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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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   101. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 06:56 PM (#5731896)
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."


I didn't read the article, but if there is someone complaining about emotion, I'm pretty sure it would be the same person complaining about bat flips or even wearing a hat backwards(I know a 1989 reference there) That is the issue I have with the complainers, they are just complaining because they are old, and if they manage to find a good point, it's usually outweighed about their 100 other frivolous complaints or contradictory opinions they throw out there.


There are plenty of emotions out there, there is just less "negative" emotions out there. These are guys who are enjoying themselves, and not guys looking to storm Normandy while playing a game. The worst part of the old days was the players refusing to have fun, and instead treating the game as if it's a battle to the death. Today's players realize that was an idiotic way to play the game, and nobody wants to see players glaring at each other for the tiniest of perceived infractions. You can have a game in which neither side are satanspawn.
   102. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:09 PM (#5731903)
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?


Yep, that is a thing, the way we watch has changed, it may be because of the way the game is played, or it may be because of the way we have changed. I watch pretty much every game on TV, while sitting at a computer with three monitors, my broadcast is about 15 second behind gameday, so my middle monitor has gameday up and going, when I see in play out/no out/run etc... I turn to the tv. I also have the volume on the tv on, so I'm hearing the announcers and getting their feedback(even if I don't really like them, it's still baseball noise, and I could change to radio announcers without any hassle, but then it doesn't really line up with the tv, which is annoying at times) meanwhile, I'm doing other work or play on my other two monitors(usually one is bbtf or bb-ref, while the other is whatever other crap I'm doing)

The way we watch might color or perception of how the game has changed. Some might see it for the worse, others for the better or others(like me) as just different. I'm a fan of changing the game away from the three true outcomes that it's become, fan of reducing time between pitches and a few other things, but that is just a matter of taste, ultimately it's still probably one of the best balanced team sports in the world and that works a way that makes it easy to enjoy. I like hockey, but it's not really balanced(it's way too defense oriented---same with pretty much all the 'goal' sports, except maybe basketball now) and they are too managerial dependent, and not participant dependent.
   103. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:11 PM (#5731904)
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


Every single thing in that post I quoted is something I would hate to see happen, except maybe 12(and 4) and even 12 has the issue of creating more off days, which is a bad thing for a fan(good thing for players and teams)
   104. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:23 PM (#5731909)
Well attendance is down. Ratings are down.


Attendance is down from an unsustainable high peak, especially when you consider that teams are constantly creating smaller attendance parks, it's still very good, we are talking about an average of 30,000 per game down from a peak of just under 33,000 a game... it's not really an issue until you start to see numbers below 26,000 or so, until then, it's just normal fluctuations. And ratings on everything on the planet is down, that is just the changing landscape of tv.
   105. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:29 PM (#5731914)

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?


I think that pretty much explains the reason why position players are being used so frequently, the game is over at this point in time, why 1. tire your reliever, making him unavailable for the next game 2.give the opposition more chances to see him(assuming it's not the last game of the series)

What I do find funny is that the expanded bullpens has really striated the bullpen, meaning that you have good guys, okay guys, specialist, mop up guys etc... but you still only have two or three guys you trust in any situation and the rest of the guys are often trying to earn a spot on the trust wagon. Some great teams have managed to get 4 or so trust wagon guys, but they rarely can have them repeat their performance at that level, and that is partially why the bullpens are so large, you only trust a few of them, the rest are dog-eat-dog world trying to move up the food chain, but as a team, you know that they aren't that good so you have to let them fight it out.
   106. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:33 PM (#5731917)
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.


Every few years something else is able to make this type of claim, it's a fad, and has no lasting repercussions going forward. (Fastest growing usually just means something non-popular has randomly gone from 10,000 participants to 20,000 participants, it's not really anything of note except "hey this thing has doubled it's following".... and is most likely going to level out sometime soon, maybe it's a real popularity boost, but in reality it's probably the same popularity boost that soccer gets every other decade or so in the U.S. and then flattens out and then dies, like it does every time...because it's more interesting to watch a pitcher warming up than 40 minutes of soccer)
   107. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:43 PM (#5731920)
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.


Every few years something else is able to make this type of claim, it's a fad, and has no lasting repercussions going forward. (Fastest growing usually just means something non-popular has randomly gone from 10,000 participants to 20,000 participants, it's not really anything of note except "hey this thing has doubled it's following".... and is most likely going to level out sometime soon, maybe it's a real popularity boost, but in reality it's probably the same popularity boost that soccer gets every other decade or so in the U.S. and then flattens out and then dies, like it does every time...because it's more interesting to watch a pitcher warming up than 40 minutes of soccer)

as to the direct competition thing, not sure that "really" matters, sure it matters a bit, but ultimately other participation sports aren't really taking away the numbers. I mean Lacrosse going from 400k to 800k is great and all, but it's not going to be the reason that baseball participation dropped from 9 mil to 5 mil.
   108. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:46 PM (#5731924)
The Little League World Series is on, and it’s strenghtening my certainty that MLB’s single biggest issue right now is the time between pitches. The other stuff—TTO style, 1-inning relievers, etc—bugs me too, but the giant hulking elephant in the room is all the damn dead time where no one is doing anything. It’s a killer of excitement.
   109. perros Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:48 PM (#5731925)
A 3.5 hour game with Stirling and Waldman is torture.


They're terrible, but I still prefer them to television. Then again, I don't watch television besides movies and mlb.
   110. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:49 PM (#5731927)
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?


If this was a real problem, the rules that would fix this would be 1. teams can bench and recall pitchers at will without it affecting their options or being required to wait 10 days to return to the roster.(meaning you can change your 25 man roster daily without issue) 2. Players get a $10,000 bonus for every new position they participate in during the season(or some amount---heck that rule alone, if made large enough could completely eliminate this from happening) Ultimately, this is not an issue, it's a byproduct, and the focus should be more on why this is a byproduct, not on the fact that this is happening.
   111. perros Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:49 PM (#5731928)
nobody wants to see players glaring at each other for the tiniest of perceived infractions. You can have a game in which neither side are satanspawn.


Puig and Madbum make Dodgers-Giants series a delight.
   112. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:50 PM (#5731929)
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.


I do like this point though. This is one of the best ways to explain the issue with expanding time of game, without appearing as if you are an old foggy.
   113. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:59 PM (#5731931)
Like. These other problems are much more INTERESTING to talk about than pace of play. But. It misses the point. They need to make pitchers THROW THE DAMN BALL!!! Baseball is so much more fun when they do!
   114. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 08:06 PM (#5731932)
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.


There are many ways to do this, some good(limit number of pitchers on the roster) some idiotic(force pitchers to face more than a minimum of one batter) etc... ultimately it's about what type of control roster construction rules or arbitrary rules, should play into your belief on the importance on limiting pitcher usage.

I've touted the NHL concept of 3 healthy scratches, and have come around to limiting the number of pitchers on the roster. In conjuction, this means that for a given series you have 28 man roster, 25 of which for the entire series has to be listed before the series starts, (meaning three healthy scratches...in practice most teams would list 2 of their starting pitchers as the healthy scratch) and then add in a limit of 10 pitchers to the roster for that series(and before anyone asks "what is a pitcher".... a pitcher is a person who has in the current season recorded more batters faced than plate appearances, if both numbers are zero, then you use the previous season stats, if still zero, then you use their most recent minor league season--note that can be tweaked if you think that someone like Ohtani might show up, but ultimately it's not a challenge to create a definition of a pitcher)

This limit would apply to September also(although maybe you modify it from per series, to per game)
   115. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 08:11 PM (#5731936)

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.


Until about 5 years ago I stayed up for every West Coast game and thought most St Louis fans were ##### for complaining about it being so late... over time though I've changed my tune. I did not watch even one pitch on Monday's game, and went to bed by the third inning of Tuesday's game.... still I woke up before work (3am my time) and watched the highlights and got all the info I needed to know what happened. I'm happy with that.
   116. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5731939)
So the Phillies basically got to play with a 26-man roster for 10 days.


And that was brilliant. I'm not seeing a problem here, and I'm a guy who hates 'rule lawyers'.
   117. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 08:16 PM (#5731941)
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.


I'm fine with the roster gaming, it's just the in game roster construction I have an issue with. (and not nearly as bad as everyone else. I don't care about a parade of relievers, my issue is that I want teams to have a 3rd catcher so that the backup gets actual playing time, and have specialist on the bench instead of a supply of utility guys that nobody cares about because they are just okay at everything and don't do anything interesting)
   118. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 22, 2018 at 08:18 PM (#5731943)
116- I agree that it was a remarkably clever move by the Phillies.
   119. cardsfanboy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 08:23 PM (#5731946)
The Little League World Series is on, and it’s strenghtening my certainty that MLB’s single biggest issue right now is the time between pitches


We talked about that at length over the past three+ seasons, when MLB was trying to fix "game time" and they kept coming up with rules that didn't attack the biggest problem, time between pitches is by far the biggest issue for both game and pace of play issue, it's not even close. It's not advertising, it's not frequent relievers, it's absolutely 100% about the time between pitches. To debate that is akin to debating evolution or global warming... you might be able to score a point or two, but you are going to get walloped with the facts by a score of 100-2. There are other issues of course that affect the aesthetics of the game, but the elephant in the room is absolutely the time in between pitches.
   120. McCoy Posted: August 22, 2018 at 08:45 PM (#5731957)
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.

I actually went to bed after the 9th inning of Game 7! Had to wake up at 4:50am to be at work by 6am the next day.
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