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Friday, October 19, 2018

MLB must fix glaring problem that ruined an all-time classic

The games start too late and last too long. I love baseball but there is no way I can make the kind of commitment it takes to watch complete games. Five o’clock in the morning comes too quick.

Despite the length, the TBS ratings for Game 4 were still good (the most watched show on all of cable Wednesday) — but that has much to do with mammoth numbers in Boston and Houston. Elsewhere, devilish decisions between sleep or not on a work night were undertaken as the game ebbed toward a 1:12 a.m. Eastern conclusion that brought the average time for a nine-inning 2018 postseason game to 3 hours, 36 minutes.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2018 at 09:12 AM | 119 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: playoffs

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   101. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5772093)
Careful Andy! If you keep digging, soon enough you'll pop out on the other side of the world, probably somewhere they only watch soccer.
   102. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5772096)
Spoken like someone who has never watched a penalty shootout.

That's the thing that gets me. Spend 90 minutes playing soccer + 30 minutes of extra time playing soccer + a random amount of stoppage time playing soccer, and if the game is still tied then they stop playing soccer and settle the game by doing something other than playing soccer.

I can only imagine how quickly BBTF's server would melt down if the next pace-of-play initiative from Manfred was if the game is tied after 12 innings, then stop playing baseball and settle the game via Home Run Derby.
   103. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5772101)
Careful Andy! If you keep digging, soon enough you'll pop out on the other side of the world, probably somewhere they only watch soccer.

I could probably get used to soccer, but I'm not so sure about sushi or eating dogs. YMMV.

And since pool is practically the Philippines' national sport, I'm not completely writing off Asia as a lost cause.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's the thing that gets me. Spend 90 minutes playing soccer + 30 minutes of extra time playing soccer + a random amount of stoppage time playing soccer, and if the game is still tied then they stop playing soccer and settle the game by doing something other than playing soccer.

I can only imagine how quickly BBTF's server would melt down if the next pace-of-play initiative from Manfred was if the game is tied after 12 innings, then stop playing baseball and settle the game via Home Run Derby.


Careful, Pat, you don't want Baldrick to accuse you of trolling. He seems to find trolls under his bed the same way Trump finds MS-13 gang members.
   104. . Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5772102)
Andy's the only person on the boards who interjects his silly political commentary into non-OTP threads. Does it all the time, did it here.

Pretty much the quintessentially trollish move.
   105. PreservedFish Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5772103)
Almost everyone does a little trolling from time to time, and I certainly never taken anything on this website personally. But pretending you were doing something else is just insulting. Just own it, Andy.
   106. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5772107)
Almost everyone does a little trolling from time to time, and I certainly never taken anything on this website personally. But pretending you were doing something else is just insulting. Just own it, Andy.

Sorry if I've insulted you, but you've got a very convenient definition of trolling, and repeating that silly accusation doesn't advance any of your otherwise perfectly intelligible points about soccer.
   107. strong silence Posted: October 21, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5772145)
A couple days ago I started the discussion about soccer. If it was trolling then I apologize.

In the interest of honesty:
-I don't think soccer will overtake baseball in popularity, and that is fine with me. The youth are voting with their feet and they aren't voting for baseball.
-I am sad that baseball has devolved to something hardly watchable.
-I understand soccer and I am very happy it takes 100 minutes to watch because that is all the time I am allowing in my life for TV.
-Andy's opinions about why he likes baseball are fine. Andy, pick an upcoming Premier League game and report back whether you like it. I'd like to know.
-If the West Coast residents here at OTP want to have a beer and soccer event I would join you.
-At the end of 90 minutes of a game, soccer players start to get exhausted. The 30 minutes of extra time usually sucks because of that. The penalty shootouts are a dice throw but fans don't care.
   108. BDC Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:22 PM (#5772159)
90 minutes playing soccer + 30 minutes of extra time playing soccer + a random amount of stoppage time playing soccer, and if the game is still tied then they stop playing soccer and settle the game by doing something other than playing soccer


As strong silence notes, I don't think that even soccer fans think the shootout format is ideal. It's sort of the least-worst option, perhaps.
   109. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:39 PM (#5772162)
As strong silence notes, I don't think that even soccer fans think the shootout format is ideal. It's sort of the least-worst option, perhaps.

On a related note, Wimbledon is now going to have a sudden death tiebreaker even for the final set of the tournament final, though it won't kick in until the score is 12-12, not 6-6 like it is in the U.S. Open. I wonder what John Isner and Nicolas Mahut will think of this.
   110. cardsfanboy Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:40 PM (#5772164)
In the interest of honesty:
-I don't think soccer will overtake baseball in popularity, and that is fine with me. The youth are voting with their feet and they aren't voting for baseball.


and they have been making that vote for nearly 40 years, and the result has pretty much been the same, that after they learn to eat vegetables without throwing up, they stop caring about soccer... nobody with a functioning brain thinks soccer is a potential competitor to baseball, it can't even compete with hockey.
   111. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5772171)
FTR in 2017/18 there were approximately 487,000 high school boys playing baseball, and about 456,000 high school boys playing soccer.
   112. Howie Menckel Posted: October 21, 2018 at 09:16 PM (#5772177)
I'm just glad I never got into horse racing or golf, because those are two sports with addictive qualities that are easy for me to grasp: The lure of the track; the eternal quest for the perfect swing, which is quite similar to pool.

my father didn't start playing golf until he was in his 80s - had never even swung a club. he was in great shape, though, and became a respectable player. early on in his new pastime, he solemnly told me, "You know, it's a funny thing - no matter how many bad shots you hit, those few really good ones leave you wanting to play another round."

yes, indeed, I told him - they've been saying that for 500+ years now.....

I had a pool table in my basement as a teenager. my twin brother (not at all identical) used to hit the break shot so hard that it would sometimes knock one or two balls off the table, which is crazy. I was more the finesse player; loved to peruse the table early in a game of 8-ball, figuring out not only the easiest make but also the most interesting one. as we rarely played for money (I know, I know), I might choose either one. ultimately I was a better golfer, though.
   113. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 21, 2018 at 09:52 PM (#5772186)
FTR in 2017/18 there were approximately 487,000 high school boys playing baseball, and about 456,000 high school boys playing soccer.


What? In all of America? Wow, those numbers seem....really tiny. You'd think in SoCal alone with the large Hispanic population you'd have at least a couple hundred thousand playing soccer.

Are kids playing a lot less high school sport then they were in the late 70's/early 80's when I went to school?
   114. strong silence Posted: October 21, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5772193)
http://www.nfhs.org/ParticipationStatics/PDF/2014-15_Participation_Survey_Results.pdf

In 2014-2015:
808,000 played high school soccer
487,000 played high school baseball
And the trend is more boys playing club soccer and skipping high school soccer. I don't know if there is a similar trend in baseball

Seattle Sounders. 43K (https://soccerstadiumdigest.com/2017-mls-attendance/)
Seattle Mariners. 28K (http://www.espn.com/mlb/attendance)
I think the Sounders have outdrawn the Mariners for a few years. I'm not going to look.

His bias is inherent in his name; cardsfanboy is wrong.
   115. PreservedFish Posted: October 21, 2018 at 10:50 PM (#5772197)
I think the fact that soccer's epicenter is over in Europe is an intractable problem. Any quality American will scoot over to England or elsewhere as soon as he's able. It's difficult to imagine that changing.

But I do think it can overtake hockey. If it hasn't already.
   116. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 10:59 PM (#5772199)
my father didn't start playing golf until he was in his 80s - had never even swung a club. he was in great shape, though, and became a respectable player. early on in his new pastime, he solemnly told me, "You know, it's a funny thing - no matter how many bad shots you hit, those few really good ones leave you wanting to play another round."

I once ran 7 straight racks of 9 ball at the old Julian's Billiards Academy on 14th St. in Union Square. This was in the early or mid-70's and we were only playing for two bucks a game on tables whose pockets were, er, generous. Turned out the guy I was playing was the New York State champion of something or other---9 ball, straight pool, can't remember---and once I was informed of that I cooled off quickly and wound up losing at the end.

Another time at Jack and Jill's, the great action room in Arlington, VA that was THE place to gamble pool in the 70's, I played some pinstriped clean shaven guy for about 3 or 4 hours dead even, trading racks for 5 or 10 a game. Then after about the 3rd or 4th hour he wanted to raise the bet to $20.00, and as soon as I agreed to it he snapped off a 5 pack on me so fast I barely had time to blink while I was sitting in my chair. Turned out that this neatly dressed office worker looking guy was Jack Cooney, AKA Frisco Jack, not the best pool player in the world by a long shot, but easily its best all time money maker via the hustling route. All he said to me after taking my $100 was "that was a nice workout". I had to laugh.

Moral of both of those stories is that I know exactly what your dad was talking about, because it applies to pool as well. Last night I opened a pre-tournament small change gambling session by running the first 3 racks of 9 ball without missing a shot, and even though I finished out of the money in the tournament, the memory of those 3 perfectly run racks (on tables with smaller than regulation size pockets) made the entire evening worth while. And if you can have those kinds of sports experiences when you're 74 (like me) or 80+ (like your dad), you know you've picked the right sport. It's also nice to be able to meet and compete with people who are mostly all in their 20's through their 40's, which would be kind of tough to do in baseball or basketball, or soccer.

But that's truly amazing about your dad and golf. The last time I tried playing golf was in high school, when a friend of mine talked me into hitting a couple of buckets of balls at the Hains Point driving range in Southwest DC. All I remember about that experience was that two days later my rib cage was so tender and sore that I could barely take a breath. I was lucky that my high school baseball team's season was over, and that the American Legion season wasn't beginning for another week or two. IMO golf is THE hardest sport to master, and I'm glad I never tried to take it up seriously. Sort of like drugs or video games.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FTR in 2017/18 there were approximately 487,000 high school boys playing baseball, and about 456,000 high school boys playing soccer.

What? In all of America? Wow, those numbers seem....really tiny. You'd think in SoCal alone with the large Hispanic population you'd have at least a couple hundred thousand playing soccer.


Here's the link to the website where those numbers came from. The catch is that there are also 390,000 girls playing the sport, but then there are also about 367,000 high school girls now playing fast pitch softball. So overall between soccer and baseball/softball it's roughly a draw on the high school level.
   117. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 11:12 PM (#5772204)
http://www.nfhs.org/ParticipationStatics/PDF/2014-15_Participation_Survey_Results.pdf

In 2014-2015:
808,000 played high school soccer
487,000 played high school baseball


But that doesn't include softball. When you add that number to the baseball figure, the total for diamond sports is 852,000, which is consistent with the 2017/18 numbers I cited in #116.

And the trend is more boys playing club soccer and skipping high school soccer. I don't know if there is a similar trend in baseball

Whether or not that's true, it's obvious to anyone with two eyes that over the past several generations, soccer and basketball have almost completely replaced baseball on the informal playground pickup game level. Much of it's due to demographics, I'm sure, but I think more of it has to do with the ease of getting the equipment together with the flexible number of required players. And while there's always been a "kicking" sport played in elementary schools, BITD that sport was kickball, a variant of baseball that was one of the few sports that boys and girls ever played together before Title IX came along. I'm pretty sure that this has almost been completely replaced by soccer.
   118. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 11:13 PM (#5772205)
I think the fact that soccer's epicenter is over in Europe is an intractable problem. Any quality American will scoot over to England or elsewhere as soon as he's able. It's difficult to imagine that changing.

That might be roughly analogous to the siren lure of MLB for the top Japanese baseball players.
   119. Hysterical & Useless Posted: October 22, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5772490)
no matter how many bad shots you hit, those few really good ones leave you wanting to play another round


That's how I am with tennis. I'm a crap player, but every time I hit a good shot I feel like "finally, I can play this game!" Wrong every time so far, but maybe tomorrow...
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