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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: future, pace of play, player safety, rules

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   1. AROM Posted: June 19, 2017 at 11:25 AM (#5478566)
With all that money to be made, players will find a way to get the most they can, even if it means using performance enhancing drugs. As long as the carrot is there, as long as there is motivation and there are wildly competitive players, there will be those players that will try to beat the system, as there is, for example, with insider trading. There will always be new designer steroids, and there will always be more chemists trying to make them undetectable.


This cannot coexist with the proposed future of player monitoring. A red warning light will go off the moment a player tries to inject a banned substance into his body, prompting an immediate 120 game suspension.

One of these futures may turn out to be true, but both cannot.

   2. Bug Selig Posted: June 19, 2017 at 11:37 AM (#5478577)
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.
And she shouldn't have been wearing that, and what were they doing downtown at that hour, and being between Germany and Poland is just asking for it.
Hey, Tim - sliding 15 feet away from the base or 10 feet past the base to assault a guy trying to throw a baseball was always against the rules.
   3. Davoice of Dapeople Posted: June 19, 2017 at 11:41 AM (#5478579)
I'm skeptical that the 90 foot baseaths and 60'6" pitcher's mound will both survive another two decades, two rules the article considers sacrosanct. They just don't seem like they were built for a league where everyone can throw a hundred miles an hour. We'll see, though--a ~62 foot pitcher's mound would almost certainly lead to more pitcher injuries, of course, unless science can catch up.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 19, 2017 at 11:44 AM (#5478582)
There will be far more healthy players and less use for the disabled list in 2037.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!
   5. madvillain Posted: June 19, 2017 at 11:49 AM (#5478586)
Lowering the mound is my suggested change.
   6. catomi01 Posted: June 19, 2017 at 12:17 PM (#5478600)
There will be no ties in baseball, but the 12th inning will begin with a runner on second base. If the score is still tied after 12 innings, the 13th inning will begin with a runner on third base. This surely will end the wonderful craziness of teams playing 20 innings, but the days of a five-hour game that finishes at 2:45 a.m., essentially will be over, bullpens will be saved from overwork, deadlines will be met and everyone involved will get more sleep.

I've said it before - but please no.

And to help prevent rain delays, every ballpark built starting in 2030 will be required to have a retractable roof. Meanwhile, in-ground tarpaulin technology will be developed by 2037 to cover a field more efficiently and eliminate having a tarp in play.


If every stadium is required to have a retractable roof, why does any field need a tarp, much less a highly advanced tarp?
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 19, 2017 at 12:24 PM (#5478604)
If every stadium is required to have a retractable roof, why does any field need a tarp, much less a highly advanced tarp?

So that Anthony Rizzo Jr. can make the highlight shows, and to strike fear into the heart of Vince Coleman III.
   8. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 19, 2017 at 12:25 PM (#5478605)
Fun article.

Two-way players will be common; every team will have a couple who will DH on days that they don't pitch, improving roster flexibility.

There hasn't been a successful two-way player in forever, yet every team will have two of them in 20 years? I don't see it.

Things I also don't see:

AL/NL disappearing
DH going universal
   9. base ball chick Posted: June 19, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5478613)
there are gonna be PITCHERS who DH when they are not pitching?
but you say that both leagues will have a DH?
i thought the DH was because of the objection to pitchers hitting, but THEY are gonna be the DH? seriously??? WTF

they seriously have GOT to do something about the time of games - the astros/redsox game last night was a 9 inning game going 4 HOURS. i checked on the game an hour after it started and they were JUST walking off the field after finishing the second inning. jeezus
B O R I N G

and i object to putting runners on base in ANY inning. that is flat out cheating and gives an enormous advantage to the away team

anyone else notice that this year, there are more homers from pitchers?
   10. bfan Posted: June 19, 2017 at 12:51 PM (#5478624)
But baseball is filled with remorseless, vengeful players


Maybe "baseball will have some remorseless, vengeful players..."

But filled with? Nonsense and balderdash.
   11. AROM Posted: June 19, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5478645)
and i object to putting runners on base in ANY inning. that is flat out cheating and gives an enormous advantage to the away team


I don't want to see that either. But how is it an advantage to the away team? I'm assuming the home team gets to start their half inning with a runner on as well.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 19, 2017 at 01:22 PM (#5478647)
Maybe "baseball will have some remorseless, vengeful players..."

But filled with? Nonsense and balderdash.

Due to the near-complete collapse of the economy and indeed civilized American society, baseball will be a blood sport by 2037. It's there in the footnotes, but I agree that it's kind of burying the lede.
   13. AROM Posted: June 19, 2017 at 01:23 PM (#5478650)
anyone else notice that this year, there are more homers from pitchers?


10 so far, one per 202 at bats. Last year there were 24, one per 195 AB. Overall pitchers are hitting a bit worse this year than last, continuing a long sad trend.
   14. base ball chick Posted: June 19, 2017 at 01:29 PM (#5478655)
AROM Posted: June 19, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5478645)
and i object to putting runners on base in ANY inning. that is flat out cheating and gives an enormous advantage to the away team


I don't want to see that either. But how is it an advantage to the away team? I'm assuming the home team gets to start their half inning with a runner on as well.


- i had not read that the home team also would start with a runner on second
   15. base ball chick Posted: June 19, 2017 at 01:32 PM (#5478658)
AROM Posted: June 19, 2017 at 01:23 PM (#5478650)

anyone else notice that this year, there are more homers from pitchers?


10 so far, one per 202 at bats. Last year there were 24, one per 195 AB. Overall pitchers are hitting a bit worse this year than last, continuing a long sad trend.


sigh
here and i was so happy when madison bumgarner started the year off with a bang

then again, perhaps i believed chase anderson when he explained that pitchers rake too (i especially like the SEG when he teels domingo that he is a pitcher)

check it out

   16. Tim M Posted: June 21, 2017 at 12:46 AM (#5479803)
a ~62 foot pitcher's mound would almost certainly lead to more pitcher injuries


Why? I don't think they'd throw harder or more stressfully than they do now.

I say put the rubber exactly in the middle of the infield square, [invokes Pythagoras] roughly 63.6 feet. Greater geometric purity, fewer strikeouts, more balls in play, and fewer pitchers killed by comeback liners.
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 21, 2017 at 01:13 AM (#5479814)
I can't even begin to imagine the disruption of pitchers' mechanics if the mound was moved back 3 feet. Carter Capps would return to a world he didn't even recognize.

But seriously, imagine being coached and drilled since you were what, 12 years old to achieve a perfectly repeatable motion to throw strikes with movement from 60 feet, 6 inches, and then being told that next year you would be 3 feet further back.
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 21, 2017 at 01:14 AM (#5479815)
I'm skeptical that the 90 foot baseaths and 60'6" pitcher's mound will both survive another two decades, two rules the article considers sacrosanct. They just don't seem like they were built for a league where everyone can throw a hundred miles an hour. We'll see, though--a ~62 foot pitcher's mound would almost certainly lead to more pitcher injuries, of course, unless science can catch up.


I've said this previously, but one of the ways baseball could encourage balls in play would be to reduce the distance between the bases. Stretching them out, which you seem to be suggesting, would result in an even heavier reliance on the homer than we have now.
   19. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: June 21, 2017 at 02:18 AM (#5479824)
Bill James has said for years you can reduce HR and increase contact hitting by changing the rules to require thicker bat handles. And he's probably right.
   20. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 21, 2017 at 08:14 AM (#5479848)

Bill James has said for years you can reduce HR and increase contact hitting by changing the rules to require thicker bat handles. And he's probably right.


You can definitely reduce home runs that way, just as you can by deadening the balls or pushing back the fences. But the only one I'm sure of those I'm sure will increase contact rates is pushing back the fences.
   21. Davoice of Dapeople Posted: June 21, 2017 at 04:39 PM (#5480221)
18--Yes, that's actually what I meant, I just explained it poorly. 88-foot basepaths--I like it!
   22. thecriticalrealist Posted: June 21, 2017 at 11:04 PM (#5480393)
It would be fun to play with realignment scenarios for a 28-team MLB.

I think they should have 4 divisions just so teams can avoid the marketing disaster of being lower than 7th in the standings and so 4 teams can put "division champions" into their marketing the following year, but they should definitely use the balanced 27x6 schedule and take the top 10 teams regardless of division into the playoffs.

One possibility:

East: Bal, Bos, NYY, NYM, Phi, Was, Tor
North: Pit, Cle, Det, CWS ChC, Mil, Min
South: Cin, StL, KC, Tex, Hou, Atl, Mia
West: Ari, Col, LAA, LAD, SD, SF, Sea

Another scheduling option is 13 games against the division, and 6 games against 2 other divisions. The division missed rotates on a 3-year basis. Then, the playoffs would be the top 2 in each division plus 2 wild cards, to reflect the division-based schedule.

One problem with the above is ChC and StL are separated.

Another option:

East: Bal, Bos, NYY, NYM, Phi, Was, Tor
Midwest: Pit, Cle, Det, Atl, Mia, Hou, Tex
Central: Cin, StL, KC, Min, Mil, ChC, CWS
West: Ari, Col, LAA, LAD, SD, SF, Sea

The Midwest is somewhat disjointed in this one, though.

Regardless, I would say it is imperative they eliminate the AL and NL, useless remnants of the 1800's that they are.
   23. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 22, 2017 at 08:02 AM (#5480447)
There are so many godawful ideas in there that I wouldn't know where to begin. About the only thing Kurkjian left out was a requirement that all bleacher fans wear batting helmets.

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