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Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Almost All the Complaints About the World Series Are Wrong

4.Games Are Finishing Too Late at Night
Look: I’m tired, you’re tired, we’re all tired. These games are regularly going past midnight — only two of the five have finished the same day they started so far — and it’s certainly keeping everyone who stays up until the last out groggy the next morning (on the East Coast, anyway). My 9-year-old baseball-obsessed son hasn’t gotten to watch a whole game yet, and he’s plenty irritated at me about it.

This also makes him like every 9-year-old baseball-obsessed kid over the last 50 years. As pointed out by baseball writer Joe Sheehan in his newsletter, nearly every World Series game since 1971 has ended between 11 p.m. ET and midnight … and yet baseball has somehow survived.

Complaints about the lateness of have been around just as long. One reason they’re so ever-present? Many of the loudest voices, in the media and in the larger populace, live in the Eastern Time Zone. If you live in California—and, you know, a lot of people do, as it turns out — the games are done in time for a late dinner. The World Series has been starting at 8 p.m. ET (or later) for as long as most of us watching it have been alive. The only difference now is that we can hear people grousing about it more. Sure, I’d love afternoon World Series games too. But they’ve been televising these things for seven decades now. If it made sense to play the games at 3 p.m., it would have happened by now. And then I’m sure we’d all complain about not being able to get off work in time to watch.

And a retort: Defector: Here Are Some Dishonest Defenses Of Baseball

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:22 PM | 125 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pace of play, world series

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   1. salvomania Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:36 PM (#6050761)
What a horrible excerpt. Makes me not want to read the article.

"Almost all the complaints about crime are wrong."

"Look, I'm scared, you're scared. People are getting shot on the street, and it's making people nervous to go outside. But you know what? Guns have been around for a couple hundred years in the U.S., and complaints about people getting shot have been around just as long."

I guess I don't see how that makes the complaint wrong...
   2. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:42 PM (#6050763)
World Series games under 180 minutes:

2011-2021: 3
2001-2010: 9
1991-2000: 16
1981-1990: 22
1971-1980: 47

With all due respect to Leitch and Sheehan I'm skeptical that games have been ending after 11PM for 50 years. Certainly not meaningfully so for a lot of this time and of course this ignores that for the first decade and a half of this period some (many?) of the games were played in daylight hours.
   3. John DiFool2 Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#6050766)
With all due respect to Leitch and Sheehan I'm skeptical that games have been ending after 11PM for 50 years.


Just checked game 1 in 1976. 2:10. Only finishing after 11 if first pitch was thrown after 8:50 and/or there was a rain delay.
   4. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#6050767)
"We've had terrible start times for 50 years, so shut up."
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:57 PM (#6050768)
Here is a Joe Sheehan tweet about it:

https://twitter.com/joe_sheehan/status/1455203481506156545

"World Series games have ended between 11 pm and midnight EDT for almost 50 years, and almost exclusively so for 35. Fewer clicks in that, though."

Of course, the article misrepresents what Joe said.

And the canard "somehow baseball has survived..." Well, its place in the American culture has fallen tremendously over the last 50 years.
   6. The Duke Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:58 PM (#6050769)
The WSJ had an article today saying that the infield combination of Bergman, Altuve, Correa, and Gurriel is the longest serving infield in history since the wild card was introduced in 1995. I don’t know why they picked that date but that group has started 335 games together surpassing Teixeira, cano, a-rod, jeter

I would have guessed the Garvey infield had more. Interesting question as to who holds this record - any ideas ?
   7. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: November 02, 2021 at 05:01 PM (#6050771)
I think I remember reading that the Garvey infield held the record. 7-8 years as I recall and all four guys were pretty durable. But I don't know.

I assume using the WC era was just a "meh, gotta throw a cutoff in there somewhere."
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: November 02, 2021 at 05:17 PM (#6050774)
I would have guessed the Garvey infield had more.


It very much does. It predates the wild card era.

   9. Hombre Brotani Posted: November 02, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6050781)
I think I remember reading that the Garvey infield held the record. 7-8 years as I recall and all four guys were pretty durable.
Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey do hold the record. The foursome stayed together from 1973 to 1981. No other foursome is within years.

Jay Jaffe wrote a thing in 2014:
In the annals of major league history, the closest analogue to the Dodgers' quartet is probably the Cubs infield of the early 1900s. Shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers and first baseman Frank Chance — the trio of fabled verse — served as the Cubs' regulars from 1902 through 1910, with Harry Steinfeldt the regular third baseman for the last five of those seasons. The Cubs were a powerhouse in those days, winning pennants in 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1910, and World Series in 1907 and 1908. Tinker, Evers and Chance are all in the Hall of Fame, though as much due to the popularity of Franklin Pierce Adams's 1910 poem, "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," as to the numbers they put up.

On a more modern note, the Reds' Tony Perez, Joe Morgan and Dave Concepcion played together as regulars for five seasons (1972-1976) but went through three third basemen, the last of which was Pete Rose. After Perez was traded to the Expos in December 1976, Morgan, Rose and Concepcion served as regulars for four seasons together (1975-1978) before Rose departed as a free agent. The current Phillies combo of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins is in their ninth season together, but they lost nearly half of last year due to injuries to Howard and Utley and are on their fifth different regular third baseman of the run.

Howard, Utley, Rollins, and Plácido Polanco were the everyday foursome for Philly from 2002 through 2005. That's the longest run I could find in this century before Houston's quartet.
   10. Hombre Brotani Posted: November 02, 2021 at 05:55 PM (#6050785)
I just realized, if we swap third base for catcher, the combo of Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Joe Panik played together for six seasons together. That's pretty good.
   11. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: November 02, 2021 at 06:06 PM (#6050787)
World Series games under 180 minutes:

2011-2021: 3
2001-2010: 9
1991-2000: 16
1981-1990: 22
1971-1980: 47


And now, using Minutes per Event (hailed by Ballstats & Ballsacks magazine as "hopelessly inane"):

2011-2021: 2.14
2001-2010: 2.07
1991-2000: 1.98
1981-1990: 1.88
1971-1980: 1.69

Basically, games take 25-30% longer than they did 50 years ago. The number of "events" (at bats, walks, pitching and side changes) hasn't changed much over the course of baseball history; it's drifted up only slightly (from about 90-ish to 95-ish for a nine-inning game) due to more pitching changes, but that's it. The events themselves, though, take longer, so...yeah.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 02, 2021 at 07:04 PM (#6050792)
I really don't understand the insistence that some of these writers have that nothing can actually be wrong with baseball, or that the only thing that can ever really be wrong with baseball is that the players don't get paid enough. Is it mostly contrarianism?
   13. The Duke Posted: November 02, 2021 at 07:20 PM (#6050794)
12. Yes. When the answer is “I’ve found something” and that something is the tomahawk chop, it’s not a serious article. I find this more and more with global warming/climate change. I get 3/4 way through some article and all of a sudden the author brings in climate change as the issue on topics so completely unrelated to climate that you have to laugh.
   14. tonywagner Posted: November 02, 2021 at 07:41 PM (#6050796)
12 - Sheehan (who is referenced in TFA, which I haven't read :) ) isn't dismissing everything, just the specific allegation that kids used to be able to watch the end of World Series night games. That's never really been true.

Here is Sheehan's post with some interesting history.

Sheehan readily admits that games have gotten longer, etc.
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 02, 2021 at 07:46 PM (#6050797)
12 - Sheehan (who is referenced in TFA, which I haven't read :) ) isn't dismissing everything
In fairness, the headline does say “Almost all complaints are wrong.”
   16. tonywagner Posted: November 02, 2021 at 07:48 PM (#6050798)
World Series games under 180 minutes:

2011-2021: 3
2001-2010: 9
1991-2000: 16
1981-1990: 22
1971-1980: 47

With all due respect to Leitch and Sheehan I'm skeptical that games have been ending after 11PM for 50 years. Certainly not meaningfully so for a lot of this time and of course this ignores that for the first decade and a half of this period some (many?) of the games were played in daylight hours.

Sheehan notes that World Series weekday evening games (all weekday WS games since 1973) used to start around 8:30 ET, so it only took 150 minutes to reach 11 PM.

Eyeballing B-Ref, it looks like WS start times moved up to ~8:10 in 1996 or so.
   17. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: November 02, 2021 at 07:52 PM (#6050799)
Start and end times (EST) the last time the Braves won the World Series in 1995.

1 - 7:31 pm, 10:08 pm
2 - 7:29 pm, 10:46 pm
3 - 8:32 pm, 12:41 pm (11 innings)
4 - 8:23 pm, 11:37 pm
5 - 8:21 pm, 10:54 pm
6 - 7:26 pm, 10:38 pm

7 total runs per game (current WS is 7.6).

The earliest ending this WS is 11:20 EST, 2 ended after midnight, one at 11:54
   18. tonywagner Posted: November 02, 2021 at 07:57 PM (#6050800)
In fairness, the headline does say “Almost all complaints are wrong.”

Yeah, that's Leitch's. Skimming TFA now, he lists 6 complaints. He agrees with 2 complaints (games are too long and the chop), and one he disagrees with is pretty benign either way (booing Altuve).

So the complaints he dismisses as wrong are:

1. There Are Too Many Pitching Changes
2. Removing a Pitcher Throwing a No-Hitter Is Why Baseball Is Bad Now
3. Games Are Finishing Too Late at Night (where he references Sheehan's post)

Those do seem like the "hot takes" of this postseason on Twitter, which are almost invariably exaggerated or wrong anyway.
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 02, 2021 at 07:59 PM (#6050801)
Seems kind of pedantic to agree that the games take too long but quibble with the complaint that they end too late.
   20. tonywagner Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:03 PM (#6050802)
Start and end times (EST) the last time the Braves won the World Series in 1995.

In 1995, games 1, 2, and 6 were the weekend games, and as Sheehan notes, they used to start those a little earlier (although they've all been night games since 1985, with 1 exception in 1987).
   21. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:08 PM (#6050803)
Is it mostly contrarianism?


I think it's exactly the same thing these guys were mad about in the 90 and early 00s: they formed their views a long time ago, and a lot of them aren't able to and/or interested in revisiting them.
   22. tonywagner Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:13 PM (#6050804)
Seems kind of pedantic to agree that the games take too long but quibble with the complaint that they end too late.

Perhaps, although "end too late" is referring to specific complaints on Twitter that say kids can't watch the end of WS night games anymore.
   23. tonywagner Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:17 PM (#6050805)
they formed their views a long time ago, and a lot of them aren't able to and/or interested in revisiting them.

Seems like that's a good summary of the "baseball is dying" takes too, though...
   24. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:23 PM (#6050807)
Sorry, I grew up in California in the 60's and 70's, what are these late nights you speak of?

One out of the Andy book, I remember bringing a radio to school in the early 70's and listening to games during school hours. Now that was disruptive! All that maths and reading I missed out on.
   25. Rally Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:31 PM (#6050811)
In the first inning, how was Brantley safe? He did not step on the base as he passed first, stepped on Fried’s ankle. Fried’s foot wasn’t on the bag at the time of contact, but in the replays it sure looked like in the follow through his other foot contacted the base after the contact.
   26. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:34 PM (#6050813)
I just realized, if we swap third base for catcher, the combo of Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Joe Panik played together for six seasons together. That's pretty good.
i think the phillies might have that one beat with utley, rollins, howard and chooch.
And a retort: Defector: Here Are Some Dishonest Defenses Of Baseball

one of the things the defector pointed out is that will leitch, the writer of this article (and former editor of deadspin, which is what the defector was called before it was masticated by private equity vultures), also works for mlb.com, a fact which was not originally disclosed in his article.
   27. tonywagner Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:34 PM (#6050814)
Central time zone, I was not allowed to stay up until the end of game 7, 1991. Had to listen to it on a smuggled radio in bed.
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:40 PM (#6050817)
Edit: wrong thread.
   29. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:42 PM (#6050818)
one of the things the defector pointed out is that will leitch, the writer of this article (and former editor of deadspin, which is what the defector was called before it was masticated by private equity vultures), also works for mlb.com, a fact which was not originally disclosed in his article.
Interesting. Any way you could list the dishonest defenses for those of us who don’t want to register for Defector?
   30. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:19 PM (#6050834)
Interesting. Any way you could list the dishonest defenses for those of us who don’t want to register for Defector?
this probably sums it up:
There’s a sleight-of-hand happening here that only gets more obvious as the column goes along, a kind of reframing the complaint as something it isn’t, and then arguing against that phony reframing instead of against the actual complaint. ...When casual baseball fans out there find themselves feeling frustrated and alienated by the constant swapping of relief pitchers, that is not because they are bedeviled by a meta-concern over whether bullpen tinkering is harmful to the business interests of the sport of baseball. The complaint, very simply, is I don’t like it when each manager changes pitchers six times in a single game.

The important thing about this complaint is that it is not possible for it to be “wrong,” as the framing here would have you believe it is, unless you believe it’s possible for a person to be incorrect on the subject of whether they, themselves, dislike something
   31. and Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:25 PM (#6050837)
Games are longer and end later than 30 or 40 years ago. But 30 or 40 years ago, people were definitely saying it was bad for growing the fan base. And I think they were correct.
   32. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:29 PM (#6050838)
Games are longer and end later than 30 or 40 years ago. But 30 or 40 years ago, people were definitely saying it was bad for growing the fan base. And I think they were correct.
yeah, that exact point was also in the defector's article:
Yes, “nearly every World Series game since 1971” has ended at 11 p.m. or later; something else that dates to the early 1970s is baseball’s long slow decline from unchecked national pastime to fading regional curio with virtually no cultural relevance outside its dedicated fanbase and no star players who could be recognized on the street by anybody but existing baseball fans. Could this decline have been in any way hastened by the fact that no school-aged child in three generations has seen the end of a World Series? Who can know?

   33. and Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:35 PM (#6050839)
The other point is: parents are too damned strict. It’s the World Series. Let your kids watch.
   34. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:36 PM (#6050840)
this probably sums it up:
Ah, I see, it’s a literal direct rebuttal to the column. Nice. Thanks!
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:56 PM (#6050851)
I'm trying to remember if I actually watched the end of World Series games, or if I am just remembering watching a bit of the beginning, then saw highlights later. Like I'm almost certain I was asleep for Gibson's HR in '88, I was ten years old, no way I was still up around 10:30 CT or so when that happened. I thought I was up to see the Reds win it in '90, but my memory is of them winning in Cincy, and they won in Oakland around 10:30 CT, and I don't think my parents would have let met stay up that late at age 12. I think I stayed up later in '91, but Game 6 and 7 both ended after 11 CT. The '92 Series ended near midnight CT, and I do remember seeing Joe Carter's HR live, so my guess is 1993 was the first time I saw a team win a World Series live, at age 15.
   36. and Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:00 PM (#6050853)
Also, my love of baseball comes more from playing - from pickup games to organized games - than watching.
   37. Paul d mobile Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:02 PM (#6050856)
I was able to read the defector column without signing up for defector.
   38. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:04 PM (#6050857)
I was able to read the defector column without signing up for defector.
do you use an adblock?

i've also never had issues reading defector columns, but this isn't the first time other posters here have said they couldn't read it.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:27 PM (#6050864)
I'm trying to remember if I actually watched the end of World Series games, or if I am just remembering watching a bit of the beginning, then saw highlights later.


I got sent to bed during Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, waking up to a sign hanging on my wall: Carbo homer in the eighth ties it, Fisk homer in the 12th wins it.

Dad let me stay up for all of Game 7.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:33 PM (#6050866)
I got sent to bed during Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, waking up to a sign hanging on my wall: Carbo homer in the eighth ties it, Fisk homer in the 12th wins it.

Dad let me stay up for all of Game 7.

and thus the nickname "The Cooler" lasted for the rest of your childhood....
;)
   41. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:34 PM (#6050867)
I got sent to bed during Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, waking up to a sign hanging on my wall: Carbo homer in the eighth ties it, Fisk homer in the 12th wins it.

Dad let me stay up for all of Game 7.


That's funny, because the exact same thing happened to me (minus the sign). I think my parents felt bad for making me miss the end of Game 6.
   42. tonywagner Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:34 PM (#6050868)
35 & 36 sort of prompt the question, what is the role of live TV broadcasts in developing and maintaining young fans? I agree that for me, live TV broadcasts were the destination once fandom had been established, rather than my gateway to fandom.
   43. BDC Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:56 PM (#6050882)
I hadn’t thought about the bedtime issue. I think the first WS that ended with a night game was 1974, and by then I was a senior in high school.

Bedtime is far more of an issue for me 47 years later. I didn’t even get a nap today!
   44. Adam Starblind Posted: November 02, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#6050884)
I know I saw the Jack Morris game, and I think I saw Carter’s home run. Can’t remember seeing others as a kid.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: November 02, 2021 at 11:50 PM (#6050918)
The most recent time (done by eye, hopefully didn't miss any):

20 CGs: 1986 Fernando
25 CGs: 1980 Langford
30 CGs: 1975 Hunter

250 IP: 2011 Verlander
275 IP: 1988 Stewart
300 IP: 1980 Carlton

20 wins: 2021 Urias (20-3) (it's happened almost every year in the 2000s)
25 wins: 1990 Welch
30 wins: 1968 McLain

50 SB: 2017 Strange-Gordon
60 SB: 2017 Strange-Gordon
70 SB: 2009 Ellsbury
80 SB: 1988 Rickey/Coleman
90 SB: 1988 Rickey
100 SB: 1987 Coleman

There are quite a few things people claim to care about that we haven't seen in 35-45 years. They aren't coming back.
   46. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: November 03, 2021 at 08:07 AM (#6050931)
First WS I remember staying up for the end was 1980 (10 years old).
   47. . Posted: November 03, 2021 at 08:45 AM (#6050933)
I have no idea what the guy's talking about, because I watched a bunch of night WS games to their conclusion in the 1970s and 1980s. I also routinely (*) watched NBA playoff games on tape delay and 11:30 EST starts from the west coast.(***) The famous triple overtime game from the Boston Garden in the 1976 finals started after 9 pm EST and I watched the whole thing, waking my entire family up with a "YEAH!!!" in our camping tent (**) when Gar Heard hit the shot at the end of double overtime.

If you like the product and you're between 10 and 30, you're going to seek it out and stay up for it. And there's zero doubt, nor should there be, that that goes a massive way toward setting you up for lifelong fandom. The problem with baseball, but not basketball, is that baseball is simply less enjoyable to watch now and a less compelling sport. A bunch of us have delineated the reasons for years around here and it's kind of silly for the Joe Sheehans of the world to say those reasons are "wrong." Huh? I don't want to watch a bunch of nobody relievers pitch in games that take four hours because players stand around doing nothing. How does right or wrong even enter into that? When players didn't do that and ran hard on the basepaths and the game had way more action, I watched a lot. And so did a lot of other Americans. Sure seems like they were "right" to me.

(*) And by "routinely," I mean like 80%+ of the games.

(**) Needless to say, Mom and Dad weren't exactly thrilled about being disturbed from deep REM. Had to have been right around midnight EST.

(***) The Sonics-Suns Game 7 classic in the West Finals in 1979? 11:30 EST start, after the local news. Watched every second. The Magic game in 1980 was -- utterly unbelievably -- on tape delay and I was watching the Cubs game on WGN and Brickhouse or Boudreau ruined the Magic game by reporting the Lakers/Sixers final score during the Cubs game. Watched all of the Magic game anyway.
   48. Paul d mobile Posted: November 03, 2021 at 09:18 AM (#6050938)
do you use an adblock?

I do not. I'm in Canada though, maybe there's a location issue?
   49. winnipegwhip Posted: November 03, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6050943)
Less time for games ....less time for prop bets to be entered between pitches....less revenue for our partners...um clients.
   50. winnipegwhip Posted: November 03, 2021 at 09:47 AM (#6050945)
I remember being woke up by my dad early one morning in 1975 as he enthusiastically redid Fisk's waving for the ball fair to describe the conclusion of Game 6. Mom sent me to bed in the 8th or 9th. (I vividly remember the Lynn crash into the wall...it occurred after a news bulletin in Canada interrupted the broadcast...it stated that CFL player Tom Pate had passed away...he had suffered injuries in a game a few days before...a Ray Chapman like incident. It made the Lynn crashing into the wall more dramatic for those watching in Canada.)

Years later I was talking to Bill Lee and I told him about my mom sending me to bed. His response was, "I was sent to bed to. Darrell Johnson wanted me to get some rest because if we won I was starting Game 7."
   51. winnipegwhip Posted: November 03, 2021 at 09:54 AM (#6050946)
on tape delay and I was watching the Cubs game on WGN and Brickhouse or Boudreau ruined the Magic game by reporting the Lakers/Sixers final score during the Cubs game. Watched all of the Magic game anyway.


Tony Kornheiser often tells the story about the Miracle on Ice game which was broadcast in the US on tape delay. The game was shown in prime time with the usual breaks. During the second intermission one of the Washington ABC station had a news update which included the newsreader saying something like:

"And on our late news tonight local reaction to the stunning US victory over the Russians in today's hockey game." At that point for the unaware viewer the Soviets were leading the US.
   52. SoSH U at work Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:06 AM (#6050947)
Tony Kornheiser often tells the story about the Miracle on Ice game which was broadcast in the US on tape delay. The game was shown in prime time with the usual breaks. During the second intermission one of the Washington ABC station had a news update which included the newsreader saying something like:


"And on our late news tonight local reaction to the stunning US victory over the Russians in today's hockey game." At that point for the unaware viewer the Soviets were leading the US.


Much of those games were on tape delay. A friend came over to watch the game with me, and whispered to me the score of the game entering the third period, so I watched the first two periods waiting until that moment.

More amusing was my mother's attempts to avoid knowing whether Eric Heiden won his speed skating race that day. She failed at avoiding spoilers for each of his first four wins. On the day of his fifth race, she spent the entire day telling everyone she encountered, "Don't tell me the result of the Heiden race."

Just before she was getting ready to sit down to watch his final race, that same friend's father walked in to pick him up and said, "Hey, how about that Heiden?" I don't think my mom was ever closer to homicidal than that moment.
   53. BDC Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:09 AM (#6050948)
300 IP: 1980 Carlton

Wow, that's one I would not have guessed. Probably because a number of guys who had at some point pitched 300 innings, notably Nolan Ryan, were still pitching long after 1980, and one thought of them as 300-IP guys. But everybody's workload decreased in the 1980s, theirs included.
   54. kubiwan Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:27 AM (#6050951)
Like I'm almost certain I was asleep for Gibson's HR in '88, I was ten years old, no way I was still up around 10:30 CT or so when that happened.


It occurred at 10:39 CT per b-r.com, but it was a Saturday, so it wouldn't be too surprising if they did actually let you stay up for it.
   55. base ball chick Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:28 AM (#6050952)
the complaints most definitely are not "wrong"

frequent pitching changes without any really good starters are just BORING. it is kind of like if guys got on base only because of infield errors and scored on balks, and games all end up 2-1 or something. yeah, scoring happens, but it is not as interesting

and games draaaaaaag on. i have timed times between pitches and it is 25-32 seconds, almost always. this is B O R I N G. it would be better if it was a maddux inning, but it isn't. the old roy iswalt days of - get the ball throw the ball - are gone and this is NOT for "good".

games are not made interesting by ballplayers wearing "cool" stuff like one off spikes or jerseys. (unless some of them wore nothin but a jock, you feeelin me here). they are interesting because of ACTION. and i do not mean action like nomar doing his OCD stuff with his gloves.

the WS amd LCS games are also dragged on by before and during game ceremonies that need to be gone. do the pre-game joe buck droning on and ceremony stuff at like 7 and let the game start at 7:30. because they DO TOO end too late. because they start too late because of all the pre-game horse stuff and in game delays of waiting too long between pitches.

rigidly enforce the pitch clock as written in THE RULE BOOK. same with stepping out between pitches - that is an automatic K. cut the thumbs up butt stuff

Baseball has lost massive interest over the past 50 years, too, and not just because of late game times and slow games, but that sure as eff does not help. i know i am not the target audience of 60+ White, male, right winger - but just the same, my fanship has decreased massively since even 10 years ago - and not just because the astros were bought and run by a creep and his creepy sidekicks

the good thing is that i have noticed that the number of female baseball writers has massaively increased even since i quit blogging 10 years ago - my god has it been THAT long? sigh. gettin OLD

i very VERY clearly remember the first game i stayed up for which was game 6 1986 NLCS and "late" was like 7: 30 or something because there was an afternoon game (yes i know those are gone). my mama let me stay up for every single LCS game and WS game. she understood what's important

my most vivid memory from THIS shttty series will always be zack greinke singling as a PINCH HITTER. he outhit alvarez this series and that is sayin something
   56. Nasty Nate Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:31 AM (#6050953)
Like I'm almost certain I was asleep for Gibson's HR in '88, I was ten years old, no way I was still up around 10:30 CT or so when that happened.
It occurred at 10:39 CT per b-r.com, but it was a Saturday, so it wouldn't be too surprising if they did actually let you stay up for it.
I was 8, and I remember watching it live, but I'm not 100% certain the memory is accurate.
   57. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:43 AM (#6050955)
More amusing was my mother's attempts to avoid knowing whether Eric Heiden won his speed skating race that day. She failed at avoiding spoilers for each of his first four wins. On the day of his fifth race, she spent the entire day telling everyone she encountered, "Don't tell me the result of the Heiden race."

Just before she was getting ready to sit down to watch his final race, that same friend's father walked in to pick him up and said, "Hey, how about that Heiden?" I don't think my mom was ever closer to homicidal than that moment.


My junior year of high school I was taking a science class with a bunch of seniors. The seniors finished a few weeks before me due to graduation so when it came time for my final exam I was literally going to be the only person in the room. This worked fine because game 7 between the Pistons and Lakers was the night before. I recorded it on my VCR and was going to watch it after the final when I got him. I would only see my teacher who was proctoring it.

I go in, take the exam and about halfway through she's in the next room chatting with one of the other teachers and says "I was so happy to see the Lakers win, I hate the Pistons."

####.
   58. BDC Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:51 AM (#6050956)
frequent pitching changes without any really good starters are just BORING

I've been wondering – devil's-advocate sort of way – whether football fans had similar reactions to two-platoon football and later to the practice of constantly rotating personnel between plays. Much of that is before even my time. Though I do remember relatively early days of the "prevent defense" which entailed swapping an extra DB in for an LB. And I seem to remember Tom Landry being innovative in the early '70s by alternating tight ends (one of them usually Mike Ditka), the entering TE also bringing the play from the bench. (Am I making that up? Teams began to do things like that in the 1970s, anyway.)

It always seemed that football was getting more complicated, more anonymous, more systematized, and there was some nostalgia for the days when recognizable guys were on the field for most or all of their unit's downs (or for one-platoon days when they were on for every play). But fans gradually got over that, maybe because it happened gradually. Nowadays maybe there's one or two defensive stars you are alert for, and of course the QB, the main RB, and the top receivers because they are featured on most of the plays; but everybody else is as anonymous as offensive linemen have been for over a century now, and they shuttle on and off constantly.

So that seems to be the future of pitching. Forget who's pitching. They're some guy in the appropriate uniform. They are the mass "defensive unit." All the interest goes to the position players and DH. This involves a loss but also maybe a concentration of attention on hitting and fielding, just as football fans' attention centers on the "skill players."

Terrible? Not so bad? I don't know. But it's the way of things now.
   59. . . . . . . Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:54 AM (#6050958)
Who cares if the complaints are right or wrong. People are voting with their metaphorical feet. Baseball is well down the road to becoming boxing or horse racing, where a vocal core of fantics shriek about the purity of a game that no one gives a #### about anymore.
   60. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:55 AM (#6050959)
There were some good things about this series, but the two things that stood out were that both pitching staffs were struggling, even with the off-days there were multiple "bullpen games". The games were long and plodded, though in truth not noticeably more than your average regular season game, which could maybe be seen as an improvement. I would really like Rob Manfred or someone smarter than him to listen to these games on the radio - Jessica Mendoza, Dan Schulman, and Eduardo Perez did a really fine job (Perez is especially good once you get used to the nasal tone of his voice), but they have to work so hard to fill up the Dead Air as it takes 20 to 30 seconds for the next pitch to be thrown. There is this line that baseball crossed a few years ago related to time between pitches. When the next pitch is coming in 10 seconds or so, then the "stories" are secondary to the action. When the next pitch is showing up every 20 to 30 seconds, then the announcers have to invest a lot of time and energy into the "stories" they are telling to fill up the airwaves, and then the pitches, the actual action of the game, become secondary - the pitches interrupt the stories, almost in some cases to the annoyance of the person telling the story - not that I'm blaming the storyteller.
   61. . Posted: November 03, 2021 at 11:35 AM (#6050963)
It always seemed that football was getting more complicated, more anonymous, more systematized, and there was some nostalgia for the days when recognizable guys were on the field for most or all of their unit's downs (or for one-platoon days when they were on for every play). But fans gradually got over that, maybe because it happened gradually. Nowadays maybe there's one or two defensive stars you are alert for, and of course the QB, the main RB, and the top receivers because they are featured on most of the plays; but everybody else is as anonymous as offensive linemen have been for over a century now, and they shuttle on and off constantly.


Yeah, there were remnant old-timers BITD who bemoaned "two-platoon football," and I distinctly remember a long SI article in around 1983 by Dr. Z bemoaning the specialization, and attendant anonymity, involved in having RBs who were put in on passing downs and LBs and DBs shuttled in an out of nickel and dime defenses. Fast forward 38 years and there is way more passing in the game, but I'm going to have to disagree with the anonymity part. Pretty much all fans know at least the first four WRs, top two TEs and first four CBs on their teams and certainly at least the top three safeties. There are plenty of fans who know them on a bunch of the other teams.

And none of the specialization moves in football are anything close to eliminating the starting pitcher from baseball. The disappearance of "Who's pitching tonight?" is a bridge too far for me and I would suspect a bunch of other fans. I'm unable to do the "just consider them part of the defense" rationalization because I've never conceptualized any pitcher as just a defender -- or really even a defender at all.
   62. BDC Posted: November 03, 2021 at 11:43 AM (#6050965)
Yes, as commentators will sometimes note, the bat-and-ball sports are odd in that the defense has possession of the ball. Hence a pitcher or a bowler is more of an attacker than a defender, and why s/he has for so long been the key player in any sequence.
   63. winnipegwhip Posted: November 03, 2021 at 11:57 AM (#6050969)
At one point in the last week of the regular season Joe Girardi was asked about the status of a reliever for the next days game. (I cannot remember which reliever.) Girardi replied we had hoped to have him available tomorrow but he threw 13 pitches tonight and so he is doubtful.

I think that statement summed it up for me in regards to the use of bullpens in today's baseball.

If we limited the amount of pitchers that could be on a roster would that restrict the overuse of the bullpen?
   64. winnipegwhip Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:02 PM (#6050972)
I'm going to have to disagree with the anonymity part. Pretty much all fans know at least the first four WRs, top two TEs and first four CBs on their teams and certainly at least the top three safeties. There are plenty of fans who know them on a bunch of the other teams.


The ease of access to information (24 hour sports coverage and the internet) plus the rise of fantasy football helped change the level of desire of knowledge and availability of information.

In 1983 we only got 3 Sunday games (one would be closest local team) and one Monday night game. There was a chance you may never see a team on television throughout the season.
   65. BDC Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:03 PM (#6050973)
And naturally I can't persuade anybody to enjoy a given sports strategy, and am not trying. I am just trying to imagine a way someone might enjoy it.

So instead of "Hey, Johnny Bench is batting! He's facing Steve Carlton! This is great!"

one has to think

"Hey, Freddie Freeman is batting! He's facing … Elemental forces of nature? Ambient background noise? The communal spirit of Metdom? This is great!"
   66. winnipegwhip Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:07 PM (#6050974)
The disappearance of "Who's pitching tonight?" is a bridge too far for me and I would suspect a bunch of other fans. I'm unable to do the "just consider them part of the defense" rationalization because I've never conceptualized any pitcher as just a defender -- or really even a defender at all.


I agree. There was a time when pitching matchups mattered. Rogers vs Carlton. Martinez vs Clemens. Ford vs Pierce. Jenkins vs Gibson. Maddux vs Schilling. If anything the tickets could be sold on these names alone to a semi knowledgeable baseball fan.
   67. It's Spelled With a CFBF, But Not Where You Think Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:18 PM (#6050978)
I do think there was a little bad luck when it came to pitching this postseason. Game five of the World Series probably should have been Charlie Morton vs. Lance McCullers, not Tucker Davidson and a Cast of Thousands vs. Framber Valdez on Short Rest. And the Dodgers don't have to rely so heavily on bullpen games in the LCS if Kershaw is healthy and/or Bauer doesn't...um, have his whole deal going on. You can even go back to the Braves losing Mike Soroka earlier in the year.

That obviously doesn't really refute the overall trends, which are much bigger than any given match-up. But my team just won the World Series, so I kind of enjoy bringing it up.
   68. and Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#6050984)
McCullers/Morton would have been really cool.

The problem with pitching, as 67 alludes to, isn't just a change in strategy. It's that pitchers are getting hurt at an increasing rate. Every manager, every analytics guy, would love to have Bob Gibson (or Fried, Kerhsaw, McCullers, etc) on the mound for 7 or 8 or 9 innings. But they aren't there or are gassed by the 6th. Bullpen games are selected against a choice of a 5th or 6th starter, not the ace.
   69. DL from MN Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:44 PM (#6050989)
It's not the anonymous relievers, by game 4 I was pretty familiar with the entire bullpen for both teams.

It's the standing around. Everyone except the catcher (who has to do squats for 3-1/2 hours) is spending most of their time standing around waiting. Wait for the batter to get in the box. Wait for the sign. Wait for the pitcher to throw the damn ball after getting the sign. Batter steps out, process repeats. Get the sign and throw the pitch.
   70. base ball chick Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:57 PM (#6050998)
BDC Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:51 AM (#6050956)
frequent pitching changes without any really good starters are just BORING

I've been wondering – devil's-advocate sort of way – whether football fans had similar reactions to two-platoon football and later to the practice of constantly rotating personnel between plays.


- i know this is an example of 1, but my mama told me she lost interest in football when (and sorry if i am not saying this right) when the offense and defense guys stopped being the same guys. and it was seriously OVAH when the guys starting on purpose trying to badly injure each other (some guy started the hitting the other guy illegally and some guy broke some other guy's neck and the rest of the league tried to do the same kind of stuff) because trying to permanently disable another guy makes things Exciting and is Manly (Tm)


winnipegwhip Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:07 PM (#6050974)

The disappearance of "Who's pitching tonight?" is a bridge too far for me and I would suspect a bunch of other fans. I'm unable to do the "just consider them part of the defense" rationalization because I've never conceptualized any pitcher as just a defender -- or really even a defender at all.

I agree. There was a time when pitching matchups mattered. Rogers vs Carlton. Martinez vs Clemens.


- this is truth. when nolan ryan joined the rangers, they said his name sold 5000 something more tix than any other guy and also, this knocked the Kowboyz off the headline of the papers. When roger clemens joined the astros, it created astros hysteria like nothing before or after including verlander or the Unit.

no one is feeling like that about ANY reliever. including any cy young closer or something

- the only ones who shrug about - who's pitching tonight - are the gamblers because it does not batter. i mean matter

   71. winnipegwhip Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:04 PM (#6050999)
Every manager, every analytics guy, would love to have Bob Gibson (or Fried, Kerhsaw, McCullers, etc) on the mound for 7 or 8 or 9 innings. But they aren't there or are gassed by the 6th. Bullpen games are selected against a choice of a 5th or 6th starter, not the ace.


True. But is this a result of front office thinking over the past few decades. First off is money.... We have a lot invested in this prospect. We better not risk him getting hurt in the minors. Shut him down at 50 pitches. Thereby starting pitching became less of a long distance or medium distance race but an all out effort to win a short distance sprint. Therefore velocity climbed and baseball's love with velocity since Amos Rusie was not going to stop that.

For 20 years I have read in Baseball America on reports of prospects who "if he cannot develop a third pitch, he will have a future in the bullpen..." This is a logical conclusion to a path in which baseball has been undergoing for a long time.
   72. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:07 PM (#6051000)
When the longtime fans are discouraged, and you are not bringing in any "new" fans, it's time for changes. There is no Teddy Roosevelt coming to save baseball like he did football in 1906 or whenever. So it's going to have to be -- Rob Manfred and Tony Clark.
   73. and Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:12 PM (#6051002)
71: Sure, but reducing worklogs was a rational response to the observation that pitchers get hurt. It turns out, that reducing workload doesn't really reduce the injuries much. It's going to be really hard to turn the ship around at this point.
   74. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6051005)

The WSJ had an article today saying that the infield combination of Bergman, Altuve, Correa, and Gurriel is the longest serving infield in history since the wild card was introduced in 1995. I don’t know why they picked that date but that group has started 335 games together surpassing Teixeira, cano, a-rod, jeter

I would have guessed the Garvey infield had more. Interesting question as to who holds this record - any ideas ?


It looks like the member of the $100,000 Infield that had the fewest games from 1910-14 was Stuffy McInness, with 614. I suppose there must have been a few games where one or another didn't play for some reason, but probably pretty few.
   75. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6051007)
Sure, but reducing workloads was a rational response to the observation that pitchers get hurt. It turns out, that reducing workload doesn't really reduce the injuries much.


I wonder if there is a way that one can "show" a pitcher is durable, e.g. pitch them a lot in the minor leagues and then, well, if their arm hasn't fallen off yet, should be something the team can invest in, e.g. call them up to the majors. I don't know. Steel has a fatigue limit, aluminum does not.
   76. and Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6051009)
I doubt it but if I were a MLB team, I'd be investing heavily in trying. I can't believe teams don't do routine MRIs on a monthly basis up and down the org. But, from a lifetime of casual observation, it looks like every pitcher will get hurt. The question is when. Use definitely hurts, as does intensity. But it also seems pretty random.
   77. . Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:30 PM (#6051011)
Throwing a small ball at pace, overhand, is an orthopedic disaster waiting to happen. That's the primary thing and it hasn't changed in 100 years. Secondarily, we can certainly conclude that all the "science" and the "analytics" being put into managing workloads and all the rest haven't helped the injury problem; adjusting for orthopedic and surgical quality improvements over the past 40 years, it's worsened it.

TJ surgery among football QBs is extremely rare, as is shoulder surgery. Not unheard of, of course, but nothing even remotely close to its frequency among pitchers. The size/dimension/proportion/weight of the ball is obviously a massive factor, though I'm not sure that lends any lessons for baseball.
   78. . Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6051012)
it looks like every pitcher will get hurt. The question is when.


Yep -- the seeming inevitability of the injury is higher now than ever. A bunch of pitchers have gotten hurt, obviously, since the mid-1970s but 40 years ago there wasn't even close to the sense that literally every single pitcher in baseball was a TJ operation waiting to happen the way it is now. The quality of the medicine and the surgery has pretty clearly lessened the fear of it now, and that's probably a contributing factor.

But there isn't the least proper sense that today's lower workloads have lessened the injury possibilities. Whatever "science" and "analytics" are being put into it are return-to-sender junk on every level. The area needs a total rethink and reboot.
   79. and Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6051013)
We know that now. We didn't know that 40 years ago.
   80. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:41 PM (#6051014)
"And on our late news tonight local reaction to the stunning US victory over the Russians in today's hockey game."

Bill Bonds did the same thing on the ABC affiliate in Detroit that night. (But we already knew that the US had won, because Frank Reynolds on the ABC national news mentioned it right after the game ended.)

The 1980 USSR game, incidentally, was the last time a USA Olympic hockey game was NOT carried live on TV.
   81. Perry Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:46 PM (#6051016)
In the first inning, how was Brantley safe? He did not step on the base as he passed first, stepped on Fried’s ankle. Fried’s foot wasn’t on the bag at the time of contact, but in the replays it sure looked like in the follow through his other foot contacted the base after the contact.


It's an appeal play. The Braves needed to either step on first or tag him and say "He never touched first." Once he returned to the bag, there was nothing they could do. It's similar to the play you sometimes see where a guy slides home, misses it, but the C misses the tag. If the defense never goes to tag him or step on home and say "he missed it," the run counts.
   82. . Posted: November 03, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6051017)
We know that now. We didn't know that 40 years ago.


Or the pitchers back then in fact weren't all TJ operations waiting to happen.
   83. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: November 03, 2021 at 02:07 PM (#6051019)
Or the pitchers back then in fact weren't all TJ operations waiting to happen.


My understanding of history, looking at pitchers whose career ended prematurely, 40 years ago or more, seems to indicate a lot more pitchers retired or were released because their shoulders went bad, e.g. rotator cuff, or "tired arm" I think they called it. That tended to happen when it did in the mid-30's or later. Sometimes after a year off the pitcher would try a comeback, and sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn't. I don't remember nearly the number of pitchers whose career ended because of a torn ligament in their elbow - and no pitcher before Tommy John ever came back from it.

It could be that, because of the different usage of pitchers these days (max effort all the time) and different training regimens, which don't involve throwing a lot of innings, the pitchers are more prone to ligament damage. I don't see a lot of pitchers having problems with their rotator-cuff these days, and I think that is because they blow out their elbow ligament first.


The game as played today under existing rules basically forces managers to pitch a succession of FFT's (Fungible Flame Throwers) at max effort for an inning at a time, and assume they are going to blow out their elbow in a season or two.
   84. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 03, 2021 at 02:32 PM (#6051024)
It could be that, because of the different usage of pitchers these days (max effort all the time) and different training regimens, which don't involve throwing a lot of innings, the pitchers are more prone to ligament damage.

It starts long before professional teams get their hands on players. Pitchers today have grown up in an environment where they have a high-stakes tournament for their travelball team to play every weekend since elementary school, and needing TJS before graduating high school is a common occurrence. There is no off season to give growing bodies a chance to recover from the stresses caused by the particular sport they are specializing in. One of my nieces had won the 2B job for her highly decorated HS softball team last year as a freshman but never appeared in a game because her back hurt so much from years of travelball that she spent the season in an upper body cast and even now gets regular acupuncture treatments (remember, as a high school sophomore) to relieve the pain. They still managed to fare OK without her, winning the state 5-A championship, and she got a ring but I'm sure it's a hollow feeling knowing she never took the field for them.
   85. winnipegwhip Posted: November 03, 2021 at 02:57 PM (#6051028)
Bill Bonds did the same thing on the ABC affiliate in Detroit that night. (But we already knew that the US had won, because Frank Reynolds on the ABC national news mentioned it right after the game ended.)


I am also sure it was a poorly kept secret in the Detroit area being right next to Windsor Ontario where the game was broadcast live on Canadian television.
   86. Buck Coats Posted: November 03, 2021 at 03:17 PM (#6051035)
Complaints about the lateness of have been around just as long. One reason they’re so ever-present? Many of the loudest voices, in the media and in the larger populace, live in the Eastern Time Zone. If you live in California—and, you know, a lot of people do, as it turns out — the games are done in time for a late dinner.


It might also be because I would imagine a lot more Braves fans live in the Eastern Time Zone than live in California. And a lot more Astros fans live in the Central Time Zone than California. Why should a series between an Eastern and a Central team have times optimized for California?

Not to mention that (as of 2015 at least) 48% of the US population is in the Eastern Time Zone, with another 29% in Central. (7 in Mountain, 17 in Pacific)
   87. Darren Posted: November 03, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6051039)
A headline that hedges with "Almost All" doesn't excite get the blood pumping. I guess they used it because they say 2 of the 6 complaints are valid?


Are managers supposed to say, “This pitcher is the right choice here to give us the best chance to win this game, but I won’t use him because a guy on his couch in Connecticut just went to the bathroom five minutes ago and therefore has nothing to occupy his time while my pitcher comes in from the bullpen?” Imagine telling a football coach that home viewers would like it if he benched his starting quarterback and started someone more aesthetically satisfying, and that if he doesn’t do so, he is somehow hurting the sport?



This one is really bad. I don't know anybody who's saying the managers should make choices based on what fans like to watch. They're just saying what they like to watch. A better parallel would be viewers complaining that watching teams punt or kick field goals is boring. They don't expect the coaches to do something stupid to make the game more fun to watch, they just don't like to watch that part of the game.
   88. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: November 03, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6051045)
Are managers supposed to say, “This pitcher is the right choice here to give us the best chance to win this game, but I won’t use him because a guy on his couch in Connecticut just went to the bathroom five minutes ago and therefore has nothing to occupy his time while my pitcher comes in from the bullpen?” Imagine telling a football coach that home viewers would like it if he benched his starting quarterback and started someone more aesthetically satisfying, and that if he doesn’t do so, he is somehow hurting the sport?


There are two points to make:

1) Analytics, modern training regimes, modern roster construction (in the 19th century folks didn't have 25 man rosters plus 15 other players in the farm system that could be there overnight) all point to the optimal strategy being a whole bunch of Fungible Flame Throwers. One cannot blame the manager for using the optimal strategy.

2) This same optimal strategy creates an enormous amount of time where nothing is happening. There is NO ENTERTAINMENT VALUE. That's not the same as punting or field goals. Absolutely NOTHING is happening after the manager makes the call to the bullpen. There is the tedium of the player taking another warm up toss, gathering his/her jacket, walking in from the bullpen (why no bullpen carts anymore?) and the tedium of warm-up tosses.

When that happened once or twice a game it was o.k., when it happens 5 or 6 or 8 times a game, it has gone from an annoyance to an impediment to enjoyment, and especially so when one is at the game itself.

Sometimes it has the feeling of a rather long and incomprehensible religious ceremony - it's beautiful in parts, with tradition and a tie to the past, but there are a lot of people who feel they have to be there, but secretly wish it would just get over already.

I guess I harp on all this too much. I really do love baseball and it's frustrating watching it devolve into what will rapidly become a niche sport. Are the baseball execs so dumb that they don't see how fast things change these days?
   89. Mr. Hotfoot Jackson (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: November 03, 2021 at 04:20 PM (#6051048)
I hadn’t thought about the bedtime issue. I think the first WS that ended with a night game was 1974, and by then I was a senior in high school.


Wait ... what? I'm just a few months younger than you, & in 10/74 I was a few weeks into 10th grade. Either you skipped a couple of grades along the way or I was held back a couple of times & have blotted it out of my memory.
   90. BDC Posted: November 03, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6051049)
Doug, yes. Time between pitches (or pitchers) in baseball is like endless strings of fouls in the last minute of a basketball game, or interminable video review in football. Just remove the dead-time non-playing fussing around and the complaints will go away too.
   91. BDC Posted: November 03, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6051051)
you skipped a couple of grades along the way

That would be me :). But of course I was still 15 and I did not have a bedtime. Heck, much of the year I was at rehearsals for shows well into the night and got home way after my father did, unless he was rehearsing too.
   92. Mr. Hotfoot Jackson (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: November 03, 2021 at 04:56 PM (#6051062)
I never knew of any instances of skipped grades in our school. I suppose none of us was sufficiently advanced.
   93. winnipegwhip Posted: November 03, 2021 at 05:09 PM (#6051063)
I never knew of any instances of skipped grades in our school. I suppose none of us was sufficiently advanced.


I ended up skipping a grade in school. How this came about is during my first year in kindergarten we moved to Ontario. Ontario goes from kindergarten to Grade 13 while other provinces go K-12. It was determined that I was a year behind in the Ontario school system. So I ended getting Kindergarten and Grade 1 in one year. (Kindergarten in the morning and Grade 1 in the afternoon.) I pass and go along into Grade 2 and when my family gets moved back to the prairies I remain in that grade moving forward. So ultimately I ended up going through school one year quicker. Thank you Ontario for all the padding you do with the extra year.
   94. . Posted: November 03, 2021 at 05:13 PM (#6051065)
There should be zero warmup pitches on the mound. No other sport has such a thing and it's a time waste. As Doug said, when it happened a couple times a game, no real big deal, but now -- massive deal. Warmup in the bullpen like the backup QB warms up on the sideline and then come in and start playing. In case of injury, hockey goalies have to come in literally from the bench with no warmup beyond what they got in pregame and the between periods skate.

Bring back the bullpen carts, drive the guy quickly to the mound, then it's time to play again. Stop ####### dawdling already.

A foreign culture of pondering, chin stroking, deliberating, preparing, calculating, and analyzing has grown up in baseball over the past 30 years. It's become insufferable and it needs to be eradicated. That #### isn't sport. It's the stuff of middle-aged middle managers.
   95. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 03, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6051069)
No trip to the mound to take out the pitcher, either - none of the Dusty Baker crap where he sends the catcher out, catcher chats for a while, then he himself comes out, spends a few minutes in a charade with the assembly on the mound while the next pitcher keeps warming up, and only then does he signal to the bullpen. The manager should just signal the change from the dugout. If the catcher or any other player or coach visits the mound, the pitcher has to stay in for at least one more batter.
   96. and Posted: November 03, 2021 at 06:27 PM (#6051083)
84 makes an important point.
   97. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 03, 2021 at 07:01 PM (#6051090)
Sure, these are all fun time saving measures listed above. Here's 2. Which we have discussed a gazillion times.

Batter stays in box
Pitcher has 12-15 seconds to pitch ball after receiving it.

Problem solved.
   98. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 03, 2021 at 07:05 PM (#6051094)
#97 amen.

When a 15-second pitch clock was tried in Low-A ball this year, it cut game times by 21 minutes. It also resulted in more runs and HR, and fewer BBs and Ks.

Even if had a 20-second clock it would still save a fair amount of time at the MLB level, and the game would feel faster.
   99. winnipegwhip Posted: November 03, 2021 at 07:10 PM (#6051096)
In regards to the speed of the game....I am watching a game from 1977. Bill Bonham just gave Ted Sizemore an intentional walk. The 4 pitches took 23 seconds.
   100. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 03, 2021 at 07:16 PM (#6051098)
Bill Bonham just gave Ted Sizemore an intentional walk. The 4 pitches took 23 seconds.
Literally the one aspect in which the pace is better now than it was then.
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