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    Hangout Contributor
  • Birthday 7/13/1950

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  • Location
    Salt Spring Island, BC
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  • Interests
    playing African drums, writing
  • Occupation
    copy editor
  • Favorite Current Oriole
    Trey Mancini
  • Favorite All Time Oriole
    Brooks Robinson

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  1. Is that the protocol that's been agreed--that a positive test means 14-day quarantine? That doesn't bode well if they're using tests that show papayas are infected.
  2. Trying to steer past the political waters to address this poll's question... it seems a lot hinges on "testing positive" and "number of cases." But then there's the interpretation of how much actual risk that represents, right? (since "positive test" cases doesn't equal "symptomatic"). Does MLB have any discretion over that call or is it all on local/state/national health authorities? Or perhaps insurance policies and associated lawyers?
  3. Other than the adage, "Good pitching beats good hitting," that's the first I've heard of that. Do any stats support it, in term's of player-for-player comparisons, WAR, etc.? The flaw in your logic (and MacPhail's) is that there's so much attrition while you're trying to develop your homegrown pitching. Even if the hitter you draft is slightly less valuable than a pitcher, three years down the road you'll have most of your hitters intact, and half your arms blown out or under the knife. My guess is that pitchers' performance is more variable as well, thus more risky. But I don't have evidence for that. Anyone?
  4. Wow, I didn't know it was that bad. And I wonder how umpire ratings (if there are such measures) compare, too.
  5. The one element missing from this search for blame and root cause is the most direct one: the regulatory response to the virus (i.e., lockdown) that mandates closure of such events as MLB.
  6. Tempting to pin the tail on Dr. Gates, but that's too easy a target. Maybe we're all to blame.
  7. With the proposed model I will miss the team dimension of players together in the dugout and fans together in the stands, enjoying the game... together. The talk about televising games with canned crowd noise? Gets into the territory of the sims again. Creepy, when it's overlaid on the real thing. You might say, well, television itself is an abstraction from being live at the game--which is true. But every abstraction tends toward virtual instead of real baseball. A sign of the times, when some lust after transcending the human altogether and living forever in some abstracted form of cyberspace. Off topic? maybe... but the topic has come to us.
  8. Here's the exact quote by Bill Gates, with relevance to the "new" version of baseball we may (or may not) see: "... and which activities like mass gatherings, uh, may be in a certain sense more optional; and so until you're widely vaccinated, those may not, uh, come back, uh, at all."
  9. There is baseball and there is baseball. At one end of the spectrum the game can be distilled perfectly into statistics, so that a virtual sim is the essence and all we need to know. At the other end is the full-on immersive, holistic experience of the game, complete with cigar smoke (wait, is that still allowed?), beer smells, hot dog vendors, chewing and spitting, ragging on umpires, and the sheer divine madness of tens of thousands of fans packed together in a drama with both meditation and frenzy. I can't in truth say that baseball is only one of these things; but it's certainly not complete when the spectrum is severely truncated and regulated at one end. Now as to the question of electronic strike zones, that's a game-changer, and a whole worthy debate of a similar nature. On that one I'll come down on the techy side, I'm afraid, just because the human side of the traditional umpiring game is so egregiously flawed.
  10. It's the possibly "permanent" nature of such changes (as per Gates) that worries me. I would offer that in the current situation we're all in, nothing is "non-political," since there is a pervasive political context in play, and virtually any presentation of information or opinion, however neutral or objective it tries to be, implies certain perspectives and omits others. In 2020 baseball has become political whether we like it or not. That being said, I agree with the mods' efforts to try to stay on the baseball side of that fine line in discussions here.
  11. So you鈥檙e looking forward to the revival of the national pastime? May as well stick with the replays and simulations, if this is what it comes to. MLB is considering a new 67-page rulebook for how to play games in this not-so-brave new world we find ourselves in. Among the stipulations (reported by Steve Melewski馃槥 路 Avoid high fives and shaking hands after wins. 路 No pregame exchange of lineup cards. 路 Umpires throwing a baseball out of play after several players have come into contact with it. 路 A maximum of 50 players at spring training. 路 Pitchers will use a personal set of baseballs during bullpen sessions and separate balls to demonstrate pitching grips or mechanics. 路 Only necessary players will be in dugouts. Inactive players may sit in auxiliary seating areas, including adjacent in-stadium seating to maximize physical distancing. 路 Dugout phones will be disinfected after each use. 路 Lockers should be six feet apart. If this is not possible, clubs should erect temporary clubhouse or locker facilities in unused stadium space, preferably outdoors or in areas with increased ventilation. 路 Showering will be discouraged at club facilities. (Jeff Passan paints a fuller picture of what the in-game and day-to-day complications entail, here.) Only some of these rules impact in-game play鈥 but will there be any fans in the stands? Will fans be separated by empty seats? Players have already been tasked in baseball鈥檚 new normal to assimilate a vast array of analytics. Now on top of that responsibility they must observe a new tier of regulations. Will there be any room left in this hyper-controlled environment to enjoy the game they have worked all their lives to play? Will fans be denied the fully authentic experience of the national pastime, as Bill Gates has suggested, perhaps forever? Wherever we stand on the politics of covid, we share common ground in our love for baseball. Are we witnessing the sacrifice of that iconic social and cultural experience, on the altar of new standards of sterility and distance? This fan can only lament such a prospect, forced upon the game we loved.
  12. Jonathan Schoop says hi. But seriously, that did seem one of the most valuable tools in his skill set.
  13. Impressive number-crunching!
  14. I have new respect for your skepticism about older-era players after watching the 1960 WS game 7. Even Roberto Clemente looked like he was "stepping into the bucket" on his swings. Power hitters were trying to bunt with one strike in random situations. Bobby Shantz was 5'-6", looked like a Little Leaguer. SS Groat muffed a run-scoring grounder thru the middle that was easy pickings for any modern shortstop. Scrub relievers (Jim Coates) were pitching in critical situations. Etc. etc. (Not to mention the lackluster play-by-play announcers, adding nothing to the box score in real time!). Oh and about those franchises, the writeup on the recent elimination round refered to the Orioles franchise going back to 1901. But, no John McGraw with his 171 OPS+?
  15. And that leads to the question, is this sim supposed to imagine what Elias and Sig would do, or to see what Tony can do with the same ingredients to start the season, with free reign to vary the recipe from there?
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