during the school year.
   83. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5731575)
I thought about that but I still think there is something great about Campaneris playing 9 positions in 9 innings. It was a stunt I guess, but still pretty coool. So I say: 1 inn. per week per player.

Wasn't that late in the season? I'd relax the rule once rosters expand. No point in limiting position players when they already have 15 RPs.
   84. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5731584)
Trout's situation isn't any different, but tech has improved other options. It hasn't done anything with the time difference.


But my point is that it doesn't need to. Trout's epic 5-for-5 game against the Yankees? The condensed game, a full game highlight, and a package of just Trout's PAs were on YouTube the next morning. Yes, you lose out on the experience of watching it live, and I'm not handwaving that away. But this isn't like the 90s, checking the box scores in the paper the next day, or watching that morning's Sportscenter, and then hoping for something in a national publication.

Thousands of articles, videos, and Tweets exist online, in essential perpetuity*, dissecting every possible thing there is to discuss about his career. In 2018, no one who knows their way around the Internet needs to be lamenting that they can't follow/appreciate Mike Trout's career because half of his games start at 10:30.

*Well, maybe not the Tweets, but you get my point.
   85. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5731598)

I'm getting the same 'quantity' of entertainment, but it takes 20-40% longer. The post-season is the worst. I just can't commit 4+ hours to any entertainment.
You understate the problem, because you don't note the expanded postseason. I grew up in the divisional era; there are now four extra series each year. And that doesn't even count the WC games.

I can watch four-hour games, even if I would prefer crisper play. I can't watch a full month's worth of four-hour games.
   86. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5731602)
Bill James observed recently that the fact that so many position players are being used on the mound is evidence that pitcher usage strategy has simply reached its limits.

Mostly yes but I think it's also now intentional strategy for blow-outs.
I think you're bolstering the argument, not contradicting it. It is strategy, because they simply do not carry enough arms for the way managers use pitchers. If you're down in the 5th inning by 10 runs, unless the pitcher's arm falls off -- and I mean literally, like Dave Dravecky's -- there's no excuse for pulling him from the game.
   87. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5731604)

one of the bigger elephants in the room that no one seems to mention is: How do we address the too many pitchers thing? Do we limit rosters? Im beginning to think we should but then you have the problem that you will never again see a position player take the mound. And I think that is something to think about even though it doesnt happen very often.

Or do you make a rule like; A position player may pitch, but no more than one inning per week. Maybe that would work.
I don't think position players pitching is a problem, but a symptom of the problem. I don't see any need to restrict position players from pitching. In the past I've argued for requiring relievers to pitch to at least two batters, but I no longer think that's an effective solution to current problems. I think that they have to hard code pitcher limits on the 25-man roster rules. I'd prefer a max of 11 -- well, I'd prefer a max of 10, but let's not go crazy -- but at this point I'm so frustrated that I think I'd be willing to experiment with 12 and see what happens.
   88. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 22, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5731609)
80- You also need to tighten the promotion/demotion rules from AAA/AA.


I’m reposting this from the dugout thread:


Did you guys see what the Phillies did with Zach Eflin? Ok:

So Eflin is their #4 starter and he’s having a very good year (like 20 starts, 115 ERA+.) But after a good start on August 11th, they demoted him to AAA...on paper. Why? Well, because 5 days later, on August 16th, Eflin’s next turn in the rotation, the Phillies were scheduled to play a doubleheader. And the new CBA says that all teams are allowed to have a 26th player on the roster for all doubleheader’s. So of course the Phillies named Eflin as their 26th player! And he started, then went “back to the minors”....until today, where he’s gonna be starting for the Major League team.

So the Phillies basically got to play with a 26-man roster for 10 days.
   89. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 22, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5731615)
I watch MLB network for ~30 minutes a night while I am cleaning the kitchen and living room. I love baseball on the radio, but that is limited to when I am in the car for now (I don't have a subscription, and apps like TuneIn block out most live sports).

   90. Man o' Schwar Posted: August 22, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5731620)
I can watch four-hour games, even if I would prefer crisper play. I can't watch a full month's worth of four-hour games.

Even when the Cubs were in the World Series, and I was as invested in baseball as I've ever been in my life, I couldn't help but thinking that I wished some of these games would just end so I could go to bed.

Four-hour games are best when you're not really watching and you just want something on in the background while you do other stuff. I could clean 2 or 3 houses in the time it takes BOS/NYY to play a game.
   91. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5731623)
So the Phillies basically got to play with a 26-man roster for 10 days.

Let me guess, they carried 9 RPs?
   92. Hysterical & Useless Posted: August 22, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5731643)
Saw a bit of a game this season and a lefty batter for the Phils stepped out of the box AFTER EVERY PITCH and the ump did nothing about it.


40 years ago, this was Mike Hargrove. Today, this is EVERYBODY.
   93. Jay Z Posted: August 22, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5731720)
Yes. Maximum 11 pitchers on the roster, but allow a limited number of position player IP per month, with the rule that the position players can only be used in extra innings.

You also need to tighten the promotion/demotion rules from AAA/AA. Make farmed guys stay down longer, make extra trips back and forth burn more options or accrue MLB service time. e.g. if a player is sent down more than twice in a season, that uses two options, and all his miLB time counts as MLB service time.


I think there should definitely be a penalty to the shuttle. The NFL is better at this. Yes, you have part time players, 5 receiver sets. But beyond the 53 with the limited number of game inactives (usually injured players) you have the practice squad. And players on the practice squad can be signed by other teams. So NFL rosters are limited in just throwing bodies at the problem, which is what baseball is doing.

So something needs to change with the roster gaming.

As far as your first point, to be honest, things have gotten to the point where teams are just going to forfeit the games rather than use an actual pitcher. I'm dead serious on that count.
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5731742)
As far as your first point, to be honest, things have gotten to the point where teams are just going to forfeit the games rather than use an actual pitcher. I'm dead serious on that count.

Then don't allow forfeits. If the team refuses to take the field, suspend the manager and all 25 players for 10 days without pay.
   95. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5731835)

You also need to tighten the promotion/demotion rules from AAA/AA. Make farmed guys stay down longer, make extra trips back and forth burn more options or accrue MLB service time. e.g. if a player is sent down more than twice in a season, that uses two options, and all his miLB time counts as MLB service time.
Nobody cares about options or service time for the seventh - fourteenth relievers in the organization, so this isn't going to do much. Just make them stay down longer, as you first proposed.

Again, I don't understand what problem the position player pitching limitations will solve.
   96. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5731841)
They've been changing the rules to encourage roster gaming, so I doubt it will go in the opposite direction any time soon.

10 day DL, paternity leave, bereavement leave. Hey, a double header equals one magical new roster spot!
   97. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 22, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5731843)
Even when the Cubs were in the World Series, and I was as invested in baseball as I've ever been in my life, I couldn't help but thinking that I wished some of these games would just end so I could go to bed.


The Playoffs are hideously unwatchable. A game whose pace is already agonizingly slow, with start times pushed back and hour or more from normal 7:30 starts, players grinding even slower because of the heft of the series, and more commercial breaks for bad Fox television shows.
   98. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 05:56 PM (#5731872)
The Playoffs are hideously unwatchable. A game whose pace is already agonizingly slow, with start times pushed back and hour or more from normal 7:30 starts, players grinding even slower because of the heft of the series, and more commercial breaks for bad Fox television shows.

Hey, at least I can find it on Fox. In the first round, I routinely miss a half inning trying to figure out what channel the games are on.
   99. perros Posted: August 22, 2018 at 06:28 PM (#5731887)
I love baseball on the radio


So much better than tv, partly because you're not sitting there watching absolutely nothing. Def adds to the suspense.
   100. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 06:37 PM (#5731892)
So much better than tv, partly because you're not sitting there watching absolutely nothing.

Not if you're a Yankee fan. A 3.5 hour game with Stirling and Waldman is torture.
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