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MLB Strike Is Near?

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Wouldn't surprise me one bit if this happened. This has been discussed sporadically (off-topic, of course) on here in various threads where it has come up. My personal view on this is that baseball will not recover from another strike. The players are fools. Baseball is already having a crisis of interest among younger fans. Of course players would strike because they're not being overpaid enough. See how that goes over with younger fans who think the sport is boring and nothing happens. Even the older fans may start to leave and that's all baseball has. I have said on here before that if there is another strike, that's probably it for me as a baseball fan. It may not happen immediately, but it will kill my interest especially when it's over stupid BS like this. Considering all the changes Manfred already wants to make, a strike would really give him reason to make some major changes. Whatever sport comes back from a strike is likely to be a very different one and probably for the worst.

Baseball is truly facing a huge crisis right now on many fronts and we still can't come to grips with baseball's steroid culture that extends back into the 60's and possibly the 50's. It had been a HUGE part of the sport for 50 years and yet very few even considered the possibility that removing it would have massive, negative consequences on the sport. If they want 30+ players to make as much money as in the past, then let them use PEDs. Otherwise, no chance. It's so bizarre to me that few people seem to have even considered the possibility that outlawing PEDs would have negative consequences and that those consequences are having huge impacts on the game in ways that were not considered right now.

Some may disagree and that's fine, but that IS the root of many of the issues facing the sport now including this one. Lower pay for 30+ players who are no longer getting help from drugs and are therefore not worth all the money they were paid when they were and it's amazing players don't realize this. It's as if PEDs never existed at all to them. The whitewashing of baseball history and the degree it has gone to is absurd. Until people realize the role this has played and is playing in the strife present in the sport right now, it's not going to get better. Manfred's changes certainly won't and a strike DEFINITELY won't. Baseball will find out just how much people still need baseball. Some, for sure, but I believe many will leave and not return. There won't be another McGuire/Sosa chase to save it this time.

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A strike certainly won't help things. I don't see how PED's has any barring on the entertainment value of the game. Baseball's problem is generational. Other entertainment (mainly video games) have carved out some of baseballs space. BTW it's not just baseball. 

My 18 year old son spends time watching other people play video games, when I ask why, he says for the same reasons I watch baseball. To see the best in the world play a game that I play, but at a whole different level. To watch the best in the world compete.

Baseball needs to find a way to adapt to shorter attention spans, and I'm not sure it can be done.  

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1 minute ago, osfan83 said:

A strike certainly won't help things. I don't see how PED's has any barring on the entertainment value of the game. Baseball's problem is generational. Other entertainment (mainly video games) have carved out some of baseballs space. BTW it's not just baseball. 

My 18 year old son spends time watching other people play video games, when I ask why, he says for the same reasons I watch baseball. To see the best in the world play a game that I play, but at a whole different level. To watch the best in the world compete.

Baseball needs to find a way to adapt to shorter attention spans, and I'm not sure it can be done.  

Easy. 100 game seasons. Every game would mean so much more. 

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49 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Yes, they are keeping them in the minors for so long the average age in the NL is the youngest ever.

Are you sure about that?

Looking at the average age of batters and pitchers on bb-ref, it looks to me like 2019 is the 73rd-youngest season for batters, and something like 105th-youngest for pitchers.

Many of the youngest seasons were from the 1800s, but (for example) an average pitcher in 1969 was 27.1, today he's 28.6.  An average batter in 1965 was 27.3, today he's 28.2.  From that data it looks like players in 2019 are older than the median MLB season.

If you look just at the NL, 2019 for batters is older than any year since 2012. And pitchers are as old as they've been since 2010.

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Things might get ugly when the CBA expires after the 2021 season, but I don’t see any strikes happening before then.    

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1 minute ago, osfan83 said:

A strike certainly won't help things. I don't see how PED's has any barring on the entertainment value of the game.

Baseball needs to find a way to adapt to shorter attention spans, and I'm not sure it can be done.  

That first part is really a big part of the problem. You can't see how the home run chases in the 90's and Bonds chasing Aaron had any impact on the entertainment value of the game. Monster home runs league wide and lots of them. Of course it affected the entertainment value of the game. I don't remember baseball ever being as popular as it was during those years. You couldn't turn your eyes away because you might miss a 450ft blast. Implying that home runs and scoring have no bearing on the entertainment value of the game is a pretty myopic statement.

Your second quoted sentence is true, but no one complained about game length when scoring and home runs were up because games were exciting and stuff happened. Even when stuff wasn't happening, you knew something would eventually. The game length was worth the excitement value of the sport, but that is not the case anymore. It was never the case before the PED scandals.

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The players will forever be tone deaf to how their complaints sound to the fans that pay their salaries. 

Be it through TV ratings or revenue at the gate, we're the ones that allow them to make a ridiculous amount of money throughout their careers.  Even the league minimum of $555,000 is a lot for your average working person.  

I'm not whining that they make millions and millions, that's fine.  But I am whining about how stupid they sound when they start talking about these things and wonder why fans are turned off.  

The other thing that these idiots will continually fail to understand is that while some players are worth their big contracts there are plenty more that are not and they seem to ignore that.  And as fans of the Baltimore Orioles, we have had a front row seat to look at a player who hasn't performed anywhere near the high dollar amount he commanded when he came up for free agency.  

What would Kershaw and JD Martinez have to say about players who've made 100 million or higher and haven't lived up to the value of the contract?  How would they explain to the Orioles that they should sign another high priced FA when the biggest contract in club history is a colossal bust?  

Quote

Players were furious that the two biggest stars of the home-run derby, Pete Alonso of the New York Mets and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays, were stuck in the minors last season instead of being among the September call-ups and gaining service time.

Alonso made the Mets' opening-day roster this year, but the Blue Jays kept Guerrero in the minors until mid-May, ensuring they could have an extra year of control before he hits free agency.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I am assuming that the clubs are only playing by the rules that were agreed to by the MLBPA in the last round of collective bargaining.  I have a hard time that the service time rule was just something handed down from the owners and the MLBPA has had to deal with it without any say-so.  

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1 minute ago, Sessh said:

That first part is really a big part of the problem. You can't see how the home run chases in the 90's and Bonds chasing Aaron had any impact on the entertainment value of the game. Monster home runs league wide and lots of them. Of course it affected the entertainment value of the game. I don't remember baseball ever being as popular as it was during those years. You couldn't turn your eyes away because you might miss a 450ft blast. Implying that home runs and scoring have no bearing on the entertainment value of the game is a pretty myopic statement.

Your second quoted sentence is true, but no one complained about game length when scoring and home runs were up because games were exciting and stuff happened. Even when stuff wasn't happening, you knew something would eventually. The game length was worth the excitement value of the sport, but that is not the case anymore. It was never the case before the PED scandals.

Home runs are way up this year.......Should we assume people under 30 are now flocking to the ball park and TV sets to see the next game? Is league wide attendance way up this year over 5 years ago? Are TV rating through the roof? 

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Baseball's salary problem is that young players under team control are not getting paid enough while older players are getting compensated for the production they put up under those rookie deals.

The issue with this of course is that it's really really hard for a union to convince it's current members that the best thing for them to do is threaten their livelihood for the benefit of the next generation.  Unions tend to sell out the next generation (I work in state government).

For me the answer to this involves some sort of shift in peak salaries toward younger years with a give to the current union members in the form of pension benefits.  There is enough mo ey in baseball that this shouldnt ve a problem and most of it is shifting the piece of the pie given to the players so it wouldnt affect the owners take much in a vacuum, independent of other factors beyond just salary that affect the pie. (That said I think the owners get too much of the pie).

 

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26 minutes ago, Sessh said:

Baseball is truly facing a huge crisis right now on many fronts and we still can't come to grips with baseball's steroid culture that extends back into the 60's and possibly the 50's. It had been a HUGE part of the sport for 50 years and yet very few even considered the possibility that removing it would have massive, negative consequences on the sport. If they want 30+ players to make as much money as in the past, then let them use PEDs. Otherwise, no chance. It's so bizarre to me that few people seem to have even considered the possibility that outlawing PEDs would have negative consequences and that those consequences are having huge impacts on the game in ways that were not considered right now.

PEDs have some role because they did enable some players to extend their careers.  But the primary reason that older players aren't getting as much money is that the new generation of front offices are well versed in analytics, and are putting into practice things we've known for 20 or 30 years.  Mainly that players peak at 27 and even most stars are borderline players by their mid 30s. 

We knew this a few years ago, but there were still enough front offices that didn't know or didn't care that players still got silly contracts that appeared to assume that there was no such thing as age-related decline.  Literally, I have an Excel sheet that calculates contract values and in 2013 or 2016 it did a really good job estimating contracts without any input for age.  This past offseason it broke, it didn't work any more unless I added a fudge factor for steep decline in a player's 30s.

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2 minutes ago, osfan83 said:

Home runs are way up this year.......Should we assume people under 30 are now flocking to the ball park and TV sets to see the next game? Is league wide attendance way up this year over 5 years ago? Are TV rating through the roof? 

I'm sure the "PED" balls have nothing to do with that. On top of that, the damage has already been done and has been allowed to fester for too long. People already found better things to fill their time and have no vacancies. It's going to take more than home runs being up one year to bring them back or bring in new fans. I'm not sure THAT can be done either. I don't think some of that damage is even reversible, but if it can be, it will take many, many years of making the right decisions and part of that is being honest about the past. I am not all that confident in Manfred or his people to do any of that, but a strike would be catastrophic to those efforts.

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7 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

The players will forever be tone deaf to how their complaints sound to the fans that pay their salaries. 

Be it through TV ratings or revenue at the gate, we're the ones that allow them to make a ridiculous amount of money throughout their careers.  Even the league minimum of $555,000 is a lot for your average working person.  

I'm not whining that they make millions and millions, that's fine.  But I am whining about how stupid they sound when they start talking about these things and wonder why fans are turned off.  

The other thing that these idiots will continually fail to understand is that while some players are worth their big contracts there are plenty more that are not and they seem to ignore that.  And as fans of the Baltimore Orioles, we have had a front row seat to look at a player who hasn't performed anywhere near the high dollar amount he commanded when he came up for free agency.  

What would Kershaw and JD Martinez have to say about players who've made 100 million or higher and haven't lived up to the value of the contract?  How would they explain to the Orioles that they should sign another high priced FA when the biggest contract in club history is a colossal bust?  

Correct me if I'm wrong but I am assuming that the clubs are only playing by the rules that were agreed to by the MLBPA in the last round of collective bargaining.  I have a hard time that the service time rule was just something handed down from the owners and the MLBPA has had to deal with it without any say-so.  

I think the player look at it as them against the owners.  Call it tone def, or call it focusing in what we the fans see as the wrong place.

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13 minutes ago, Matt Bennett said:

Easy. 100 game seasons. Every game would mean so much more. 

Unfortunately, I don't believe this would accomplish the urgency we desire, it would just mean the wait for that urgency (e.g., September pennant races and playoffs) is shorter.

I watch enough youth baseball these days to know that the sport can be amazing. I'm sick of the people who want to change it all that much. I can take pitch clocks and even limits to pitching changes and mound visits by catchers, but for the most part I don't believe it's broken. 

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