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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

MLB concerned at number of strikeouts, says Torre

TOKYO (Reuters) - Major League Baseball is concerned at strikeouts surpassing the number of hits and needs more balls in play to arrest the dip in popularity, the league’s chief baseball officer Joe Torre said on Wednesday.

Last season was the first in the league’s history to feature more strikeouts than hits, leading to calls for changes to increase interest.

Average attendance for regular season games in 2018 fell four percent from the previous year to 28,830 per game, according to MLB, while the total number of fans who showed up at the ballpark fell below 70 million for the first time since 2003.

So, do you have a solution for fixing this, Joe, or are you like Manfred?

 

QLE Posted: March 20, 2019 at 07:42 AM | 113 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joe torre, mlb, strikeouts

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   1. Rally Posted: March 20, 2019 at 08:44 AM (#5823943)
Bigger baseballs would do the trick. Preferably big baseballs that don't travel so far, so the result isn't just a HR derby.
   2. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: March 20, 2019 at 08:48 AM (#5823944)
You know what's bigger than baseballs? Basketballs. Just use those.
   3. bbmck Posted: March 20, 2019 at 09:09 AM (#5823950)
Torre retires with the 184th worst ratio of PA:SO among 1074 players with at least 3000 PA and the 34th most SO of all-time. 119 of the 136 players with 3000+ PA who played in 2018 have a worse PA:SO ratio than Torre.

Better than Torre: Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez, Yadier Molina, Daniel Murphy, Dustin Pedroia, Buster Posey, Martin Prado, Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, Andrelton Simmons, Denard Span, Ichiro Suzuki and Kurt Suzuki
   4. shout-out to 57i66135; that shit's working now Posted: March 20, 2019 at 09:50 AM (#5823954)
i only found out about this research study because the guy who wrote it just died, but it seems relevant in light of MLB's ongoing attempts to crush the labor market:
This paper provides a case study of the effect of labor relations on product quality. We consider whether a long, contentious strike and the hiring of permanent replacement workers by Bridgestone/Firestone in the mid-1990s contributed to the production of an excess number of defective tires. Using several independent data sources we find that labor strife in the Decatur plant closely coincided with lower product quality. Count data regression models based on two data sets of tire failures by plant, year and age show significantly higher failure rates for tires produced in Decatur during the labor dispute than before or after the dispute, or than at other plants. Also, an analysis of internal Firestone engineering tests indicates that P235 tires from Decatur performed less well if they were manufactured during the labor dispute compared with those produced after the dispute, or compared with those from other, non-striking plants. Monthly data suggest that the production of defective tires was particularly high around the time wage concessions were demanded by Firestone in early 1994 and when large numbers of replacement workers and permanent workers worked side by side in late 1995 and early 1996.

   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5823957)
So, do you have a solution for fixing this, Joe, or are you like Manfred?


New rules on bat dimensions, specifically the maximum ratio of barrel to handle. If you make the grip-it-and-rip-it approach less advantageous, some guys will move back toward a more contact-oriented approach instead.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5823959)
New rules on bat dimensions, specifically the maximum ratio of barrel to handle. If you make the grip-it-and-rip-it approach less advantageous, some guys will move back toward a more contact-oriented approach instead.

Good start. You could also deaden the ball, and shrink the strike zone.
   7. Cris E Posted: March 20, 2019 at 10:31 AM (#5823960)
I think playing with density and hardness and humidity make more sense than substantial changes to the ball's size or weight. It doesn't take much to really affect flight.

But the real question is what type of baseball they want. Strikeouts are boring, but what about HR and 2b? I thought those were supposed to be OK back at MLB headquarters, where the whole launch angle thing was bringing back the hard hit balls without the drugs. If you reduce power hitting without giving something back you're going to mess with the offense-defense balance and end up complaining about low scoring games with too many boring infield outs. I don't like taking away the infield shifts either, because that's a prop bet placed by the defense that lets the batter have half the field if he can get the ball over. With a deader ball more and more guys are going to be taking those and the shifts will subside on their own.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5823966)
But the real question is what type of baseball they want. Strikeouts are boring, but what about HR and 2b?

I want fewer HR, and more doubles.
   9. JAHV Posted: March 20, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5823980)
You could also deaden the ball, and shrink the strike zone.


Wouldn't shrinking the strike zone just reduce strikeouts in favor of walks? Overall I think that's a net win, but a very small one, and probably not worth it. I figure anything we do to the strikezone is going to have no effect on contact rates, but I might not be thinking about all the indirect effects of these changes.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: March 20, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5823983)
Wouldn't shrinking the strike zone just reduce strikeouts in favor of walks? Overall I think that's a net win, but a very small one, and probably not worth it. I figure anything we do to the strikezone is going to have no effect on contact rates, but I might not be thinking about all the indirect effects of these changes.


My belief is that to achieve the goal of more balls in play, any change has to increase the value of putting the ball in play vs. swinging and missing. Fixing the strikeout problem has to address what I think is the real culprit of higher K totals: the approach to hitting.



   11. Baldrick Posted: March 20, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5823984)
Would widening the rubber help at all? It seems like giving pitchers more of an angle would help them work the outside corner more successfully, and make pulling the ball a little harder? Or would it just make them want to bust the ball even harder inside and exacerbate the problem?
   12. BrianBrianson Posted: March 20, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5823988)
As long as putting the ball in play makes outs, it's going to be real hard to motivate players to do it. Even if you deaden the ball or otherwise try to make it harder to hit HRs, it probably won't change the calculus much. It's how Ted Williams told people to hit, most people just aren't as good as him. With strikeouts basically no worse than any other out, making it harder to hit won't discourage people. So, with that in mind:

Smaller Gloves
Genetically Engineered Grass that plays more like astro-turf
I dunno - smaller cleats or something?
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: March 20, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5823994)
As long as putting the ball in play makes outs, it's going to be real hard to motivate players to do it. Even if you deaden the ball or otherwise try to make it harder to hit HRs, it probably won't change the calculus much. It's how Ted Williams told people to hit, most people just aren't as good as him. With strikeouts basically no worse than any other out, making it harder to hit won't discourage people.


Yup.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5824014)
As long as putting the ball in play makes outs, it's going to be real hard to motivate players to do it. Even if you deaden the ball or otherwise try to make it harder to hit HRs, it probably won't change the calculus much.

If you can't hit the ball out, launch angle becomes a sucker's game. Lot's of very low BABIP fly outs. Hitters would have to orient back toward line drive swings.

   15. PreservedFish Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5824015)
You know else is a sucker's game though? Trying to pull the ball in the face of an extreme shift. But they still do it.

It would take a truly radical change of batted ball outcomes to get players to change their philosophies. Like, you'd need to drop HR/FB by 50% or something.
   16. bfan Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5824016)
Move the mound back 2 and one-half feet. A 4% greater distance mound to plate would make 97 MPH fast-balls look like, what 93 MPH fast balls (I understand the decreasing speed is not perfectly linear, but it has to be close).
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5824020)
It would take a truly radical change of batted ball outcomes to get players to change their philosophies. Like, you'd need to drop HR/FB by 50% or something.

I'm cool with that.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5824021)
Move the mound back 2 and one-half feet. A 4% greater distance mound to plate would make 97 MPH fast-balls look like, what 93 MPH fast balls (I understand the decreasing speed is not perfectly linear, but it has to be close).

This would reduce Ks, and runs would go through the roof.
   19. BrianBrianson Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5824022)
Hitters would have to orient back toward line drive swings.


Yes. But they'd continue to strike out at the same rate, as it isn't the upperrcut swings that're causing the rise in strikeouts. It's mostly knowing strikeouts aren't worse than other outs, and knowing that weak, shitty contact groundouts aren't worth trying to get.
   20. Craggy Island Padres Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:59 PM (#5824023)
Lets brainstorm some ways to reduce strikeouts and the Commissioner’s Office can choose from the list at random:

- Any hitter recording a golden sombrero will be suspended the following day without pay
- A batter cannot strike out on a ball bunted foul
- Four strikes and you are out
- Strikes and Balls will now be called exclusively on where the ball was pitched, regardless of whether the batter swung at the ball
- All check swing attempts are ruled as no swings
- In an effort to reduce strikeouts and pitcher injuries, pitchers will now be replaced with JUGS machines
- Any pitch over 99 mph will be ruled a balk
- Strikeouts now count as 1.5 outs
- Strikeouts are removed from the rule book, only balls in play can result in outs
- Outs are recorded by bowling a ball that knocks over a wicket or a ball in play that is caught in the air. Bats must now have a flat surface
- Third strikes can be challenged with replay review. The review must last the duration of a televised commercial break
- Any throw from the mound to a base other than home plate is considered a ball
- Foul balls are now considered balls instead of strikes
   21. PreservedFish Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5824025)
It would take a truly radical change of batted ball outcomes to get players to change their philosophies. Like, you'd need to drop HR/FB by 50% or something.


I'm cool with that.


Modern baseball with very few strikeouts and very many balls in play would be a lot more fun to watch, yes.

I also like homeruns and think they're fun to watch. A few too many these days probably. With you could cut Ks in half and cut HRs by maybe 25%. Probably impossible.
   22. SandyRiver Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:30 PM (#5824031)
I want fewer HR, and more doubles.

Just give every park the same dimensions as Fenway, which is a doubles factory and usually not that great a HR park. Maybe flip left and right fields for some parks, for variety.
   23. JAHV Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5824034)
Yes. But they'd continue to strike out at the same rate, as it isn't the upperrcut swings that're causing the rise in strikeouts. It's mostly knowing strikeouts aren't worse than other outs, and knowing that weak, shitty contact groundouts aren't worth trying to get.


The "knowing" has to translate into something physical, though. I don't know if the uppercut creates more of a strikeout swing, but the abandonment of a two-strike approach, no one choking up, all swings being 100% maximum effort - all of these things have combined to cause the rise in strikeouts on the hitter side. But the only reason all of those changes have been made to a hitter's approach is because most hitters think they can hit a homerun on every pitch. If you took that away, it's possible more hitters would go back to a hard line drive approach. Yes, you'd get some weak groundballs as a result, but you'd get a lot more line drives and fewer flyouts. The trick is finding the right combination of tweaks to get that ratio where you want it.

I know SOSH U has been an advocated for decreasing the distance between bases, and I think that's a good idea to achieve this foal, but it feels weird to me. Way weirder than changing the pitching mound distance or height. I don't know why that is, but maybe it's because I coach Little League where the bases are 60 feet apart, and getting closer to that feels like regression.
   24. BrianBrianson Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5824038)
Giant fans that give batted balls a backwind, but also giant fans that blow fly balls down.
Every time a ball is put into play, a canister of tear gas is dropped randomly on the field.
Magnets.
Loudspeakers constantly blasting "I got it" whenever a ball is hit in the air.
Stadiums filled with sulpher hexafluoride, increasing air drag. Players will wear scuba suits.
Catch a ball, chug a beer.
Strike out, and your fortnite account is disabled for a week.
Holographic baseballs distract fielders.
Runs scored on out of the park homeruns only count for 1/2.
Bring back cocaine. Can't resist swinging when you're high on cocaine.
Owe a book report to the commissioner's office for every strikeout over 100.
   25. BrianBrianson Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5824040)
But the only reason all of those changes have been made to a hitter's approach is because most hitters think they can hit a homerun on every pitch.


That's only half of it. Half of it is realise weak groundouts aren't better than strikeouts. Take away the home runs, people still won't be interested in two strike approaches that cause you to ground out rather than strike out.
   26. alilisd Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5824041)
Fixing the strikeout problem has to address what I think is the real culprit of higher K totals: the approach to hitting.


But is it solely an issue on the batter's side. Only one suggestion, I think, above focused on the pitching side of the equation, moving the mound back. However, although hitting approach is certainly a big factor, there should be some, if not equal, consideration given to the pitching side of things, right? The increase in bullpen usage, the increase in velocity, which seems wide spread, is also having an effect on K's, I would think. If you only see a starter twice in a game, there's less opportunity to adjust. And once the starter is out you'll see a different reliever every time you go to the plate, most of whom are either throwing extreme heat, or are designed to be a matchup which takes advantage of a hitter's weakness whether it be a platoon, or pitch issue. Very tough issue to address.
   27. JAHV Posted: March 20, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5824047)
That's only half of it. Half of it is realise weak groundouts aren't better than strikeouts. Take away the home runs, people still won't be interested in two strike approaches that cause you to ground out rather than strike out.


But they're not worse, either. Hitters don't WANT to strike out because they don't want to make an out. But they're willing to strike out as much as they make any other kind of out because the approach that produces a lot of strikeouts also tends to produce homeruns. If you take away the ability to produce homeruns at a high rate, it means putting the ball in play and hoping for the ball to find a hole is a worthwhile alternative. The strikeout or hit it out approach is no longer nearly as valuable. BABIP becomes relevant again.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: March 20, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5824049)
But is it solely an issue on the batter's side.


Not solely, but largely. Every pitcher strikes out more guys now. Scott McGregor fanned 92 per 162 innings. Jamie Moyer bumped that up to 124 per 162. Now, Dallas Kuechel, with one of the lowest average velocities, averages 171. Unless you think that today's crafty lefty is just so much more skilled then the Scotty M's of the past, it would seem that the hitting approach is driving a significant portion of the increase.

Hitters don't WANT to strike out because they don't want to make an out. But they're willing to strike out as much as they make any other kind of out because the approach that produces a lot of strikeouts also tends to produce homeruns. If you take away the ability to produce homeruns at a high rate, it means putting the ball in play and hoping for the ball to find a hole is a worthwhile alternative.


Possibly, but I'm not convinced that merely reducing homeruns will do the trick. If hard contact is still seen as the best avenue to getting on base (even if that contact produces doubles instead of dingers), it won't necessarily cut down on the Ks.
   29. JAHV Posted: March 20, 2019 at 02:24 PM (#5824054)
Possibly, but I'm not convinced that merely reducing homeruns will do the trick. If hard contact is still seen as the best avenue to getting on base (even if that contact produces doubles instead of dingers), it won't necessarily cut down on the Ks.


I don't think that either. I do think it's a piece of the puzzle, but I don't know how big of a piece.
   30. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 02:39 PM (#5824063)
The "knowing" has to translate into something physical, though. I don't know if the uppercut creates more of a strikeout swing, but the abandonment of a two-strike approach, no one choking up, all swings being 100% maximum effort - all of these things have combined to cause the rise in strikeouts on the hitter side.

Hitters are not just swinging-and-missing more than they used to; they are also taking fewer pitches than they used to, with a commensurate decrease in the number of balls called. Now maybe they are swinging more because pitchers are throwing more pitches in the strike zone. But I suspect if hitters went back to being a bit more selective you'd also see a decline in Ks.

-------------------------------------1998-----2003-----2008-----2013-----2018--
Balls                                38.3%    37.4%    37.5%    36.4%    36.6
Strikes Looking                      16.2%    17.0%    17.1%    17.5%    16.8
Strikes Swinging                      9.3%     8.9%     9.2%    10.2%    11.6
Foul Balls                           16.3%    16.8%    17.1%    17.2%    17.6
Balls-in-play (inclHR)             19.8%    19.8%    19.1%    18.6%    17.4
Total pitches                       100.0%   100.0%   100.0%   100.0%   100.0
   31. TomH Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5824078)
1 LARGER OUTFIELDS
2 HIGHER WALLS
3 mound back a few inches, or lower a couple of inches

Fewer KO, Fewer HR, more S and DO, more emphasis on speed and defense

Please. It's not hard.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:29 PM (#5824083)
1 LARGER OUTFIELDS

That's hard, and expensive. You can't just redesign 30 ballparks overnight.

2 HIGHER WALLS

Also hard, without blocking the view of people in the first few rows of OF seats.
   33. Rally Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:40 PM (#5824086)
You know else is a sucker's game though? Trying to pull the ball in the face of an extreme shift. But they still do it.


Nobody tries to do this. A ball hit into the face of a shift is just something that happens when the batter tries and fails to elevate the pitch out of the ballpark.
   34. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:51 PM (#5824090)

That's hard, and expensive. You can't just redesign 30 ballparks overnight.


If you offered every owner a brand-new stadium paid for with public funds, it'd be approved overnight.
   35. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 20, 2019 at 04:13 PM (#5824098)
So as a hitter, it's important to "drive" the ball - which means putting it in the air. If you do something (to the ball, to the bat, to the weather, whatever), won't those extra balls in play go from being 100% good (HRs) to 30% good (BABIP has stayed in a pretty small range through MLB history)?
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5824099)
So as a hitter, it's important to "drive" the ball - which means putting it in the air. If you do something (to the ball, to the bat, to the weather, whatever), won't those extra balls in play go from being 100% good (HRs) to 30% good (BABIP has stayed in a pretty small range through MLB history)?

Well, fly balls have a much lower BABIP, so maybe it's 30% (the former HRs are probably better hit than average), or maybe it's 20%?

But, line drives have like a 80% chance of being a hit. The idea is the induce hitters to change from "driving" a ball with a high launch angle, to "driving" it with a lower launch angle.
   37. KronicFatigue Posted: March 20, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5824101)
Lower the mound, but increase the strikezone.

The former makes pitchers less effective, but the latter makes them more effective, while also making hitters be less selective.
   38. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: March 20, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5824106)
It's mostly knowing strikeouts aren't worse than other outs

Not true, really. If you know two guys have hit .270/.350/.500, their respective strikeout rates are basically immaterial to determining value in retrospect. But there's a ceiling to on-contact production, which puts a ceiling on overall production, advantaging lower strikeout rates.
   39. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 20, 2019 at 05:06 PM (#5824118)
But, line drives have like a 80% chance of being a hit. The idea is the induce hitters to change from "driving" a ball with a high launch angle, to "driving" it with a lower launch angle.
That's a fool's errand. Playing with the graph at Baseball Savant:

105 MPH exit velocity @ 20 degree launch angle resulted in a .814 BA. HR(28%)+2B(47%) = 75%, 1B(3%)+outs(19%) = 22%
105 MPH/15 degrees resulted in a .609 BA. HR(0)+2B (38%) = 38%, 1B (20%)+outs (39%) = 59%

So by droping the launch angle just 5 degrees, you've traded all of the HR and 1/5 of the 2B for 7X as many singles and twice the outs. I'm not sure anyone will sign up for that.
   40. caspian88 Posted: March 20, 2019 at 09:25 PM (#5824169)
I'm very much in favor of larger outfields, as much as practicable - bigger outfields require outfielders selected more for range rather than power, more doubles and triples and attempts to take the extra base, fewer home runs, etc.

It'd be a difficult job to accomplish, of course.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 09:30 PM (#5824171)
That's a fool's errand. Playing with the graph at Baseball Savant:

105 MPH exit velocity @ 20 degree launch angle resulted in a .814 BA. HR(28%)+2B(47%) = 75%, 1B(3%)+outs(19%) = 22%
105 MPH/15 degrees resulted in a .609 BA. HR(0)+2B (38%) = 38%, 1B (20%)+outs (39%) = 59%

So by droping the launch angle just 5 degrees, you've traded all of the HR and 1/5 of the 2B for 7X as many singles and twice the outs. I'm not sure anyone will sign up for that.


That's with the current juiced ball. Deaden the ball, and half those HR and doubles at 20 degrees turn into easy outs. Deaden it enough, or make the OF larger, and 15 degrees or 10 degrees becomes far superior.
   42. Sunday silence Posted: March 20, 2019 at 10:36 PM (#5824183)

New rules on bat dimensions, specifically the maximum ratio of barrel to handle. If you make the grip-it-and-rip-it approach less advantageous, some guys will move back toward a more contact-oriented approach instead.


Isnt it just as likely that with pitchers not having to fear the long ball they can go ahead and just fire the ball over the plate? Perhaps with the same rate of strike out or simply more contact into outs. Any sort of fix in one direction is going to hurt the one group you're trying to help.

If you liked last years MLB batting .250 your're gonna love the next iteration with batters hitting .240 with less power.

Just deaden the ball and lower the mound. This idea would

1. not violate any of baseballs long standing traditions, e..g pitching distacne or distance between bases;
2. its happened in the past and obviously has worked
3. it seems simple to implement.
   43. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 20, 2019 at 10:44 PM (#5824185)
They've said for years that it's absurdly difficult to take a round bat and hit a round ball squarely, so what if they made the ball square?
   44. Cris E Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:43 AM (#5824206)
Or keep the live ball and use a live bat instead?
   45. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5824227)
That's with the current juiced ball. Deaden the ball, and half those HR and doubles at 20 degrees turn into easy outs. Deaden it enough, or make the OF larger, and 15 degrees or 10 degrees becomes far superior.
That's what you want to watch? A bunch of dink and dunk singles?

Drop it to 100/20: .528 BA. You lose 3% 2B, 1% 3B, and 25% HR and have added no 1B.
100/15: .632 BA. Outs+1B = 70% of outcomes; 2B drops to 27% and there are no HR.
100/10: .933 BA - great, right? 76% 1B, meaning 16% of BIP go for extra bases. That's D-League softball, but it's not what I want to watch.

Deaden the ball some more?

95/15: .705 BA. Like 100/10, over 85% of BIP are outs or 1B.
   46. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:06 AM (#5824243)
Or keep the live ball and use a live bat instead?
The likely rabies outbreak among the players would be a problem. Although, come to think of it, it would probably improve pace of play if all the players were rabid. OK, I'm on board.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5824259)
That's what you want to watch? A bunch of dink and dunk singles?


I want to watch balls in play, good defense, base hits, double, triples, guys running the bases. You know, baseball.

Strikeouts and walks are boring as crap. Half of runs being scored on homers is boring.

   48. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5824271)
Strikeouts and walks are boring as crap.

A great pitcher having a great game and striking out 10+ guys will always be great. Mileage may vary, but maybe even a flamethrowing closer striking out the side. Giancarlo Stanton having absolutely no clue where the ball is going and hoping for a home run (often successfully!) is pretty damn boring.
   49. DL from MN Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5824277)
I don't know if the uppercut creates more of a strikeout swing


The best swing for avoiding the strikeout is in the plane of the ball as it is pitched. Not sure what angle that is compared to the ideal launch angle for home runs.

I agree a deader, heavier ball is a good idea. Pitched ball and batted ball velocity will go down with a heavier ball. Spin rates will also go down. F=ma. We can't alter F without changing the players. Change m.
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5824284)
A great pitcher having a great game and striking out 10+ guys will always be great.

But that doesn't happen much anymore. It's 5 different pitchers K-ing 12 guys in a game, and that's boring. Or the starter K-ing 10 guys in 5 IP, but then getting lifted b/c of pitch count, is also boring.
   51. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5824285)
But that doesn't happen much anymore. It's 5 different pitchers K-ing 12 guys in a game, and that's boring. Or the starter K-ing 10 guys in 5 IP, but then getting lifted b/c of pitch count, is also boring.

Alright yeah I probably agree with that point.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5824292)
Alright yeah I probably agree with that point.

And I definitely want more starters going 8-9 IP and K-ing 10.
   53. JAHV Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5824304)
But that doesn't happen much anymore. It's 5 different pitchers K-ing 12 guys in a game, and that's boring. Or the starter K-ing 10 guys in 5 IP, but then getting lifted b/c of pitch count, is also boring.


Yes, this. I don't mind a pitcher striking out 11 in 8 innings of dominant pitching. But I like it because it was uncommon and was a great individual achievement. Now I still like it, but it's not uncommon, it's ultra rare.

I do mind 6 pitchers striking out 11 in 8 innings of interminable pitching changes, probably with 5 walks sprinkled in there.

I'd love to see K/9 back down to 7 or below. If that comes at the expense of homeruns, but we get more singles and doubles and groundouts, I'm all in.
   54. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5824362)
I want to watch balls in play, good defense, base hits, double, triples, guys running the bases. You know, baseball.
What you're proposing also depresses doubles and triples (as much as triples can be depressed).

Defense is already pretty good. What you end up is with singles - singles and outs - because the balls are hit with no authority.

Again, D-league softball.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:38 PM (#5824366)
What you're proposing also depresses doubles and triples (as much as triples can be depressed).


Not clear. A lot of the HRs that are not going to happen will be doubles.

Defense is already pretty good. What you end up is with singles - singles and outs - because the balls are hit with no authority.

Then handicap the defense. I have no problem going back to 1920s gloves. If the OF have to use two hands to catch a flyball, you'll have a lot more doubles and triples.
   56. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5824384)
If the OF have to use two hands to catch a flyball, you'll have a lot more doubles and triples.


While I'm OK with equipment changes, I don't think reducing the number of homer-stealing catches or diving grabs in the gap is the right way to go to add excitement to the game.



   57. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5824389)
Half of runs being scored on homers is boring.


it was close to 40% for the 2017 season. Have we even calculated it for the last 3 years of playoffs?

I had some numbers on paper and then I lost it. It might be 1/2 the runs in playoffs are on HRs...
   58. alilisd Posted: March 21, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5824413)
Not solely, but largely. Every pitcher strikes out more guys now. Scott McGregor fanned 92 per 162 innings. Jamie Moyer bumped that up to 124 per 162. Now, Dallas Kuechel, with one of the lowest average velocities, averages 171. Unless you think that today's crafty lefty is just so much more skilled then the Scotty M's of the past, it would seem that the hitting approach is driving a significant portion of the increase.


Interesting, thanks.
   59. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 21, 2019 at 05:21 PM (#5824422)
Not clear. A lot of the HRs that are not going to happen will be doubles.
Actually, it's quite clear. Go to the Baseball Savant page I linked to - when you drop the exit velocity, 2B drop also.

Which only makes sense. Balls hit in the gaps, or down the lines, are going to be cut off more often. Some HRs will turn into hits over the head of OFs, but not nearly as many as those turned into routine FB.
47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5824259)

I want to watch balls in play, good defense, base hits, double, triples, guys running the bases. You know, baseball...

55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:38 PM (#5824366)

Defense is already pretty good. What you end up is with singles - singles and outs - because the balls are hit with no authority.

Then handicap the defense. I have no problem going back to 1920s gloves.
   60. GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 06:46 PM (#5824448)
Popularity?

Hell, the answer is clear then.

Battle Royale style Baseball. Gas comes in from all sides, slowly shrinking the field each inning. Anytime you fail to make contact in an AB, you are removed from the game entirely (as is your position). Any pitcher giving up a homerun, removed from the game entirely. Any fielder committing an error, removed from the game. No re-deploys. No scores. Last player standing wins the game for their team.



   61. cardsfanboy Posted: March 21, 2019 at 07:54 PM (#5824467)
Smaller Gloves


absolutely... I've been pushing this for years. Smaller gloves rewards ball in play, it's a simple fix. It might take a few years for the hitters to catch on, but it beats all the weird ass solutions that other people are proposing.
   62. cardsfanboy Posted: March 21, 2019 at 07:59 PM (#5824468)
. But they're willing to strike out as much as they make any other kind of out because the approach that produces a lot of strikeouts also tends to produce homeruns.


no, they produce hard hit balls, hard hit balls result in non-outs more than weakly hit balls... especially when you consider the homerun factor that no fielder can take away.... but it's not about homeruns, it's about line drives, it's about ball speed on the ground to get out of the infield... is there any doubt in anyone's mind that a ball hit at 110 mph on the ground has a much better chance of making it out of the infield than a ball smoked at 80 mph? yes a 30 mph hit ball on the infield has a good chance of resulting in a base hit if you are a speedy runner, but you can't really control for that.
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:06 PM (#5824469)
You are not going to reduce the value of a hard hit ball, the only thing you can do is try and produce a system that rewards putting the ball in play. Smaller gloves does that, but it's a slow to recognize change that wouldn't really change any habit of a hitter within a couple of years, but it's a long term change that makes perfect sense... basically all gloves(except catcher, first baseman and maybe pitcher, just for safety reasons) should be the size of a traditional second baseman glove.

This isn't an overnight fix though... for an overnight fix you would really need to do something about the ball, and I'm not sure I can support that type of change personally.
   64. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:10 PM (#5824483)
It might take a few years for the hitters to catch on,


How the hell are the hitters supposed to catch on? Hey, if I hit it just a few inches beyond what his range used to be, I'll get a single.

I have no objections to reducing the glove size. It's a reasonable part of a complete BIP-goosing overhaul. But the effect of it is going to be really damn small.


   65. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 22, 2019 at 09:10 AM (#5824517)
I have no problem going back to 1920s gloves.

You'd change your mind about 3 days after you actually watched games played. Gloves back then had a "web" between the thumb and the index finger that consisted on two thin strings, and there was no connection at all between the other fingers. 90% of the highlight plays you see today wouldn't be possible, and unless official scorers gave fielders a break, you'd be seeing far more errors than we have today. About the only advantage to those old school gloves is that they made turning DPs a bit easier, since the pockets weren't as deep and you'd never see a ball get stuck in the webbing.

If you want to cut down strikeouts, teach hitters to swing for contact with two strikes. Most any other solution is little more than gimmickry.
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5824519)
You'd change your mind about 3 days after you actually watched games played. Gloves back then had a "web" between the thumb and the index finger that consisted on two thin strings, and there was no connection at all between the other fingers. 90% of the highlight plays you see today wouldn't be possible, and unless official scorers gave fielders a break, you'd be seeing far more errors than we have today. About the only advantage to those old school gloves is that they made turning DPs a bit easier, since the pockets weren't as deep and you'd never see a ball get stuck in the webbing.

Don't care. The game is unwatchable to me today. I'd gladly trade 100% of the current highlight plays for a major reduction in K's. As viewers we would quickly adjust to what a great play is with a small glove, and appreciate those just as much.

And when I say unwatchable, I mean literally unwatchable. My dad asked me to take him to a Yankee game for his birthday, and I'm already dreading it.
   67. DL from MN Posted: March 22, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5824522)
for an overnight fix you would really need to do something about the ball, and I'm not sure I can support that type of change personally


Add 1/4 ounce, leave everything else the same (size, bounciness, seams, etc). That's about 5% increase in the weight of the ball which should lead to a 5% drop in pitcher velocity, 5% drop in spin rate for breaking balls, 5% drop in exit velocity and a little more benefit to faster runners since their foot speed stays the same and every thrown ball gets 5% slower.
   68. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 22, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5824562)
47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5824259)

I want to watch balls in play, good defense, base hits, double, triples, guys running the bases. You know, baseball

66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5824519)

I'd gladly trade 100% of the current highlight plays for a major reduction in K's.

Don't care. The game is unwatchable to me today. I'd gladly trade 100% of the current highlight plays for a major reduction in K's. As viewers we would quickly adjust to what a great play is with a small glove, and appreciate those just as much.

And when I say unwatchable, I mean literally unwatchable. My dad asked me to take him to a Yankee game for his birthday, and I'm already dreading it.
Says you.

Lower attendance, you say? Yes, attendance is down 13% from its peak. However, ticket prices are up 42% from 2007 (when attendance was its highest) while stadium capacity is down - 5 new stadiums have opened since '07, and they have from 4,000 (Miami) to 16,000 (Minnesota) fewer seats. Significantly, the big market Yankees, Mets, and Nationals all play in significantly smaller stadiums.

Lots of people are spending lots of money to watch MLB.

EDIT: And that's just ticket prices; concession prices have gone through the roof as teams offer higher-end options.
   69. . Posted: March 22, 2019 at 11:18 AM (#5824566)
Lots of people are spending lots of money to watch MLB.


Lots of people are spending lots of money to hang out at places where MLB is played -- primarily because those are pleasant places to hang out in the summer.(*) "Watching MLB" is another matter altogether.

The sport as played now is an aesthetic disaster. That's clearly reflected in the true "watching" interest.

(*) Places that offer essentially only baseball -- Oakland, e.g. -- have seen huge declines in attendance as the market for baseball watching only continues to shrink.

   70. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 22, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5824567)
My dad asked me to take him to a Yankee game for his birthday, and I'm already dreading it.
This seems like a...very strong reaction.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5824577)
This seems like a...very strong reaction.

Well, I don't enjoy the stadium experience at all anymore. The pace is dreadful, the prices are exorbitant, and the product on the field is not very interesting.

The biggest thing is the pace though. If the same amount of action happened in 2.5 hours instead of 3.5, the high K's and low BIP would much more be tolerable.

   72. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5824586)
This seems like a...very strong reaction.

It's a Yankees game, so the revulsion seems perfectly natural to me, not to mention the hatred and lack of respect it would create for my dad if he made a similar request of me.
   73. JAHV Posted: March 22, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5824603)
@59 and 68

While I wouldn't go as far as Snapper's "unwatchable" comment, I mostly agree with him on the state of the game's entertainment value, and I don't think his comments are contradictory. Making it harder on defenders doesn't mean we won't see good defense. Good defenders will still make amazing plays, those plays will just look a little different. Good defense will still exist (if anything, equipment changes and more balls in play might make it more impressive).
   74. SoSH U at work Posted: March 22, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5824608)
Making it harder on defenders doesn't mean we won't see good defense.


Reducing glove sizes wouldn't. Forcing outfielders to use two hands would absolutely change what we see. Players simply wouldn't be able to make anywhere near the same kinds of plays, and we'd all notice that.

   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5824613)
Reducing glove sizes wouldn't. Forcing outfielders to use two hands would absolutely change what we see. Players simply wouldn't be able to make anywhere near the same kinds of plays, and we'd all notice that.

Right, but there'd still be amazing plays. They would just be on balls that are more catchable now. One handed running catches at full extension would become web-gems, instead of being relatively routine. Backhanding a ball in the SS hole would become an amazing play.
   76. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 22, 2019 at 01:21 PM (#5824627)
Right, but there'd still be amazing plays. They would just be on balls that are more catchable now. One handed running catches at full extension would become web-gems, instead of being relatively routine. Backhanding a ball in the SS hole would become an amazing play.
"Amazing plays"="catching balls only hit softly right to a fielder". Hard pass.
One handed running catches at full extension would become web-gems, instead of being relatively routine.
Every player makes great plays at the edges of his range. They aren't "web gems" because they're tough plays; they're "web gems" because they look like tough plays.
   77. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: March 22, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5824628)
Backhanding a ball in the SS hole would become an amazing play.
This is not a good goal. The occasional "newly" amazing play will be outweighed by the clanks and flubs that our eyes will tell us should have been plays made. And no, any ultimate benefit will not be worth the adjustment period.

Unless there has been some recent expansion on the allowance for glove size, or longstanding requirements are now being ignored, reducing glove sizes (or worse, making them "retro") seems silly to me. The vast majority of what makes a player a good defender lies in his ability to get himself in position to make a play; deliberately downgrading his tool for completing the play is a terrible solution--there's no excitement for me in seeing someone sprint after a well hit ball, take a great route, and then miss the catch because the ball clanks off his tiny/retrograde glove.

While we're at it, let's make footballs more slippery, soccer balls bouncier and harder to control, hockey sticks shorter and thinner, and reduce the circumference of basketball hoops.
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 01:48 PM (#5824640)
The vast majority of what makes a player a good defender lies in his ability to get himself in position to make a play; deliberately downgrading his tool for completing the play is a terrible solution--there's no excitement for me in seeing someone sprint after a well hit ball, take a great route, and then miss the catch because the ball clanks off his tiny/retrograde glove.


Guys in the 1950s played good defense.

The skill is still in getting in position, it's just that "in position" often means you have to get to where you can use two hands. Smaller gloves actually reward getting "in position" even more.

I don't see why a game with more errors would be inherently less enjoyable.
   79. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 22, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5824660)
I don't see why a game with more errors would be inherently less enjoyable.
Now you're just trolling.
   80. SoSH U at work Posted: March 22, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5824664)
Right, but there'd still be amazing plays. They would just be on balls that are more catchable now. One handed running catches at full extension would become web-gems, instead of being relatively routine. Backhanding a ball in the SS hole would become an amazing play.


One-handed running plays at full extension would become illegal.

   81. PreservedFish Posted: March 22, 2019 at 02:12 PM (#5824666)
Well, I don't enjoy the stadium experience at all anymore. The pace is dreadful, the prices are exorbitant, and the product on the field is not very interesting.


To me, at the stadium is the only time I don't mind the slow pace. Watching a baseball game can be heavenly, and I'm happy for it to meander along peacefully. (Now if they'd just turn down the PA system)
   82. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: March 22, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5824668)
The skill is still in getting in position, it's just that "in position" often means you have to get to where you can use two hands. Smaller gloves actually reward getting "in position" even more.
...except that the position you now have to be in will no longer look impressive, will not really be at the outer edge of the player's range, and will generally not be as exciting. They will be much more boring, in other words.

I don't see why a game with more errors would be inherently less enjoyable.
I think this is something so close to self-evident (as regards a sport played at its highest level) that I'm not going to try to explain, maybe someone else will.

Honestly, reading your posts I think you are so fed up with certain parts of the game that bother you right now (understandably), that you're going beyond the rational for any solution that you think alleviates those specific problems, without regard to their actual efficacy or other secondary effects on the game.
   83. SoSH U at work Posted: March 22, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5824673)
I'm not snapper, but I don't think more errors would necessarily lead to a lesser game. The game should be hard, and if one facet becomes too easy, then making it more difficult is a perfectly reasonable objective (in the same way that the article at hand is looking at what to do about the number of strikeouts).

   84. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5824674)
I don't see why a game with more errors would be inherently less enjoyable.


Now you're just trolling.

Not at all. Greater uncertainty on a play makes for greater excitement. That's why we want more BIP.

In 2018 there were 93 errors per MLB team, in 1978 there were 139. Do you somehow think that made 1978 baseball less enjoyable?

I watched those games as a kid, and have re-watched a bunch of them when various networks show "Classics". The product was superior.

The faster pace, fewer taken pitches, and greater amount of general "action" way outweighs the increases in athleticism, in terms of an enjoyable product.
   85. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5824680)
Add 1/4 ounce, leave everything else the same (size, bounciness, seams, etc). That's about 5% increase in the weight of the ball which should lead to a 5% drop in pitcher velocity

Is this relationship scientifically established? You're adding 5% to the weight of the ball, but the pitcher is moving his entire arm in addition to the ball during his throwing motion. 1/4 ounce is much less than 5% of the weight of his arm + ball.
   86. DL from MN Posted: March 22, 2019 at 03:17 PM (#5824701)
Is this relationship scientifically established? You're adding 5% to the weight of the ball, but the pitcher is moving his entire arm in addition to the ball during his throwing motion. 1/4 ounce is much less than 5% of the weight of his arm + ball.


F = F in both cases, right? The 1/4 ounce is negligible when calculating the mass and acceleration of <arm plus ball>. The ball is released at the same force but F=ma. Mass is 5% larger so acceleration has to be 5% smaller to compensate.
   87. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 22, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5824710)
In 2018 there were 93 errors per MLB team, in 1978 there were 139. Do you somehow think that made 1978 baseball less enjoyable?
Is this even a serious question? Of course "fielders making the play" is more enjoyable to watch than "fielders dropping the ball".

Are you even reading the things you're writing, or are you using some sort of random word generator?
   88. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 22, 2019 at 03:52 PM (#5824712)
The faster pace, fewer taken pitches, and greater amount of general "action" way outweighs the increases in athleticism, in terms of an enjoyable product.
Again, says you.

League-wide revenues were $10.3B last season, and are up 377% since 1992 even adjusting for inflation. Since peak attendance in '07, revenues have risen 70% (from $6.1B).
   89. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 22, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5824714)
League-wide revenues were $10.3B last season, and are up 377% since 1992 even adjusting for inflation. Since peak attendance in '07, revenues have risen 70% (from $6.1B).
The "record revenues" retort is far too facile. There are many, many other factors contributing to current revenues that have nothing to do with whether the product is going to be enjoyable enough to enough people to sustain growth in the long term.
   90. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 22, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5824724)
The "record revenues" retort is far too facile. There are many, many other factors contributing to current revenues that have nothing to do with whether the product is going to be enjoyable enough to enough people to sustain growth in the long term.
That money is coming from customers in one way or the other - gate, concessions, eyeballs on TV, ears on the radio.

In 12 markets last season(Nielsen doesn't rank Toronto) MLB was the top local show, and in 8 other markets MLB was in the top 3. Miami was the only market that MLB wasn't the #1 primetime cable show.

Lots of people enjoy the current product plenty.
   91. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5824725)
Is this even a serious question? Of course "fielders making the play" is more enjoyable to watch than "fielders dropping the ball".

Why? If my team hit the ball, I enjoy the error much more. If my team is fielding, I like the out.

And balls getting past the outfielder in the gap are way more exciting that even the best OF catch, because you also get all the baserunning, and the throwing.

Also, fielders will still make the vast majority of plays. An extra error every 2 or 3 games just isn't going to move the needle, even for someone that absolutely hates errors.
   92. base ball chick Posted: March 22, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5824728)
snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5824259)
That's what you want to watch? A bunch of dink and dunk singles?


I want to watch balls in play, good defense, base hits, double, triples, guys running the bases. You know, baseball.

Strikeouts and walks are boring as crap. Half of runs being scored on homers is boring.


- i agree

and i could tolerate the boredom a lot better if they enforced the pitch clock. like 15 sec between the time the ball hits the catchers glove to the time it is pitched again

i happened to catch a few innings of some game young teens (13 - 15??? hard to tell because males really vary in size at that age)

no stepping out, no wait between pitches. very few Ks, NO homers. lots and lots of baserunning - walks, errors, wild pitches, more errors and a couple of actual genuine hits every now and then. no PA, about 30 seconds between innings. hard to keep track of score or innings...

but in spite of the vast suckage of quality of players - seriously - 15? year olds look like toddlers compared to even college guys - it was more interesting than the major league for at least a few innings. no waiting around and a minimum of K/HR

sigh

i am not saying i know how to fix the current boring game, but i bet no stepping out and minimal time between pitches would help

   93. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 22, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5824729)
Is this even a serious question? Of course "fielders making the play" is more enjoyable to watch than "fielders dropping the ball".

Why? If my team hit the ball, I enjoy the error much more. If my team is fielding, I like the out.
1. I like watching good baseball; you like your team winning.

2. You do realize that your team is just as likely to be making those errors, don't you?
And balls getting past the outfielder in the gap are way more exciting that even the best OF catch, because you also get all the baserunning, and the throwing.
Yesterday you were espousing ideas that would made it much more difficult for batted balls to get past the OFs.
An extra error every 2 or 3 games just isn't going to move the needle, even for someone that absolutely hates errors.
Then why advocate for the change if it "isn't going to move the needle"? "We need to make a drastic change in how the game is played because I don't like to watch the way it's played now, but it's not really going to change the game very much, but they should totally do it anyway to keep me happy."
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5824732)
Then why advocate for the change if it "isn't going to move the needle"?

We need a bunch of small changes to fix the game. Anyone of them alone isn't going to do it.
   95. Hysterical & Useless Posted: March 22, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5824733)
That money is coming from customers in one way or the other - gate, concessions, eyeballs on TV, ears on the radio.


Hasn't there been much speculation of late regarding a TV "bubble," ie, that various networks have made large bets on future viewership numbers (and their associated advertising revenue) which may turn out to be as misguided as Arte Moreno's signing of Albert Pujols? TV revenue is a huge part of MLB's income, and if those contracts--money which might come from customers but is in no way guaranteed--turn out to be albatrosses, MLB revenue could drop rather precipitously.

snapper may be being a trifle hyperbolical--I don't think we'd like to go back to an era where a SS making 35 errors a year would be viewed as the most sure-handed guy in the league--but increasing the number of errors made to the level of the 50s, 60s, 70s would not even be noticeable on the game level. Making his glove a little smaller wouldn't turn Andrelton Simmons into a little leaguer, but it would allow a few more balls to sneak by him.
   96. BrianBrianson Posted: March 22, 2019 at 05:09 PM (#5824738)
If you want to cut down strikeouts, teach hitters to swing for contact with two strikes. Most any other solution is little more than gimmickry.


This won't work, because the analytics people would realise these players aren't performing, and they wouldn't get played or resigned. If you want more balls in play you have to reward hitters for balls in play, not penalise them. Analytics is too pervasive now, you can't just teach hitters to make bad decisions.
   97. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 22, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5824741)
Yay, another thread where everyone hates baseball.
   98. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 22, 2019 at 05:58 PM (#5824748)
Hasn't there been much speculation of late regarding a TV "bubble," ie, that various networks have made large bets on future viewership numbers (and their associated advertising revenue) which may turn out to be as misguided as Arte Moreno's signing of Albert Pujols? TV revenue is a huge part of MLB's income, and if those contracts--money which might come from customers but is in no way guaranteed--turn out to be albatrosses, MLB revenue could drop rather precipitously.
The speculation is in the money, but there's no denying that viewership is up. So the networks may be wrong in how much those eyes are worth, but the number of eyes can't be ignored (hard as it is for snapper to try).

There's also no denying that while ticket sales are down (and at least part of that can be attributed to smaller parks), people are spending much more to go to games - which points, again, to high excitement for the game as is.
Making his glove a little smaller wouldn't turn Andrelton Simmons into a little leaguer, but it would allow a few more balls to sneak by him.
Solid contact should be rewarded for being solid contact, not because we're handicapping fielders.
   99. . Posted: March 22, 2019 at 05:59 PM (#5824749)
I think this is something so close to self-evident (as regards a sport played at its highest level) that I'm not going to try to explain, maybe someone else will.


It's not even close to "self-evident," and it's not really even that true. Which is to say, snapper isn't that far off. No one wants to go to a basketball game and see the offensive players hit every single open shot. No one wants to see a tennis match where players hit every shot in and never make an unforced error.

March Madness isn't the best basketball players in the world playing their best -- yet people still love it.

Etc., etc.
   100. . Posted: March 22, 2019 at 06:03 PM (#5824750)
Is this even a serious question? Of course "fielders making the play" is more enjoyable to watch than "fielders dropping the ball".


No -- a fielder making a simple play isn't more "enjoyable to watch" than a guy making an error at the end of great range.

And both are far more enjoyable to watch than a cavalcade of guys oafishly swinging and missing pitches two feet outside.
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