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Frobby

Emerging from the Stone Age

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1 hour ago, Luke-OH said:

The only problem with driving interest is the poor marketing strategy by the league.

I don't agree with that.  I mean, I'm sure they could do a better job.  But marketing of something like baseball is tough because it's been around forever.  Everyone knows about baseball, and just about everyone decided whether or not they're a fan by the time they're 10.  You can't market baseball to a 27-year-old basketball fan any more than you can convince that same person Cadillac or Led Zeppelin or Harleys are cool.  

But I do think baseball has some structural problems, most notably pace and lack of in-game action, that fixing would help sell the game to some extent.

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5 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

I don't agree with that.  I mean, I'm sure they could do a better job.  But marketing of something like baseball is tough because it's been around forever.  Everyone knows about baseball, and just about everyone decided whether or not they're a fan by the time they're 10.  You can't market baseball to a 27-year-old basketball fan any more than you can convince that same person Cadillac or Led Zeppelin or Harleys are cool.  

But I do think baseball has some structural problems, most notably pace and lack of in-game action, that fixing would help sell the game to some extent.

Led Zeppelin and Harleys are cool.  Now get off my lawn you crotch rocket riding hippity hoppers!

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2 hours ago, AceKing said:

This kind of explains (confirms) the reasons for last year’s train wreck season.  Bad team chemistry with few cheerleaders, and many of the same types of personalities.

Guys like Manny and others being a ME guy, and our saviors coming in the late signings of Colby Rasmus and Chris Tillman for 3mm ea.

Recipe for disaster.  We witnessed it.

Frobby's summary of the drops in OPS  offer the alternative view. But the chemistry part might explain the steep dropoff from wins expected even from those poorer performances.

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1 hour ago, DrungoHazewood said:

But I do think baseball has some structural problems, most notably pace and lack of in-game action, that fixing would help sell the game to some extent.

I'd argue those structural problems manifest themselves in little league. The game isn't as fun/cool/exciting to many kids. It's missing great athleticism, which is fun to watch and attracts different demographics. 

How to fix that is a much harder question. I like the idea of incentivizing contact without creating massive home runs. Much easier said than done though. 

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17 minutes ago, LookinUp said:

I'd argue those structural problems manifest themselves in little league. The game isn't as fun/cool/exciting to many kids. It's missing great athleticism, which is fun to watch and attracts different demographics. 

How to fix that is a much harder question. I like the idea of incentivizing contact without creating massive home runs. Much easier said than done though. 

I think baseball's greatest problem is that there really is no good answer to "who is the most creative baseball player?"  In most other popular sports there are advantages to combining athleticsm and creativity.  There's a little of that on defense, a little with some pitchers, but baseball doesn't really have the equivalent of a behind-the-back pass, or a great open-field run in football, or Messi beating six defenders.  But defense in baseball has never been less important, and coaches look at a kid trying to be like El Duque throwing 11 pitches from six arm angles and scream at him to cut it out before he gets hurt.

So I think it's back to tweaking rules to bring in more competing strategies and showcasing defense and baserunning alongside power, and doing something to dampen the impact of everyone throwing 97 mph.

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2 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

I don't agree with that.  I mean, I'm sure they could do a better job.  But marketing of something like baseball is tough because it's been around forever.  Everyone knows about baseball, and just about everyone decided whether or not they're a fan by the time they're 10.  You can't market baseball to a 27-year-old basketball fan any more than you can convince that same person Cadillac or Led Zeppelin or Harleys are cool.  

But I do think baseball has some structural problems, most notably pace and lack of in-game action, that fixing would help sell the game to some extent.

Basketball is doing really well right now - but in all honesty, a normal game in January is just as equally boring as a mid-summer baseball game. They just have a ton of marketable stars with personality and charisma. Kids want to be like LeBron and Steph Curry.

Baseball needs to do a better job hyping their star players. And they need to get all of the old men in the broadcast boost out of there. No kid wants to watch a slow game where some geriatric is talking about some game that happened 50 years before they were born.

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3 hours ago, Luke-OH said:

Those things would just increase three true outcomes though. If you want to move away from three true outcomes, the solution is a dead ball. That would select for more balls in play.

I don't really think that would be a good thing, I love baseball the way it is. The only problem with driving interest is the poor marketing strategy by the league.

I'm not so sure that the three-ball walk would, in fact, increase the three true outcome situation.  I believe that major league pitchers have the command and control abilities to adjust and throw more strikes if three balls resulted in a free pass.  Many pitches that are currently thrown out of the zone are done so purposely, IMO.  I also believe that major league hitters will make contact with more pitches if more pitches are thrown for strikes.  I think such a rule change would most likely result in more balls in play, not less, and reduce the average length, time-wise, of games.  Just a theory that makes sense to me, and we'll never know unless it is tried.  I wouldn't mind seeing it tried out for a season in a Triple-A league, where the pitchers have somewhat better control and command than the lower minors, to get some insight into how it might pan out.  If it were to work out there, it seems to me that it would work even better in the majors.

If you want faster games,  while also seeing more balls in play, I believe that the three-ball walk may have the best chance of getting both done, rather than making multiple rules changes that in some cases counter-act each other.  I'm not chomping at the bit for such a change by any means, but I do think that it would have a better chance of accomplishing some of the stated objectives than the other rules changes being discussed.  My guess on the total number of people that will be drawn to the game as a result of adding the pitch clock would be exactly zero.

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16 minutes ago, theocean said:

Basketball is doing really well right now - but in all honesty, a normal game in January is just as equally boring as a mid-summer baseball game.

Earlier in the thread there was a brief discussion of how the last three minutes of a basketball game takes 20 minutes.  And it's amazing any game can be over in two hours when there appear to be 44 time outs plus halftime.  I am spoiled by soccer, where the continuous flow of the game makes watching other sports seem like you're taking turns in some kind of an interminable board game.  I get it, I really do, that blonde woman from Coons Toyota desperately wants to sell me a car.  Every. Three. Minutes.

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16 minutes ago, Number5 said:

My guess on the total number of people that will be drawn to the game as a result of adding the pitch clock would be exactly zero.

I agree.  But if you do a bunch of little things and you get baseball back to being played as crisply and quickly-paced as it was a long time ago with lots of athleticsm on the basepaths and in the field maybe kids get more interested.  Right now we're trying to sell them on slow-pitch softball, just with a lot more strikeouts!

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Just now, DrungoHazewood said:

I agree.  But if you do a bunch of little things and you get baseball back to being played as crisply and quickly-paced as it was a long time ago with lots of athleticsm on the basepaths and in the field maybe kids get more interested.  Right now we're trying to sell them on slow-pitch softball, just with a lot more strikeouts!

Why not one bigger thing instead, like going to the three-ball walk if it works at AAA?

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4 minutes ago, Number5 said:

Why not one bigger thing instead, like going to the three-ball walk if it works at AAA?

1) I don't think it'll have the effect you do.

2) Baseball doesn't change rules that have been on the books since 1888.  I know I've suggested moving the mound back a bit, but I don't realistically think that'll happen.  (And that was 1893 anyway :) )  

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1 hour ago, LookinUp said:

I'd argue those structural problems manifest themselves in little league. The game isn't as fun/cool/exciting to many kids. It's missing great athleticism, which is fun to watch and attracts different demographics. 

How to fix that is a much harder question. I like the idea of incentivizing contact without creating massive home runs. Much easier said than done though. 

It's also kind of hard to put together a pickup game of baseball (I'm talking about a real competitive game, not just catch or batting practice - keeping score) because you need enough players to cover the field and occupy the bases. And, you need a field that is big enough. Preferably one where the infield isn't a puddle of mud all summer. And everyone needs a glove. You need bats for different sized people. You need a few balls unless someone wants to be catcher. You need someone who can actually get the ball over the plate with some regularity and the ability not to kill someone.

Basketball - one-on-one is fun and hoops are everywhere. Football - you just need a receiver, defender, and an all-time-qb. Soccer - you just need a ball and four people for a two-on-two game. 

Baseball just has a lot of logistical issues to it for kids not playing in an organized league.

 

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4 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

1) I don't think it'll have the effect you do.

2) Baseball doesn't change rules that have been on the books since 1888.  I know I've suggested moving the mound back a bit, but I don't realistically think that'll happen.  (And that was 1893 anyway :) )  

They've been without a pitch clock even longer than that!  😁

As I said, the only way to know for sure is to test it out.  I may be overestimating MLB pitchers' ability to command and control their pitches and/or MLB hitters' ability to make contact with strikes.  It would be hard to convince me otherwise without trying, though.

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