Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Manfred: Expanded playoffs likely to remain beyond 2020

While appearing on a virtual panel organized by Hofstra University’s business school on Monday, commissioner Rob Manfred said the league’s expanded postseason format featuring 16 teams would likely return in 2021 and beyond, according to Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post.

“I think there’s a lot to commend it,” Manfred said of the format, “and it is one of those changes I hope will become a permanent part of our landscape.”

The commissioner added that “an overwhelming majority” of owners favored the expanded playoffs before the pandemic shortened this season to 60 games and necessitated the change.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 16, 2020 at 09:18 AM | 154 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: post-season

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2
   101. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 17, 2020 at 04:06 PM (#5977295)
The NHL awards the President's Trophy to the team with the most regular season points and no one gives two shits about it.


It's worse than that: the President's Trophy is considered anathema; nobody dares touch it or even look at it (it helps that it's kinda ugly). It would out of the question for a team to skate around with the PT (or the trophies they hand out for winning the conference playoff titles); that would just p!ss off the Hockey Gods beyond all measure, thus ruining the team's chances of winning the Cup for the next billion years or so.
   102. KronicFatigue Posted: September 17, 2020 at 04:24 PM (#5977301)
Does anyone know of someone who was introduced to baseball as an adult and became a fan? Not just a fan of going to a couple of games during the summer w/ the hotdogs and beers, etc, but actually following the game? I don't think they exist.

I like baseball. I used to love baseball. But at it's core, it's a boring game. It's a boringly long season. That's a feature, not a bug. Every step towards making it "more exciting" in an artificial will bring in casual observers but not "real fans". Because you'll never be able to match the excitement of other sports.

I'm all for making the in game product actually more exciting (I'm an advocate of finding ways to minimize TTO and putting the ball in play more often and quicker), but artificial attempts at "these games count more now" are only damaging.
   103. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2020 at 05:27 PM (#5977316)
Does anyone know of someone who was introduced to baseball as an adult and became a fan? Not just a fan of going to a couple of games during the summer w/ the hotdogs and beers, etc, but actually following the game? I don't think they exist.


Two of my sisters became at least more than casual fans as adults. One of my sisters was a bartender and became a hockey/baseball fan because of the fact that she had to watch it all the time, (she didn't work Sundays so football never figured into her life) She followed it enough... but is probably more your hotdog and beer fan more than anything... my other sister became a "sports" fan later in her life and even though she lives in Colorado will fight her husband over Cardinals vs Rockies and knows enough about the sport... Both are older sisters than me, and while I was in the Marines, both sent me letters talking about the Cardinals and baseball... never what I would call hard core fans... but there are people who identify themselves as hard core fans, who I don't consider hard core fans either.


I think the number of people who become hard core fans with zero knowledge of a product before they are 20 years old is probably non-existent for most forms of entertainment, unless the form of entertainment didn't really exist in their universe before (such as anime) so they couldn't even start making a decision on, and even there, you would have years of cartoons to help bridge the gap. I will say that I hated hard music as a kid.... I prided myself as a fan of "good music" like Chicago, Air Supply and Neil Diamond growing up, much better than garbage like Aerosmith, Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin(to me good hard music was Meat Loaf) ... I reach 21 years or so of age, and am now following Megadeth, Tool or Anthrax with a passion. (still can't stand what is classic rock... outside of Queen and Styx, not much good music came out of the 70's) etc... it's tastes and peoples taste do change and their passions change....

Heck I think the number of hard core fans of anything diminishes with age.... I made Star Wars movies with action figures in the 80's... I have never seen a Star Wars movie that I would give a rating below 8... there is no such thing as a bad Star Wars movie (I wish Indiana Jones could say the same thing) I read probably the first 30 or so books, starting with Minds Eye and the Lando Calrissian series by L Neil Smith (and the Han Solo series) going up to and including the death of Chewbacca etc.... nowadays.... I watch the movies and that is about it.... I don't follow everything.... Heck I collect action figures and don't even bother with Star Wars... this is something that was a larger part of my life growing up than baseball... but I moved on. (well maybe not larger, but at least equal)

The point is that I don't think people as adults become obsessive into these things (by adult I mean after 30) I think the obsession starts sooner and sticks or doesn't stick, but as we age, they do fade a bit.... life concerns etc... but the advantage of having an obsession with something like Star Trek/Wars is that it honestly requires a lot less of your time than a sport obsession does.... and it's not limited as much by seasons. So it's easier to become obsessed with My Hero Academia as an adult than it is a sport (sadly I know too many adults who become obsessed with video games, and those actually do require even more time spent on them than being a sports obsessed geek---my brother in law and nephew get home from work/school and spend every minute home playing a video game...eat...then repeat 365 days a year)
   104. Yanigan Posted: September 17, 2020 at 06:50 PM (#5977334)
In the same boat as a lot of you. That "never let a crisis go to waste" feeling in baseball has me as indifferent about the 2020 game as many others here. The game I'm missing now is something else altogether.

My granddaughter made the varsity volleyball team at her high school, and to learn something about it I started watching games on Big Ten Network. Next thing I know, I'm a fan.

Nebraska has a perennial contender, and their games always sell out the 8,000-seat Devaney center. After attending high school games with about fifty friends and family, that's a nice thing to see.

And while it's not surprising that the Nebraska athlete with the most social media followers is the QB, in second place is Lexi Sun from the volleyball team. The Big Ten is hoping to get the season started in January, and bring it on, I say.
   105. caspian88 Posted: September 17, 2020 at 07:36 PM (#5977343)
cardsfanboy, I'm 32 years old and I utterly dismissed hockey until the end of last season - no one in my family is a fan, I never had any friends who were fans, the local team (San Jose) has never really had such spectacular success that they'd bring in a lot of bandwagon fans to drag me along, and so on. My girlfriend is a hockey fan of long standing, so we went to a game, I started following the game a little bit, and it just clicked in me. Now I'm watching almost every game I can get my hands on.

I think it triggers two things in my mind - learning about a new thing and filling the sports void that baseball has left (both because the Giants suck and because watching baseball now sucks). Learning new things is probably the key here (I've also been reading a lot of popular physics books lately), and both are pre-pandemic inclinations so its not that.

I do think you're right in general, though.

And I can also recommend a little 1970's music that might fit a little with your new passions.
   106. Zach Posted: September 17, 2020 at 08:20 PM (#5977351)
Does anyone know of someone who was introduced to baseball as an adult and became a fan? Not just a fan of going to a couple of games during the summer w/ the hotdogs and beers, etc, but actually following the game? I don't think they exist.

In grad school, we had lots of Europeans who really took to it. It helps that the atmosphere is much more family friendly than a European soccer game.
   107. Darren Posted: September 17, 2020 at 08:28 PM (#5977352)
With other major sports thriving with expanded playoffs, we can't be surprised that baseball would do the same. And I'm not sure they're wrong. Most fans won't care. They'll just be happy to see their team in the playoffs.
   108. Zach Posted: September 17, 2020 at 08:32 PM (#5977354)
It does seem like in many sports, the lasting contribution of analytics is to point out that there's an overlooked but tedious and unwatchable strategy that dominates the old fashioned but interesting and dramatic strategy everyone likes.

"Hey, did you know that steals and contact hitting aren't actually that valuable? The three true outcomes are all that matters!"

"Hey, did you know that throwing up threes is actually the best thing you can do? Bonus -- they're impossible to defend, so the whole game turns into a jump shooting contest!"

And in football, we're getting the first wave:

"Hey, did you know that the running game is much less productive than the passing game..."
   109. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2020 at 08:55 PM (#5977359)
My granddaughter made the varsity volleyball team at her high school, and to learn something about it I started watching games on Big Ten Network. Next thing I know, I'm a fan.


Volleyball when filmed right is a delight to watch... I'm not sure I can watch it in the stands, but it's pace as a sport is perfectly enjoyable, provided that is something you might like (heck tennis is the same way... the issue is more about finding quality matches than it's about enjoying the sport to be honest.) The thing about these is that to truly obsess over it, you need to find a player or team you like, and random viewings work well enough, but they aren't going to make you a fan.

There is a reason that the US had a groundswell of support behind the women's soccer team, they were good, they were entertaining and they had a chance of winning. Yes I admit that a part of the enjoyment of watching a team is upon their ability to win, that is how you develop fans... after that you can work and converting them as full time fans.

At least at the highest level.
   110. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 17, 2020 at 09:06 PM (#5977364)
"How are there more meaningful games in a 16-team playoff? You're not adding meaningful games, you're just *shifting* the quality window for which teams have meaningful games. Teams like the Mariners, Reds, Cardinals, and Brewers have more meaningful games, but the NL West Dodgers/Padres and the AL Central Indians/Twins/White Sox jamboree don't actually matter. And even worse, with more playoff spots, each individual playoff spot means even less, so you have worse teams also fighting for a worse prize."

There have been many years where there are huge swaths of the schedule full of games involving two bottom feeders with no chance of the playoffs. That is not good for baseball. If the Kansas City Royals are not very good, but they are playing a team in contention, well, at least they can act as spoilers. An expanded playoff helps this. I think it also decreases the incentive to do a true tank job, because one is perhaps always one or two players away from contending (see this year's San Francisco Giants as an example).

One can help to avoid the "meaningless games" for the leading by making getting a high seed worthwhile - byes, etc. The old system with the single-elimination wild card game was great from an incentive standpoint - one really wanted to avoid having to play that game (as an A's fan I'm highly sensitized to that). A little imagination and I think make the regular season important for everyone. The Dodgers aren't going to rest Clayton Kershaw if losing a particular game means they might play a 5 game series against the Braves versus skipping a round and playing a 7 game series against probably the Cubs, for example.

"It does seem like in many sports, the lasting contribution of analytics is to point out that there's an overlooked but tedious and unwatchable strategy that dominates the old fashioned but interesting and dramatic strategy everyone likes."

I tend to think of these things as kinda an "S-curve" of game rule development. There is an early period where obvious 'tedious-but-rewarded' strategies are discovered by the players/coaches/etc., and then the powers-that-be respond by modifying the rules to get rid of them. The rules stabilize after a time, when most of these strategies have been discovered. So - in baseball, bunting with 2 strikes was penalized to prevent people from simply sitting there and fouling off pitch after pitch. In hockey, icing was invented to eliminate indiscriminate puck-clearing as a defensive strategy. In football, lineman are not allowed to join together to prevent the flying wedge (which isn't tedious but is incredibly dangerous). What analytics has done is discover some tedious but allowed strategies that were not so obvious otherwise, and may not have been discovered "naturally" for a long time, if ever. The natural response for a living, breathing sport where people care is that rules have to change. That's what folks would have done in the past, before things became so ossified to the point of almost religion. TTO, one-inning-relievers, 30 seconds between pitches, these things are not going to change by themselves.

   111. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2020 at 09:06 PM (#5977365)
"Hey, did you know that steals and contact hitting aren't actually that valuable? The three true outcomes are all that matters!"


Except they are, if you do them at a certain rate. The best hitters in baseball are absolutely those who defy the convention of babip. Steals above a certain rate are great, defense beyond just looking good is great... the stat community didn't wreck those, they gave numbers to those skills.

as far as the other sports are concerned, I can't comment, but my guess is, based upon other comments is that the three point is a good strategy if you have someone who can do it beyond a certain level... heck I know jack #### about basketball... but I imagine if you have a team with a great three point shooter and a great guy at recovering the ball when it bounces off the rim, you might have a recipe for an NBA championship caliber team... Combine Steph Curry with someone like Dennis Rodman and I imagine you have a devastating team based upon just two hof quality players. (of course that could be said about a lot of things... my point is that the three point shot is really effective if you have a great rebound man to recover the misses and then take the two....)

And in regards to football... I'm a huge baseball fan, but the NFL cerebral unit from the coaches point of view has been in effect longer than the analysts, they were ahead of the curve... Coryell was doing this crap in the 70's. The running game has mostly been about time control than it's about anything else, that has been well known since the 70's. The tv talking heads might be quoting nonsense but the coaches have known what works pretty much since Montana put on a 49's uniform.
   112. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 17, 2020 at 09:37 PM (#5977380)
I work for a company flooded with non-American born people (engineering). I have a number of co-workers who got here knowing nothing about baseball who have become at least casual fans. They enjoy the game. My brother was never a big fan as a kid, he’s a diehard now.
   113. friendofafriend Posted: September 17, 2020 at 09:58 PM (#5977394)
I had suggested a double-bye system and someone said it would cause too many off days for the 1 and 2 seeds.

I don't think that has to be the case. If the season ends on Sunday, the 5-8 round could be single game and be on Tuesday. The next round could be best of 3, all games at the higher seeded teams, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then have a day off, and the Division Series could start on Saturday. A tough travel schedule for any team that survives the first round, but manageable -- and deserved, given their weaker regular season performance. The top 2 seeds would have only 5 days off, but that sometimes happens now. The difference is they would know about the 5 days going in. It would not be a matter of not knowing when another series will end. So they could plan their practice schedule accordingly, maybe even have a scrimmage as someone mentioned.

I just hope they don't expose the #1 to the #8 in a best of 3 after a full season. The season can't be a total dog-and-pony-show, can it?
   114. Howie Menckel Posted: September 17, 2020 at 10:04 PM (#5977395)
I just hope they don't expose the #1 to the #8 in a best of 3 after a full season.

anything that avoids that has my vote.

even setting aside decades of futility, a team - call them the Lodgers - that wins 65 percent of its games in the regular season will lose a best-of-3 to a .500 team what, maybe 40 percent of the time?

that's a ridiculous added hurdle to what already is a daunting postseason.

and sure, when the Mets "sweep" the Dodg - er, Lodgers - I'll take it. but mainly because of 1988. it sucks to go 11-1 against a team in the regular season and then get beat in the playoffs.
   115. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 17, 2020 at 10:21 PM (#5977399)
What analytics has done is discover some tedious but allowed strategies that were not so obvious otherwise, and may not have been discovered "naturally" for a long time, if ever. The natural response for a living, breathing sport where people care is that rules have to change. That's what folks would have done in the past, before things became so ossified to the point of almost religion. TTO, one-inning-relievers, 30 seconds between pitches, these things are not going to change by themselves.
This is really well said. And I'm going to try to keep this in mind the next time I'm inclined to knee-jerk oppose some change baseball is contemplated. (Granted I don't think they've targeted the right things yet, but still.)
   116. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 18, 2020 at 12:09 AM (#5977415)
Averaging over 2019 and 2020 The pitcher with the lowest "average" time-between-pitches is Luis Castillo, at 21.9, which is SLOWER than the putative pitch clock target value of 20 seconds, and ridiculous in comparison with games one can watch (on Youtube, et. al.) from the 1970's where pitchers often threw the next pitch in around 6 seconds. The pitcher with the highest "average" time-between-pitches is Yu Darvish, at 29.4 seconds. They got rid of this problem in chess with the little box with the timer.

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=y&type=c,4,5,11,7,8,13,-1,36,37,40,43,44,48,51,-1,6,45,62,-1,59,299&season=2020&month=0&season1=2019&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter;=&players=0&startdate=2019-01-01&enddate=2020-12-31&sort=20,a

   117. Howie Menckel Posted: September 18, 2020 at 12:15 AM (#5977416)
I have resisted reprising this for many months, and properly so.

but even an old guy with a DVR can cut that time between pitches by at least 80 percent.

it's as close to the adage of "buying time" as one can get.

you will want to stay off social media for, say, a half-hour to avoid spoilers until you watch every pitch in a span of only 10 minutes - but then you can rejoin the live world briefly, before getting back to directing your own baseball game without any worries of how long the pitcher and/or batter dallies.

with you as director, it's the 1970s all over again - and it is glorious.
   118. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 18, 2020 at 01:00 AM (#5977419)
Re: 117,

Yes I realize with a DVR it's the 1970's all over again. But have you been to a game in person recently? So many people are not even watching the game, they lose concentration.
Those folks are there "just to be there", and you will lose those folks over time. Plus the DVR technique is not good for advertising revenue. You want people to watch the games live, and to enjoy watching them, otherwise the game will not have enough revenue to continue.

Btw, I watched Shane Bieber against the Tigers tonight, and it was pretty good, he works fast. Not fast enough, but pretty fast. It was reasonable enjoyable to watch. Then I looked him up on Fangraphs, and he is one of the leaders (averaged over the last 2 years) in "Pace", along with Zach Davies, another one of my favorites. They make the games enjoyable to watch.
   119. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: September 18, 2020 at 03:40 AM (#5977423)
I really enjoy cricket, but I will note that if you're concerned about pace-of-play in MLB right now . . . hoo boy. Even the short forms of the game, given the increased relative importance of every delivery, end up with tweakings of field settings and conferences between the fielding team's players as the game moves towards its close.

One of the reasons, I think, that the intense excitement at the close of some of the really great cricket matches is so memorable is because it's so rare. Even the best 5-day Test matches are unlikely to have more than a few hours in them where the crowd is collectively watching every moment and background noise is more than a gentle murmur. (Apart from anything else, it takes time for enough of the spectators in an English ground to get enough pints down them to want to make noise, but not so much that they doze off in the summer sun. When it appears.)
   120. Howie Menckel Posted: September 18, 2020 at 09:17 AM (#5977436)
But have you been to a game in person recently?


not recently, no
:)

but I was on hand for the Mets' final game of last season, when Dom Smith - after 2 months on the shelf due to injury - came to bat in extra innings and hit a walkoff HR to complete the Mets' 42-21 second-half stretch run (that was so impressive that the manager got fired anyway).

I actually find I can tolerate the languid pace of games in person, for whatever reason.
   121. SoSH U at work Posted: September 18, 2020 at 09:52 AM (#5977439)
I have resisted reprising this for many months, and properly so.

but even an old guy with a DVR can cut that time between pitches by at least 80 percent.

it's as close to the adage of "buying time" as one can get.

you will want to stay off social media for, say, a half-hour to avoid spoilers until you watch every pitch in a span of only 10 minutes - but then you can rejoin the live world briefly, before getting back to directing your own baseball game without any worries of how long the pitcher and/or batter dallies.


with you as director, it's the 1970s all over again - and it is glorious.



Howie, have you considered the possibility that most of the rest of us are aware of this solution, and have determined that, for us, it's a wholly unsatisfying way to watch a baseball game?

My life's ambition is not to be a DIY Roone Arledge.
   122. Greg Pope Posted: September 18, 2020 at 10:15 AM (#5977442)
the NFL cerebral unit from the coaches point of view has been in effect longer than the analysts, they were ahead of the curve... Coryell was doing this crap in the 70's. The running game has mostly been about time control than it's about anything else, that has been well known since the 70's. The tv talking heads might be quoting nonsense but the coaches have known what works pretty much since Montana put on a 49's uniform.

I do agree that football's been doing this for a long time. But there's definitely been some data-driven changes lately. The biggest one, I think, is that they've analyzed the numbers on going for it on fourth down and figured out that they should be doing that way more often. It's certainly had an effect on the game, as you'll see teams going for it on fourth a couple of times a game, whereas you used to only see it when they were down a bunch in the fourth quarter.
   123. Howie Menckel Posted: September 18, 2020 at 10:39 AM (#5977447)
Howie, have you considered the possibility that most of the rest of us are aware of this solution, and have determined that, for us, it's a wholly unsatisfying way to watch a baseball game?

I am well aware of it.

but it seems as if all I ever see are comments about an issue that, in fact, is eminently fixable.

if that solution doesn't work for someone, well, that's up to each person.

but there is one, for many of us, if the main issue really is "I don't want to wait so long until I get to watch the next pitch."

I hold dominion over finicky PGA Tour players and many other athletes as well.

as for 4th down, Joe Gibbs pioneered that in the 1980s with RB John Riggins and his iconic "Hogs" offensive line.

Bill Parcells was smart enough to soon follow suit.

but it's true that the new permutations are less about personnel and more about win probability. and the coaches are right about that.
   124. SoSH U at work Posted: September 18, 2020 at 10:54 AM (#5977450)
but it seems as if all I ever see are comments about an issue that, in fact, is eminently fixable.


And that's the thing. If the fix is wholly unsatisfying for many of us, it isn't eminently fixable. It's great that it works for you, but just because there's a workaround for a small group of viewers (none of whom are at the ballpark), doesn't change the fact MLB has a serious pace of play issue.

Hell, wouldn't you prefer not to have to use this workaround?
   125. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 18, 2020 at 11:03 AM (#5977451)
And in football, we're getting the first wave:

"Hey, did you know that the running game is much less productive than the passing game..."
Isn't this a good thing? I don't follow the lessest of the lesser sports, in part because I remember finding it so boring as a kid. It seemed like almost every play was a handoff to the running back, who tried to push through the scrum at the line of scrimmage for a gain of 3 yards. Yawn.
   126. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 18, 2020 at 11:05 AM (#5977452)
And that's the thing. If the fix is wholly unsatisfying for many of us, it isn't eminently fixable. It's great that it works for you, but just because there's a workaround for a small group of viewers (none of whom are at the ballpark), doesn't change the fact MLB has a serious pace of play issue
Exactly. Just because you, Howie, don't mind having to actively calibrate the right amount of fast-forwarding between every single pitch doesn't mean it's "problem solved!" for the rest of us.
   127. SoSH U at work Posted: September 18, 2020 at 11:11 AM (#5977453)
Isn't this a good thing? I don't follow the lessest of the lesser sports, in part because I remember finding it so boring as a kid. It seemed like almost every play was a handoff to the running back, who tried to push through the scrum at the line of scrimmage for a gain of 3 yards. Yawn.


As with most things sports, I think a healthy balance is ideal, where teams can win through the running game or the passing game.
   128. Howie Menckel Posted: September 18, 2020 at 11:20 AM (#5977456)
Just because you, Howie, don't mind having to actively calibrate the right amount of fast-forwarding between every single pitch doesn't mean it's "problem solved!" for the rest of us.

I am a Luddite - which means that if I can pick it up easily, anyone can. it's not rocket science.

I noted earlier that "I have resisted reprising this for many months, and properly so" - because any of us here who have married know the drill.

someone you care about complains about something, and you naively offer a simple solution.

but the other person doesn't seem to want a solution - because then the issue goes away and.....

well, I haven't figured out why that's bad yet.
   129. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 18, 2020 at 11:35 AM (#5977460)
I am a Luddite - which means that if I can pick it up easily, anyone can. it's not rocket science.
We're not saying we can't figure out how to do it. We're saying it's not an enjoyable way of watching a game to have to actively monitor and take action between every pitch. Maybe that doesn't bother you, and that's fine. But your experience is far from universal, and I would bet that you're in a small minority who doesn't find that very disruptive to their viewing experience.
   130. SoSH U at work Posted: September 18, 2020 at 11:35 AM (#5977461)
I am a Luddite - which means that if I can pick it up easily, anyone can. it's not rocket science.


It's not the complexity.

someone you care about complains about something, and you naively offer a simple solution.

but the other person doesn't seem to want a solution - because then the issue goes away and.....

well, I haven't figured out why that's bad yet.


There's nothing wrong with offering this solution that works for you. It's the idea that this Howie-friendly solution is universal. Many of us simply don't consider it a workable solution. Watching a ballgame is a leisurely pursuit. For many, if not most, of us, having to manipulate the remote control to do so (while also ignoring social media, opting to watch it only in a setting that's conducive to such an operation, going to the game in person, etc.) takes way too much of the leisure out of the pursuit.

And as I said, would you choose to watch the game this way if you didn't have to? Would you rather have a game that crawls that you start a half-hour late* and where you have to avoid spoilers for and then perform your Zapruder skills on rather than just one that moves at a brisk pace.

*And, of course, this method doesn't help you once you've caught up to live play, either because it's a particularly draggy game or it was back in the days when we used to have extra innings, and then you must sit through the same slog the rest of us technophobes do?

   131. Howie Menckel Posted: September 18, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5977464)
well, I'd prefer they sped up the games.

but I find that "manipulating the remote control" is basically effortless, frankly.

and the idea that it takes anything like "Zapruder skills" is comical hyperbole.

"And, of course, this method doesn't help you once you've caught up to live play, either because it's a particularly draggy game or it was back in the days when we used to have extra innings, and then you must sit through the same slog the rest of us technophobes do?"

when I catch up, that's time to use the restroom, converse with friends and family, cruise over to sites like BBTF (except chatters), and so forth.

no slog.

but I'm just beating a dead horse at this point, clearly.

so I'll head back to catching up with Round 2 of the US Open golf.
   132. SoSH U at work Posted: September 18, 2020 at 11:45 AM (#5977466)
well, I'd prefer they sped up the games.


Here's a tip: lead with that.

and the idea that it takes anything like "Zapruder skills" is comical hyperbole.


As intended.

   133. . Posted: September 18, 2020 at 12:27 PM (#5977474)
Plus Howie's method takes the "live" out of the games and, though we probably don't think about it that much, that's a much bigger deal than we might think. I can think of two reasons just off the top of my head:

1. The fact that when we're watching it live we're sharing the exact same communal experience with the people who are at the game (and the others watching it live) matters.
2. The time that you're watching the game evokes other thoughts and ruminations about the clock and calendar time that is. A summer Saturday night game at twilight reminds the watcher that it's a summer Saturday at twilight. An October 21 Saturday noon kickoff reminds the viewer that it's a fall Saturday at noon. Those things conjure up other thoughts, ruminations, reflections, feelings. Etc, etc.
   134. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 18, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5977480)
A few things:

1) If the game is not compelling in-person, then everything else goes downhill (attendance, younger fans, advertising revenue). It is my observation having been to numerous baseball games in-person (not this year, of course) that the game often (not always) moves too slow for the casual fan (looking around at who is paying attention), and eventually they will decide their $40 seat plus $20 parking plus $20 beer is perhaps not worth it. I found this most prominent at Washington Nationals' games, but it was also true at other stadiums (White Sox, Giants, A's, Dodgers) that I visited. To some extent, that has always been true, of course, but there is a point where it is a real problem, and I think we are reaching it.

2) Games starting at 7 end close to 11, meaning most fans that stay to the end get home close to or past midnight, which is not sustainable.

3) There is no way to use the "DVR" technique while watching a game with friends at a pub. It's possible, of course, if you watch at home on your couch, even with friends (whenever that is possible again), but it's not ideal.
   135. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 18, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5977486)
Congrats to whoever broke the page.

So, with a 16 team playoff system, when will the WS winner be crowned? Thanksgiving?
   136. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 18, 2020 at 01:40 PM (#5977490)
My issue with Howie's suggestion is the fact that I don't want to have to be a TV producer. Yeah it improves the pace of what I'm watching but now I have to be a lot more actively involved rather than watching, enjoying it as a spectator.
   137. bunyon Posted: September 18, 2020 at 01:40 PM (#5977491)
<i>2) Games starting at 7 end close to 11, meaning most fans that stay to the end get home close to or past midnight, which is not sustainable.,/i>

This also kills Howie's method. If the game ends at 11, I have to be up to 11 to see it.
   138. Greg Pope Posted: September 18, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5977497)
My issue is that my TV remote has a button that jumps ahead 30 seconds. But that's too much time. So I would have to use the fast forward button, then hit play at the right time. It's work. If I could change my button to 15 seconds, it would work fine. I mean, I still wouldn't do it unless I was already behind, but it would be possible.
   139. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 18, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5977498)
Re: 135

I may have broken the page. Sorry about that.

"So, with a 16 team playoff system, when will the WS winner be crowned? Thanksgiving?"

Well, they seem to have figured it out this year so it ends just before Halloween if there's a game 7, by having no-off-days. I kinda think no-off-days is pretty neat, whether one goes back to the old system or not. Baseball every day, keeps the suspense up, and makes teams have to make decisions - do I use my 5th starter, or ?
   140. BillWallace Posted: September 18, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5977501)
The way I watch games right now is on mlb.tv, with delay, using the 10-sec skip function between pitches. It works pretty well for pace of play. Ironically it's actually better with a pitcher taking 22+ seconds between pitches, rather than sub-20 because with sub-20 I can't double tap the skip button.

It's a reasonable compromise, but I'd rather the actual pace of play be good.

More often than not I'll only watch until one or both starters leave the game. The narrative aspect of the starters vs the lineups is much more interesting than the reliever parade. If a game is particularly close or the result really matters I'll sometimes watch the end. If it wasn't for the analytics side of baseball I would definitely not be watching at all anymore.

Expanded playoffs is an utter disaster and I happen to be optimistic that it will be killed, but we'll see. They need to fix pace of play, and it would also be really good if they could find a way to bring back the importance of the starting pitcher. Analytics did a bang up job of showing everybody that the win stat is mostly pointless and that most starters should usually not face lineups the third time through, but unfortunately those changes made the fan experience appreciably worse.

I don't know the answer to the last one. You could make rule changes that compel teams to leave their starters in for 7 innings on average (such as limiting pitching staffs), but if that just caused mass injuries it wouldn't be worth it. I hope some solution could be found. 5th starters who plan to go 3 innings and 'Bullpen' games are unwatchable garbage to me.
   141. Darren Posted: September 18, 2020 at 02:37 PM (#5977504)
Howie, are you saying you have the ability to use your DVR to fast-forward BETWEEEN at-bats? Others, are you agreeing that this is possible?

If so, please help me. Fast-forwarding is never worth the effort between pitches for me and it's so hard to control that it's almost not worth it for commercials.
   142. Ron J Posted: September 18, 2020 at 03:03 PM (#5977509)
#125 A well executed running play is really satisfying to watch. And I'm speaking as somebody who enjoys the passing game.
   143. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 18, 2020 at 03:07 PM (#5977511)
More generally, it shouldn't be incumbent on fans to come up with these sorts of work-arounds just to make the games watchable. The fact that we're even having this discussion indicates that something is fundamentally broken with the sport.
   144. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 18, 2020 at 03:10 PM (#5977512)
They need to fix pace of play, and it would also be really good if they could find a way to bring back the importance of the starting pitcher. Analytics did a bang up job of showing everybody that the win stat is mostly pointless and that most starters should usually not face lineups the third time through, but unfortunately those changes made the fan experience appreciably worse.

I don't know the answer to the last one. You could make rule changes that compel teams to leave their starters in for 7 innings on average (such as limiting pitching staffs), but if that just caused mass injuries it wouldn't be worth it. I hope some solution could be found. 5th starters who plan to go 3 innings and 'Bullpen' games are unwatchable garbage to me.
It makes some level of intuitive sense that a pitch clock would help here too. Make pitchers throw the damn ball within 15 seconds, no stepping off, no exceptions, and you reduce their ability to use max effort on every pitch. That should, in theory, diminish the effectiveness of the reliever parade.
   145. BillWallace Posted: September 18, 2020 at 03:19 PM (#5977514)
It makes some level of intuitive sense that a pitch clock would help here too. Make pitchers throw the damn ball within 15 seconds, no stepping off, no exceptions, and you reduce their ability to use max effort on every pitch. That should, in theory, diminish the effectiveness of the reliever parade.


Great point. The pitch clock is needed for pace of play anyway, so let's do that asap and if it happens to improve the SP RP balance then even better.
   146. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 18, 2020 at 03:50 PM (#5977521)
I may have broken the page. Sorry about that.


Don't mind me. I'm cranky about November baseball.

edit...supposedly, the most important games of the year being played in November.
   147. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 18, 2020 at 03:58 PM (#5977523)
Re: 146

According to the released schedule, Game 7 if played would occur on October 28th.
   148. Ron J Posted: September 18, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5977524)
#147 So we could work in several more rounds if the goal (unstated but implied) is to wrap up the season before CHhistmas.
   149. cardsfanboy Posted: September 18, 2020 at 05:48 PM (#5977542)
The biggest one, I think, is that they've analyzed the numbers on going for it on fourth down and figured out that they should be doing that way more often.

Yes you are correct on that, both that the numbers have suggested they do it, and that they finally started to do. One of the funniest things was when the St Louis Rams (at their peak) had their kicker injured and couldn't replace him, so they went for it no matter where they were(field goal range, not punting range as their punter was fine) and went for two every time, and they had some pretty good success, mind you, that was also one of the best offenses to ever set foot in the NFL, so you would expect that to be the case, but it was still nice to see it.


   150. cardsfanboy Posted: September 18, 2020 at 05:53 PM (#5977544)
As with most things sports, I think a healthy balance is ideal, where teams can win through the running game or the passing game.


Agreed. And as far as pace of play goes for football, the running game helps speed the overall time up, as the clock continues vs incomplete passes stop the clock. So you as a director of the sport, would like to see about an even amount of plays between running and passing as that reduces the overall time of the game... NFL is having the same problem as MLB, in that their average game time keeps rising, and it's partially because of the increase in passing plays. Ultimately though as a fan, you want to see every skill position player on the field showed off a bit, that means the running backs, receivers(tight ends also) quarterbacks, corners, safeties etc.
   151. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 18, 2020 at 06:10 PM (#5977548)
It makes some level of intuitive sense that a pitch clock would help here too. Make pitchers throw the damn ball within 15 seconds, no stepping off, no exceptions, and you reduce their ability to use max effort on every pitch. That should, in theory, diminish the effectiveness of the reliever parade.


It would actually help on the batter's side as well, as batters have a hard time swinging at max effort without significant rest between pitches as well.

#147 So we could work in several more rounds if the goal (unstated but implied) is to wrap up the season before CHhistmas.


I do think there is a balance to be had, I just don't think necessarily that an expanded playoffs (in terms of number of teams) is by knee-jerk-reaction a bad thing. In the 50's baseball was great if you were following the New York teams, but there were large swaths of the country where the teams had no chance from the beginning of the season - which was reflected in attendance numbers. Currently, for example, the San Francisco Giants are in a pennant race of some kind, which I think is good for the fans, and perhaps good for the "no tanking" crowd, because the Giants have an incentive to do better. Fangraphs argues the expanded playoffs de-incentivize greatness, but perhaps they incentivize goodness. I'd rather have a bunch of good-but-not-great teams than a few great teams and a bunch of 2003 Detroit Tigers who are doing their best to tank in order to load up for 4 years from now. If we take the "don't devalue the regular season" argument to it's logical conclusion, one would get rid of the playoffs and the World Series and just play a (perhaps longer) regular season with a balanced schedule across all 30 teams. Would that be best? Well, maybe, but I tend to think not. Where is the balance point? I'm not sure but I'm interested to see how this year's experiment plays out.
   152. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: September 18, 2020 at 06:39 PM (#5977553)
I'm the guy Howie's solution was made for. I'm a West Coast fan, so my team's games start anywhere from 4 - 7, which means I'm still at work a lot of the time when games start and would be happy to record them. I don't mind staying up late to finish the game and I also never interact with social media during the game, so I'm never spoiled on the results. I don't have cable any longer, but when I did, I loved recording the game and then starting it when the kids went to bed (usually around 9) and I could fast forward through all the commercials, mound visits, replay reviews, and pitching changes in order to get done with a game by 11.

All that said, trying to fast forward between pitches was a nightmare. The 30-second skip button was too long, so that was out, and my particular TV service didn't offer a customizable skip. I don't know if that's a thing now. I could fast forward, but it was always a question of whether to hit the button once or twice. Once would usually work, but it was always a pain to figure out when to stop it in time for the pitch. Twice would save a lot of time, but it also meant usually going too far and having some idea of what happened before hitting play and having it pop back in time a bit. I also found that, while I didn't miss all the fiddling from the batters and the fidgeting from the pitchers, I did miss SOME of the in-between pitch stuff: seeing the catcher put down signs, watching the batter get set up, listening to the announcers (occasionally), seeing whatever random factoid they might put up about the batter. Unimportant things maybe, but still things that would, in a small way, increase my enjoyment of the broadcast.

There is no reason why the fiddling and fidgeting can't be removed.
   153. cardsfanboy Posted: September 18, 2020 at 07:01 PM (#5977560)
Howie's solution, I think works great for active watchers, those who like to actively watch the game.... me, I'm a casual watcher... I have three computer screens doing three different things, have a tv on that is viewable from the corner of my eye... during a game, I usually have the game on the tv, and gameday on one of my monitors, have a chat board up on another monitor, and the third monitor, I'll being doing totally unrelated stuff. So pace of play doesn't bother me in the slightest... I'll pay attention when I need to pay attention.

As far as the stadium experience goes... I still find the game to be to fast paced to carry on a conversation, but I can make remarks in between pitches... but at the same time... I scorekeep every game I've ever been to, and that does enough distracting to make the game pacing issues that others are complaining about, not really an issue. The stadium does enough distracting with the hidden ball under hat game, tons of girls in tight shorts walking around that I shouldn't be looking at, and other stuff, that I don't really have an issue with the game as a live experience... the only issue has been the length has gotten too long, considering that I go to work at 5am, and usually have to be at work the next day at 5am, the games that used to end at 10pm gave me plenty of time to get home and get a good 4+ hours of sleep.... more than enough, but the last couple of years it's been closer to 11pm and that makes a tough work day. To the point that I have turned down free tickets multiple times over the last couple of years.
   154. Howie Menckel Posted: September 18, 2020 at 08:33 PM (#5977572)
Fast-forwarding is never worth the effort between pitches for me and it's so hard to control that it's almost not worth it for commercials.


Guys, every single person on BBTF knows the cadence of baseball well enough to keep your finger on the FF button until right before the next pitch. pitchers steps off and on, batter calls time, crotch is grabbed, back in box, practice swings - and here's the pitch. remove finger from FF button, rinse, and repeat.

as for possibly "missing stuff" - sure, if I don't grasp what just happened, I'll RW about 10 seconds worth and listen to the announcers. if there's controversy I might listen for a whole minute. same if something happens like a player is emotional upon leaving a game, or the graphic looks interesting, or whatever.

and if it's a tie game in the 9th, I'll likely not FF at all - unless there is a pitching change or the catcher takes a ball in the nuts or something.

and if you can't tell the typical sequencing of commercials to deduce which one is last - that, too, is a skill pretty quickly acquired.

I wish I could say this was some remarkable skillset I have. but I assure you it is not.

:)
Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
1k5v3L
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Sox TherapyMeet the 2021 Boston Red Sox - Position Players
(34 - 5:52pm, Oct 30)
Last: Darren

NewsblogAre analytics to blame for Rays’ Kevin Cash pulling Blake Snell too early from Game 6 of 2020 World Series?
(116 - 5:45pm, Oct 30)
Last: BDC

NewsblogNBA Post-Bubble offseason thread
(209 - 5:32pm, Oct 30)
Last: ramifications of an exciting 57i66135

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-30-2020
(7 - 5:26pm, Oct 30)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

NewsblogPotential Orioles bidders line up in hopes the Angelos family decides to sell
(2 - 5:18pm, Oct 30)
Last: winnipegwhip

NewsblogMajor League Baseball cancels owners meetings, winter meetings due to COVID-19
(1 - 5:16pm, Oct 30)
Last: winnipegwhip

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(10242 - 5:15pm, Oct 30)
Last: ramifications of an exciting 57i66135

NewsblogSteve Cohen’s Mets purchase approved by MLB and de Blasio
(5 - 4:48pm, Oct 30)
Last: Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66)

NewsblogWhy Tony La Russa is a sincerely curious choice for Chicago White Sox manager
(6 - 4:01pm, Oct 30)
Last: Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus

NewsblogSpokesperson: Mayor Bill de Blasio still 'evaluating' Mets sale to Steve Cohen
(37 - 3:27pm, Oct 30)
Last: Adam Starblind

NewsblogTony La Russa has some expletives for Harold Baines' Hall of Fame detractors
(12 - 3:16pm, Oct 30)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogThese 6 teams now need a title most
(18 - 3:15pm, Oct 30)
Last: Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa

NewsblogDetroit Tigers hire A.J. Hinch as new manager
(12 - 3:15pm, Oct 30)
Last: SoSH U at work

NewsblogWhite Sox name Tony La Russa new manager
(74 - 2:03pm, Oct 30)
Last: Crispix Attacksel Rios

NewsblogAstros place closer Roberto Osuna on outright waivers
(5 - 1:37pm, Oct 30)
Last: base ball chick

Page rendered in 0.6113 seconds
48 querie(s) executed