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Saturday, November 09, 2019

How Should We Measure Team Success in 2019?

The 2019 Houston Astros were not a failure. Neither were the Dodgers. Nor were the Twins, Yankees, Cardinals, Phillies, Cubs or even the Mets. (Believe it, Mets fans.)

None of these teams won the World Series in 2019. But in this modern climate of baseball when burn-it-to-the-ground rebuilds are encouraged and high-end free agents are invisible to all but a select few clubs, the teams that try to win deserve to be celebrated. That’s where the sport is right now.

As it relates to the Astros, it’s worth remembering the tanktastic 2011-2013 seasons that paved the way for every ongoing rebuild. That awful stretch ultimately led to a championship in 2017 and put the team on the doorstep of another title in the two years since. Now here we are celebrating the Astros among other talented teams that didn’t win it all–because too many other clubs are trying to do what the Astros did. The irony is not lost.

There were amazing moments in Houston’s 117 total wins this season, and specifically the 10 October victories. There was Gerrit Cole’s 15-strikeout destruction of the Rays. There was Jose Altuve’s walk-off, pennant-winning home run against Aroldis Chapman. There were the team’s three road victories in the World Series after falling behind 0-2 to the Nationals.

A consideration of one of the least savory elements of the game as things stand, by looking at teams currently going against the trend.

 

QLE Posted: November 09, 2019 at 12:18 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: tanking

Friday, September 06, 2019

Tanking teams are killing attendance

Attendance is down again this year and has steadily declined for the past five years. There are several reasons for that, but Arthur’s analysis of attendance against the backdrop of a given team’s probability of making the playoffs — while controlling for weather — shows that 35% of the attendance drop is attributable to a much greater percentage of games involving teams with no playoff shot whatsoever.

And there are way more of those teams: according to Arthur, the fraction of teams out of contention — which he defines as having a less than 5% chance of making the playoffs at the time of a given game — has increased by almost 40% from 2014 to 2018.

And it’s getting worse in 2019. As I mentioned this morning there are at least three and very possibly four teams in the AL that are going to lose 100 games or more and one team in the NL, the Marlins, that will do the same. On a given night, if those teams aren’t playing one another, a full third of the games feature a team making no effort to try to compete over the course of the year. Do you really wanna pay money to go see that?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 12:52 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: tanking

Thursday, August 15, 2019

MLB Should Threaten Tanking Teams With Relegation

Jumping ahead to the key part of the argument:

How do you fix that, though? Simple: You make losing as painful as possible, and in that vein, there’s no better way to stop tanking in baseball than to borrow a page from the Premier League’s book and institute relegation. At the end of the season, the six worst teams in the majors—three from each league—are sent down to Triple A. If the Orioles aren’t capable of contending at the major league level, then they shouldn’t be here. Nor should the Tigers or the Marlins or the half-dozen other teams seemingly content to waste everyone’s time.

I think this would be entertaining- but, then again, my hometown probably would end up with an MLB team if this rule were applied this season, and we aren’t likely to ever get one any other way.

 

QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 05:04 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, relegation, tanking

Friday, July 26, 2019

Boz: Tanking By MLB Teams Isn’t A Strategy, It’s Fan Abuse

Snap out of it. Don’t listen. It’s dumb enough to tear down a roster that is already rotten or old or both. But it’s idiotic to rip up a team that has a chance to make the playoffs, even as a wild card, especially in the first era in MLB history when six teams already are trying to race to the bottom. With more to come? What is this, the shameless NBA where tanking’s been the dirty big lie for years?

Bote Man Posted: July 26, 2019 at 12:24 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: business, tanking, team building

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wild-Card Contenders Are Content to Be Sellers, and That’s a Problem

A consideration of one of the most unfortunate developments in baseball over the last decade, in its less-dramatic form.

QLE Posted: July 24, 2019 at 04:53 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, tanking, wild card hunt

 

 

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