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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Sources: MLB prepared to ditch clock until 2022

Major League Baseball is prepared to scuttle the implementation of a pitch clock until at least 2022 as part of a wide-ranging proposal to the MLB Players Association that would include the ability to implement a three-batter-minimum rule for pitches and roster-size changes in 2020, sources familiar with the plan told ESPN.

MLB is also proposing limitations on position-player usage as pitchers, getting rid of the non-waiver trading period, further cutting mound visits and potentially shortening inning breaks, sources said.

The proposal, sent by the league Tuesday, is the latest in a back-and-forth bargaining session centered around the league’s unilateral ability to implement a 20-second pitch clock. Amid tension between the parties stemming from a free-agent market players have found unsatisfactory, the league, which is testing the pitch clock in spring-training games, offered not to revisit the issue until after the 2021 expiration of the current collective-bargaining agreement as part of a broader set of rules changes.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pitch clock

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   1. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5818676)
I am amazed that there is no rending of garments here yet. Or did everyone expect that this was likely?
   2. . Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5818678)
Expected that it was likely, of course. Still hoping the pitch clock stays, but clearly optimism should be fading.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5818679)
#### you, Manfred. You have no genitals and you never will.
   4. jmurph Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:25 PM (#5818681)
The 3 batter rule would be a radical, game altering move in my mind, and I can't imagine why the players would let that happen.
   5. JJ1986 Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5818683)
getting rid of the non-waiver trading period,
I'm going to assume they mean the 'waiver trading period' most likely combined with pushing the non-waiver deadline back.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:35 PM (#5818688)
The 3 batter rule would be a radical, game altering move in my mind, and I can't imagine why the players would let that happen.
It’s not radical, but yeah, it would alter the game. That’s the whole point, and that’s why the players should support it (and the pitch clock): because it will make the game better entertainment, which is good for the overall health and future of the game. The players’ intransigence is nothing but short-sighted self-indulgence.
   7. . Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5818692)
Pretty massive bummer on the pitch clock. Would have been a big improvement to the game, with beneficial spillover effects. Sigh.
   8. bfan Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5818693)
This decision-making episode is not going to make book 2 of "Profiles in Courage." I assume MLB understands that if a shot by anyone at a trial balloon will bring that balloon down, so that if this is how they react, they will, in fact, never do anything about any matter that could possibly better the game.

I am so excited about this season, where there will finally be limits on sign-stealing.
   9. JJ1986 Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5818694)
I'm in favor of the 3-batter rule and the pitch clock, but the players should probably get something back in exchange for them because they don't have many other bargaining chips. Even if it's a DH or a 26th man, and not anything related to the luxury tax or earlier free agency.
   10. Rusty Priske Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5818696)
I am in favour of a three batter rule (though I think 'or the end of an inning' should be part of it), and am also against a pitch clock.

So this is good news indeed.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5818697)
What they get in return is a better, more sustainable future for the game, i.e. all of the union’s jobs.
   12. bfan Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5818704)
What they get in return is a better, more sustainable future for the game, i.e. all of the union’s jobs.


I think this is exactly right, and thus I cannot fathom the "what will we get for this" rejoinder. It isn't as if you are asking for more labor, from labor (changing the game to a 10 inning game).

And if the pitchers think it hurts their performance, then it must help the batters performance, right? Pitchers cannot be negatively impacted unless batters are positively impacted to the exact same degree.
   13. catomi01 Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5818705)
Major League Baseball is prepared to scuttle the implementation of a pitch clock until at least 2022
--don't like

a three-batter-minimum rule for pitches and , sources familiar with the plan told ESPN.
-don't like

roster-size changes in 2020
-maybe I like - depends on what the change is.

MLB is also proposing limitations on position-player usage as pitchers
--really dislike - this is a fun part of the game...and only impacts games that are generally pretty well decided anywya.

getting rid of the non-waiver trading period
--indifferent

further cutting mound visits
--why not

potentially shortening inning breaks, sources said.
---i know its a small impact, but please yes. Its probably the easiest to implement change of everything floated out there to speed up games.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:11 PM (#5818710)
I'm going to assume they mean the 'waiver trading period' most likely combined with pushing the non-waiver deadline back.


The article made it sound like just a July 31 deadline. The union proposed pushing it before the All-Star Game.
   15. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5818717)
[11] What they get in return is a better, more sustainable future for the game, i.e. all of the union’s jobs.

But that's not the scope of the MLBPA's mission. MLB runs the sport; MLBPA specifically represents the players and their interests where those interests don't necessarily intersect with any other stakeholder.

To say the MLBPA should support anything the Commissioner's Office proposes as "good for the game" is like saying defense attorneys shouldn't make the best defense on behalf of clients they think might be guilty, because that's better justice overall. I mean, okay, maybe, but that's not how the system works.
   16. Baldrick Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5818719)
To say the MLBPA should support anything the Commissioner's Office proposes as "good for the game" is like saying defense attorneys shouldn't make the best defense on behalf of clients they think might be guilty, because that's better justice overall. I mean, okay, maybe, but that's not how the system works.

It's actually not like that at all.
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:40 PM (#5818722)
Exactly. The health and sustainable future of the game benefits the MLBPA, whereas better justice does not benefit a convicted defendant.
   18. jmurph Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5818726)
It’s not radical, but yeah, it would alter the game. That’s the whole point, and that’s why the players should support it (and the pitch clock): because it will make the game better entertainment, which is good for the overall health and future of the game.

I'm not interested in making it so a team can't remove a guy who sucks. Winning runner is on 1st in the 9th with 2 outs, a reliever comes in and immediately throws 8 straight near wild pitches to load the bases, it's ridiculous that the team should be required to go down with the ship because of an arbitrary minimum.
   19. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5818729)
It's actually not like that at all.

Fair.

It's still the imprimatur of the MLBPA to represent the players' interests, frequently in ways that set those interests as adversarial to those of 'the game'. It's what the organization is for.

You think the MLBPA is a pushover now, it would be much worse if they started making decisions 'for the good of the game'. Might as well dissolve entirely at that point.
   20. . Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5818730)
--
   21. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5818731)
It disincentivizes removing a perfectly effective pitcher just because the next batter is the opposite handedness. You bring in a new guy, you gotta live with him for a while. I think that’s a feature, not a bug.
   22. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5818732)
I'm not interested in making it so a team can't remove a guy who sucks. Winning runner is on 1st in the 9th with 2 outs, a reliever comes in and immediately throws 8 straight near wild pitches to load the bases, it's ridiculous that the team should be required to go down with the ship because of an arbitrary minimum.


As a practical matter the situation you describe (or any similar high leverage situation) where a pitcher comes in and pukes all over himself is going to be pretty rare. Good pitchers struggle but realistically they don't fall apart THAT badly. If he does, so be it. #### happens.
   23. jmurph Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5818734)
As a practical matter the situation you describe (or any similar high leverage situation) where a pitcher comes in and pukes all over himself is going to be pretty rare. Good pitchers struggle but realistically they don't fall apart THAT badly. If he does, so be it. #### happens.

Have you already blocked out the Craig Kimbrel October experience?!

But seriously, I just think this is an unnecessarily massive change. Do the pitch clock, see if that works, I'm not interested in messing with strategy/roster construction until all other steps are exhausted.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5818736)
It's still the imprimatur of the MLBPA to represent the players' interests, frequently in ways that set those interests as adversarial to those of 'the game'. It's what the organization is for.
That's the kind of short-sighted, hyper-adversarial thinking that the auto unions screwed themselves with. The overall health of the industry is by definition a shared interest of employees in that industry. A smart union would seek to maximize its members' interests, including making the industry as robustly healthy as possible.
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5818739)

I really hope that they try the three-batter thing in a minor league or something for a while before implementing it in MLB. It just screams "unintended consequences".
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5818743)
Put in a 10 pitcher roster limit and let the strategy sort itself out.

But the pitch clock is worth more than all those other changes put together.

And why should the union have any say in changes that don't affect roster sizes or salaries?
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:12 PM (#5818746)
And why should the union have any say in changes that don't affect roster sizes or salaries?
This too.
   28. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5818748)
That's the kind of short-sighted, hyper-adversarial thinking that the auto unions screwed themselves with. The overall health of the industry is by definition a shared interest of employees in that industry. A smart union would seek to maximize its members' interests, including making the industry as robustly healthy as possible.

And a smart Commissioner's Office (representing a smart group of team owners) would do the same.

But that's not the world we live in, is it?
   29. Mike Webber Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5818749)
And why should the union have any say in changes that don't affect roster sizes or salaries?


Safety issues - I'm not saying that applies here, but maybe the Union is

Edited : "from they are" to "the Union is" for clarity
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5818750)
And a smart Commissioner's Office (representing a smart group of team owners) would do the same.

But that's not the world we live in, is it?
Specifically with respect to pace of play issues, yes, the Commisioner is at least the one talking (meekly and pathetically) about making necessary changes.
   31. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5818751)
Here's my thing on the 3 batter limit. I'm not a basketball fan but every now and then I'll watch a game (particularly during March Madness). However, the final few minutes of a game are often dull for me and I'll frequently change the channel and not go back during one of the half a dozen time outs. Even if it's just a 20 second time out it's like "ugh, moving on." I think pitcher changes are like that. In the real world 2 minutes is no biggie but I suspect people often just say \"#### it" as some LOOGY makes way for a ROOGY who then makes way for another LOOGY.


Have you already blocked out the Craig Kimbrel October experience?!


I think that kind of proves my point. Kimbrel didn't blow a save in October despite being a shitshow. Also it's not like those performances were a surprise. When he came in for game four against Houston for the two inning save was the high wire act any kind of surprise? No it was not. Cora made that decision knowing that Kimbrel was a mess and it was on him if it didn't work.
   32. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5818753)
Oakland lost the 2018 WC play-in game because one of the approximately thirty relievers they brought in (Rodney, IIRC) just didn't have a goddamned thing working, which was clear from the instant they brought him in. Wouldn't really make a difference in the hypothetical being discussed vis-a-vis the proposed rule change, but strictly as a response to [22] (pitchers rarely suck that bad from Pitch 1), it definitely happens, and in high leverage spots too.
   33. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5818754)
Here's my thing on the 3 batter limit. I'm not a basketball fan but every now and then I'll watch a game (particularly during March Madness). However, the final few minutes of a game are often dull for me and I'll frequently change the channel and not go back during one of the half a dozen time outs. Even if it's just a 20 second time out it's like "ugh, moving on." I think pitcher changes are like that. In the real world 2 minutes is no biggie but I suspect people often just say \"#### it" as some LOOGY makes way for a ROOGY who then makes way for another LOOGY.
Exactly. It’s incomprehensible to me that the NCAA refuses to make the obvious changes to make the end of games watchable. MLB doesn’t have to make the same mistake.
   34. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5818756)
Specifically with respect to pace of play issues, yes, the Commisioner is at least the one talking (meekly and pathetically) about making necessary changes.

I'm responding to your [11] as a response to [9] - @JJ1986 took the stance that the MLBPA should negotiate before allowing MLB to make even beneficial changes. I understand your position to be that MLBPA should allow beneficial changes without negotiation. I understand your argument in favor to be that MLBPA's constituency indirectly benefits in the long term from beneficial changes to the game. My position is that MLBPA should still negotiate concessions wherever possible because the responsibility of the organization is to do so, and to the extent that the system is adversarial they should not capitulate non-adversarially, because their adversary is not going to do the same.

The Commissioner's office proposing to make 'necessary changes' in the realm of pace of play is neither here nor there. The Commissioner's Office is NEVER going to allow MLBPA to unilaterally make changes - beneficial or otherwise - without negotiation. That's my point. I agree that in Baseball Utopia, MLBPA and MLB work hand in hand to usher in a new era of mutually beneficial progress, and there's no need for MLBPA to ever take an adversarial stance. We don't live in Baseball Utopia, we live in a world where MLB represents the interests of the owners and not the players, and to the extent that they represent themselves as 'for the good of the game' that is a PR move and as such is inherently anti-Union. So for the MLBPA to pass up any chance to negotiate concessions from MLB, whether the proposed changes are beneficial or otherwise, would be irresponsible.
   35. bfan Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:42 PM (#5818758)
I'm not a basketball fan but every now and then I'll watch a game (particularly during March Madness). However, the final few minutes of a game are often dull for me and I'll frequently change the channel and not go back during one of the half a dozen time outs.


Not that this changes this entirely, but 2 important rules changes:

1. Until about 10 years ago, there was no automatic 2 foul shots after 10 fouls; it was 1 and 1 forever. This was done to address the huge incentive to foul very quickly if you were behind with 3, 4 or 5 minutes left. it did help some.
2. They changed the 5 time-outs rule to provide if you do not use one in the first half, you lose it (so you cannot save 5 time-outs for the second half). Maybe this did not do enough, but it clearly was done to address your very problem (which others experienced).

I think football and basketball try to address flaws in the game or strategies that get employed that weaken the enjoyability of the game. Baseball acts like the old man on his rocker on his front porch, yelling at kids to get off his grass.
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:43 PM (#5818759)
34: Fair enough- but that sort of hyper-adversarial stance has been proven to be counterproductive in various industries. And the union also shouldn’t be surprised that it loses the PR battle.
   37. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5818761)
The MLBPA's membership does not give a #### about the long-term health of the game. Or to whatever extent they care, they take for a priori that Major League Baseball will always be Major League Baseball. Each individual in the MLBPA is concerned only about what is convenient for himself right now. If the MLBPA took a full vote of its membership on the subject of the pace-of-play proposals aimed at forcing players to quit dicking around and play baseball, I guarantee you that 99% of them will categorically vote against them. Probably fully 100.0% of them.

That's why games will continue to get longer and will continue to be dominated more and more by the Three True Outcomes until such time as baseball faces a genuine existential crisis. Only when so many fans quit watching altogether that their multimillion dollar livelihoods are in mortal danger will the players finally, grudgingly, disgustedly, agree to quit dicking around and play baseball. Such a crisis hasn't occurred for at least a hundred years, and we appear to be still a very long way away from it happening again. I'm 37; I wouldn't bet real hard that I am going to live to see that day. But it will come, eventually. And Major League Baseball will become a better product when it does.
   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:53 PM (#5818763)
Agreed with Paste except that I think we may be somewhat closer to a crisis than it appears, and that at that point it will already be too late.

Of course, a big part of the problem is that pathetic nutless Manfred keeps treating things like the pitch clock, which he can implement unilaterally, as bargaining chips. Of course the union is going to go along with that.
   39. Karl from NY Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5818770)
And why should the union have any say in changes that don't affect roster sizes or salaries?

A change in working conditions that leads an employer to push workers into potential injury is exactly what unions were invented to deal with.

I'm generally as anti-union as anyone, but this is an area where the union absolutely is justified, to at least handle the rules around the exceptional cases that could quite conceivably involve injury.
   40. . Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5818772)
A change in working conditions that leads an employer to push workers into potential injury is exactly what unions were invented to deal with.


That's not true in the slightest. Those kind of things *can be* part of negotiations, but workplace danger is not *why* unions were invented.

And of course, injury issues inherent to playing baseball have never materially driven the MLBPA. Has there ever been a iota of a hint of, for example, negotiating for mandatory innings limits, mandatory pitch limits, mandatory days of rest between pitching, or anything similar?

The "oh, we're going to get hurt if there's a pitch clock" is nothing more than BS to try to prevent the pitch clock.
   41. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5818777)
Also, the union had to be dragged kicking and screaming into accepting testing and penalties for steroids, despite the health risks to its members.
   42. Brian C Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5818782)
I think the hyperventilating about the pitch clock is beyond stupid, but what really strikes me about this story is that we're in spring training and we still don't have the rules for the 2019 season nailed down yet. That just doesn't seem ideal.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5818805)
What they get in return is a better, more sustainable future for the game, i.e. all of the union’s jobs.

Sigh.

1) There is ZERO evidence that any of these changes will make baseball's market larger or more sustainable.

2) In case you haven't been paying attention, if baseball's market grows or is more sustainable, there is no mechanism for ensuring any of that extra or even maintained revenue will flow into the player's pockets.

MLB revenues have already tripled in the 21st century. The players' share of revenue has steadily declined in that period. Players are absolutely correct to leverage what little control they may have over future revenue growth in exchange for a bigger piece of the pie.

Before anybody starts with nonsense about the recent, quite limited, FA signings, please pay attention to the first sentence of the previous paragraph. In 2001, ARod signed his 10/$250 deal with the Rangers. MLB revenues have tripled since that time. Let me know when Trout signs for 10/$750 or Mookie gets $45 M in arb.

In 18 years, with tripling of MLB revenues, we have seen the best player's salary move from $25 M to $34 M (Trout). A 36% increase vs a 200% increase. In 2001, the defensively and attitudinally challenged Manny Ramirez, at age 29, signed his 8/$160 deal. Now the attitudinally but certainly not defensively challenged Machaodo, 3 years younger, gets 10/$300 -- a 50% increase in AAV, signed longer but through a younger age, does get an opt-out ... kinda pales in comparison to a 200% increase in revenues doesn't it?
   44. Karl from NY Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:09 PM (#5818827)
Revenue sharing matters a lot for that, right? There wasn't much of that before the 2002 CBA. For the 2001 contracts, the team could expect to capture almost all the revenue from the player's win value. In 2019, they lose something like 38% or 40%.

That's why the owners want revenue sharing, even the rich teams, it drives down the incentive to pay money to players.
   45. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:13 PM (#5818828)

I never really know whether to trust data like this on the internet since you get conflicting information from different sources, but it looks like player comp as a % of revenues declined from 2001-2005, and then held fairly consistent for over a decade. It began dropping again in 2017.

I agree with Walt that in a business where revenues and profits have been consistently growing, and in the context of changes that are supposed to help it grow even more, the union is perfectly within their right to try to get their fair share of that increase for its members. And the owners have shown that they won't simply hand it over.
   46. bfan Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:26 PM (#5818831)
In order, if you are looking for tangible evidence that moves that hasten the pace of play in baseball will increase fan interest, as opposed to buckets of anecdotal evidence from people involved in the game, then I think you have set your standard way too high, to a level that cannot be reached and is silly to expect.

Look at it this way: did the NBA have tangible evidence (surveys? polling?) that creating a 3 point shot would increase fan support? I do not think so. They just saw a game getting too clogged in the lane and dominated by big bodies (where was their players union, to protect the centers?) and were smart enough to do something about it.

Did the NFL have tangible proof (surveys? polling?) that moving the goal posts 10 yards back and narrowing the goal posts and then making the line of scrimmage on a missed kick, where the kick came from, would make the game more pleasing to the fans? How about the decision instituting a 2 point option for extra points-want to point me to that tangible polling evidence?

The point is people with knowledge of the game and with good sense see what the game evolves into and address problems as they see them, and I suspect their own common sense and good judgment is the determining factor, and not evidence that you would require.

Player salaries: your figures are basically good. Revenues have almost tripled in that period; close enough for hand grenades and arguments on that one. The player salary figures seem cherry picked. Let's compare what may be the worst baseball salary decision ever (Alex Rodriguez) to what the standard should be, today; no thanks.

Here are the best figures I have (tell me if I am wrong); in 2000, average MLB salary is $1,895,630.00; in 2018 it is $4,447,000.00. That is much more comprehensive that comparing Mike Trout's salary to ARod's, I think. That is an increase of 235%. Yes, that is lower than the nearly 300% increase in revenues from 2000, but who is to say that the balance was correct in 2000? Does 235% percent seem egregiously off of 294%?

What about this, from a February, 2018 article in the Ringer:

"According to MLB’s data, the players’ percentage of revenue has hovered within 1.5 percentage points of the 50 percent mark for at least the last eight seasons. The discrepancy between these numbers and the figures from FanGraphs and Deadspin is attributable largely to the table’s inclusion of player benefits (which in 2018 will amount to $14,044,600 per team, or $421.34 million leaguewide) and postseason shares, which totaled $84.5 million last season. Add in the earnings of baseball’s chronically underpaid, nonunionized minor leaguers — the sport’s only true paupers — and the players’ share of revenue rises to more than 56 percent.:"

It sure looks to me like there is a good equilibrium right now of salary costs to gross revenues, especially since we have no sense whatsoever what other costs there are associated with running an MLB team (you will tell me it is cheaper now, because there are less scouts and we have the internet now for efficiency; I will tell you it is more expensive, because there are more community relations people and marketing personnel and general regulatory related people, and insurance costs are up because of the rising claims environment, and neither knows which of us is right).
   47. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:32 PM (#5818837)
The share of revenue between players and owners, and among the various groups of players by service time, is completely unrelated to pace of play, and the two issues should not be artificially linked for "leverage" purposes.

1) There is ZERO evidence that any of these changes will make baseball's market larger or more sustainable.
There's certainly plenty of evidence that pace issues turn people off and that baseball is not attracting young fans in sustainable numbers. If you're demanding a study that proves that X number of people who are not currently baseball fans would become fans if certain changes were made, sure, I guess that study doesn't exist.

EDIT: Coke to bfan on that.

2) In case you haven't been paying attention, if baseball's market grows or is more sustainable, there is no mechanism for ensuring any of that extra or even maintained revenue will flow into the player's pockets.
Like I said, totally separate issue. But look at it another way - if baseball's market contracts or is not sustainable, or grows less than it otherwise would, then that absolutely hurts the players.

   48. Brian C Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:34 PM (#5818839)
In order, if you are looking for tangible evidence that moves that hasten the pace of play in baseball will increase fan interest, as opposed to buckets of anecdotal evidence from people involved in the game, then I think you have set your standard way too high, to a level that cannot be reached and is silly to expect.

Hey, good point - if you believe it to be true, that should be good enough for the rest of us! Plus some other people made some decisions that turned out ok some decades ago. What's there to argue with?
   49. PreservedFish Posted: February 27, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5818860)
It's not all that specious to presume that making something more entertaining will also make it more popular.
   50. bfan Posted: February 27, 2019 at 06:29 PM (#5818863)

Hey, good point - if you believe it to be true, that should be good enough for the rest of us! Plus some other people made some decisions that turned out ok some decades ago. What's there to argue with?


Huh? If I believe it to be true? What about the anecdotal evidence of complaints of slow play? I am not sure I understand your point, one iota, so my comment here may be misplaced, but I do not think I ever said baseball must change because I believe in certain rules changes.
   51. Zach Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:26 PM (#5818900)
I don't think a pitch clock is the sort of issue that gets settled by one side paying the other. Either everyone reaches a consensus, one side wants it enough to push the other side into going along, or (most likely) nothing happens because the side that doesn't want it cares more than the side that does want it.

What I worry about is that Manfred, The Great Considerer, will lump good ideas which could easily be implemented like the pitch clock in with horrible ideas that should never be implemented like ghost runners in extra innings. Everything gets considered and nothing gets implemented, or else the wrong things get implemented.

It wouldn't kill Baseball to have a permanent committee in charge of making sure the sport keeps putting out a compelling televised product. Pace of play is starting to get in the way of the good parts of the sport.
   52. Zach Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:31 PM (#5818901)
Also, if you wait for issues like this to show up in the bottom line of a billion dollar industry, you've waited far too long. Sports on television is a product. You use quality control at the production stage to prevent these kinds of problems from showing up in the bottom line, not as a reaction to them.
   53. Rusty Priske Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:33 AM (#5818998)
Working conditions are absolutely part of a union's mandate.
   54. manchestermets Posted: February 28, 2019 at 11:36 AM (#5819056)
Let's compare what may be the worst baseball salary decision ever (Alex Rodriguez)


Not within a million miles of the worst.

Yes, that is lower than the nearly 300% increase in revenues from 2000, but who is to say that the balance was correct in 2000?


From the union's POV it's not about what's "correct" - in fact, it's self-evident that there's no such thing as a "correct" value for the proportion of income that goes to salary. It's entirely within their remit to be concerned if it falls though.

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