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spiritof66 last won the day on June 22 2017

spiritof66 had the most liked content!

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About spiritof66

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  • Location
    New York City
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  • Interests
    Reading, music (drums, guitar), baseball history, college basketball
  • Occupation
    Retired lawyer
  • Favorite Current Oriole
    I dunno. Who's left? Mancini?
  • Favorite All Time Oriole

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  1. Agreed. For me, the inordinate amount of time between pitches harms the game not only by making games last longer. Especially with certain pitchers, that down-time disrupts things so much that when I watch a game on TV or on the internet I am increasingly likely to find something to do between pitches -- change channels, read, read (or write) posts on the Game Thread, watch another game on MLB, or otherwise surf the internet -- and sometimes I get distracted and don't return to the game right away. I don't feel that lapse if I'm at a game -- there's plenty to look at and talk about between pitches, and many fewer distractions -- but when I'm watching in a room full of other stuff to do it happens. (I used to react in much the same way watching football on TV when teams took 30 seconds or so huddling between plays.) I have no proof of this, but I believe the problem is pretty well entrenched at all levels of baseball, at least in the U.S. Guys who come up as pitchers are trained to believe, and it may be true, that they get an advantage from working deliberately so that they have time to focus their minds and their mechanics on each pitch. MBL and MiL managers and coaches then say, again maybe accurately, that if certain of their pitchers are forced to speed up, their chances of success will be adversely affected. So nothing -- or nothing decisive -- happens. Based on the above, I don't think you can flip a switch and enforce a pitch clock immediately. It could be phased in, I guess. But the critical step is to commit to, and announce, the rigid enactment and enforcement of a 15- or 20-second pitch clock in organized baseball in, say, three years, sending an unambiguous to young pitchers and their coaches that if those pitchers aspire to play professionally, they'd better learn to do what pitchers did for almost 100 years: receive the ball, take a sign, wind up or stretch, and throw the damn thing toward the plate right away. I pulled this video of a 1975 World Series game randomly from YouTube. Again randomly, I looked at about 10-12 pitches. The times from pitchers receipt of the ball to throwing it (excluding one time when the batter stepped out of the box and another when a foul line umpire called time out) ranged from about 11 to 18 seconds. 12-14 seemed typical. This can be fixed. I don't know much the fix would help the game. If there's a reason not to try to find out, that reason escapes me.
  2. There's something odd to me about drinking wine while watching a live sporting event. It might be OK for croquet or bocce, or tennis or even golf. Or an international soccer match between France and Italy. Beer for a baseball or basketball game. Beer or whiskey (if it's cold) for football. I think the only time I drank whiskey at a baseball game was Game 2 of the 1979 World Series, when it snowed up in the cheap seats. (Back then, you could bring pretty much anything into the ballpark that wasn't alive or ticking.) I needed the whiskey more after the game than during it. Manny Sanguillen, sheesh. Really.
  3. I don't know who will own the Orioles next year, let alone ten years from now, so I can't guess whether the owners will want to move the franchise. But I don't think that matters. I'm sure the Orioles aren't going anywhere for, say, the next 15 to 20 years because I'm sure the other MLB owners won't let the Orioles move unless the circumstances in Baltimore decline very substantially, and a change of that type would take a very long time. MLB is deeply dedicated to the proposition that MLB can succeed in any decent-sized city, especially one with a long tradition of supporting MLB, and that the kind of difficulties that would justify a franchise move are the fault of something other than the National Pastime's inability to attract fans -- like an inadequate stadium or lousy owners. The former is why the Expos left Montreal, and it's why the Rays and the A's will be permitted to move if they can't make arrangements for decent places to play. I don't see how the Orioles could persuade the other owners to approve a move from Baltimore and Camden Yards. If the Angeloses or their successors were to seek permission to move on the ground that they just can't make a go of it in Baltimore, I think it's vastly more likely that the other owners would tell them they should sell the team to someone who can make it work. In addition, there's no great place for the Orioles to go -- at least not now. The situation for expansion is in no way comparable to those that led to past expansions to the West Coast and to cities like Houston, Dallas and Denver, when large areas of the country and very big, growing cities had no major league baseball. That may change over time, but right now much of the country's population growth is in already-large metropolitan areas (which are unavailable for a move since existing franchise-holders have the right to keep out competition) and medium-size Sun Belt cities too small to support a team. Even if the Orioles were to decide they wanted to depart for Nashville or Portland or Charlotte or Montreal or San Antonio, moving would not be available now. MLB is waiting for Tampa Bay or Oakland to decide whether it wants to move because it can't get an adequate ballpark built. Those franchises have first dibs on places to relocate. After those two situations are resolved, MLB will add at least two and possibly more expansion teams. The entry fees paid for the new franchises will be shared by all the owners, so they will have a strong incentive to keep the most promising new locations (after the Rays and A's are taken care of) available for expansion -- and remember that, at least at the moment, there aren't a lot of great choices. I don't see how the Orioles, or any other team, would be allowed to move, taking away an expansion opportunity that enriches all the owners, until after that process is complete. That puts things out (I'm guessing) at least four and maybe as many as ten years before any other team could hope to get approval for a move.
  4. Here's the explanation, from another Wikipedia entry: The Baltimore Orioles team left the American Association after the 1889 season and started playing in the minor Atlantic Association. However, when the Brooklyn Gladiators ballclub folded mid-way through the 1890 season the Orioles returned to the AA to finish out the season. When you add the Baltimore and Brooklyn teams' records, they make up a full AA season.
  5. Of the eight teams that survived the NL consolidation in 1900, the Cardinals were the last to win a pennant (in 1926). In their 34 years in the NL before '26, their highest finishes were third place, four times.
  6. Beating the NYYs in four straight. 👍
  7. For me, most of the excitement of a baseball game comes from resourceful hitting, great fielding and, most of all, base hits when runners are on base that pit the offense (baserunners) against the defense's fielding, throwing and decision-making at a breakneck pace. practically every ballgame will show you something you haven't sen before. I also enjoy unexpected plays that bring tom ind the adage that I don't care for the explosion of pitching changes, home runs, strikeouts (sorry, punchouts) and walks that characterize the recent game. Tonight's Game 2 of the ALCS, which the Astros won,, 3-2, on a Correa HR in the bottom of the 11th, presented a strong example of what baseball has become, and it was pretty much a snore. The game lasted 4 hours and 49 minutes. There were 15 pitchers. Three HRs accounted for four of the five runs. There were 26 punchouts, 9 walks, and just 10 inside-the-park hits (only one for extra bases). The game was intense, with some gripping pitcher-hitter showdowns, and held my interest because of the importance of the outcome. But very little happened. In almost five hours there was only one play that I would call remotely exciting, Correa's pickup of a deflected line drive and throw to home that nailed the runner by 10 feet or so, and it sure wasn't a close play.. I didn't see anything new (and that includes the commercials), though the nonsensical ground rules about batted balls that hit the roof girders are still unfamiliar to me. The highlights shown on Fox after the game went real quick -- Correa's play and a couple of homers. And what's the deal with bringing in Zack Britton with the score tied in a postseason game? Is that allowed now? 🙄
  8. Lower-revenue teams in the AL East, NL West or NL Central face a level of challenge in using an Astro-style extreme rebuild to move from a lousy team to winning a division title (let alone several titles consecutively) that is different from, and more imposing, the one that the Astros faced in the AL West. If one of those lower-revenue teams follows the recipe used by the Astros, and makes some good decisions and has decent luck along the way, it should be able within four or five years to build a successful team that will compete to win the division or a wild-card spot, though probably only for a few years. But it's a different proposition whether that will be enough to finish ahead of the higher-revenue teams -- the NYYs/Red Sox, Cubs/Cardinals or Dodgers/Giants -- if those teams are spending more, spending it wisely, and also having pretty good (or better) luck is another question (as well as other division rivals, some of which may have been pursuing a similar rebuilding process, with comparable or greater resources). I think it's entirely possible the Orioles will competently follow the Astros' lead and have a successful rebuild without ever getting to the post-season (or doing so only once or twice as a wildcard).
  9. Stewart, Hays, Santander to start the season. Wilkerson or an upgrade in reserve. Mancini will still see some time in the OF unless Davis departs. 😒 Mountcastle to be brought up and worked in during the season, depending on how Stewart and Santander look (and how the 1B/DH situation develops). Nicknames: "Spinner" Stewart "Purple" Haze "Dragon" Santander Mountcastle = "The Cannon"
  10. Exactly. That's the only sort-of-rational explanation for the Davis contract: Angelos convinced himself that Davis could help the team remain competitive for a few more years, and who cares what would happen during the latter years of the contract?
  11. Among the other things I would like to know are (a) how many tickets sold by each team aren't used, and (b) how many tickets sold by each team are bought by companies and service firms, as opposed to people. You're right -- I think -- about the effect on competition and attendance of a lot of teams rebuilding in an extreme way. Those teams, in effect, have decided not to maximize gate receipts or try to sell as many tickets as they can this year. It's hard to figure out what to make of those teams' diminished attendance. And it remains an open question whether, if the rebuild succeeds, how fast and how much attendance and gate receipts will bounce back -- especially if the rebuilt team performs well, but not as spectacularly well as Houston, as I would expect would be the case in the AL East, NL Central or AL West.
  12. Pretty much everybody who tries to assess the direction of MLB or an MLB team's financial health focuses on the number of tickets sold. The more relevant data, in my opinion are gate receipts -- the revenues received from ticket buyers. When they sell tickets to their games, MLB presumably are trying to maximize their revenues -- that is, their gate receipts. If a team has raised its ticket prices over last year by 10 percent, it might feel pretty good about the financial impact of a 2 percent decline in its home attendance. And it's not the case that each ticket sold generates the same revenue; to understand the season-to-season direction of a team's gate receipts, you need to know the mix of prices of the tickets sold in each of those years, not just the number of tickets sold and overall ticket prices for each year. You can argue that teams should not be focused solely on revenues from the tickets it sells, since it would be better for building the game's future for teams to sell more tickets at lower prices, bringing more fans out to games, even if that would result in lower gate receipts. But most of MLB's owners have made it clear that what they're trying to do, over a limited time period if not in each season, is to maximize profits and win games, with little or no regard to building future interest in baseball (at least where there's some loss of revenue or some significant cost attached to the latter). Complete, up-to-date and and reliable data on tickets sold by each team are always just a click away. Gate receipts, on the other hand, are available for the most part only in the Forbes numbers that are reported months after the season is over (and, while I think those numbers are pretty reliable, that's not entirely certain). As a result, we tend to look only to the former data point for each team, but that's probably not the most important fact from the point of view of a team owner. When the Commissioner or a team owner talks about the health of the game, I try to keep in mind that they have a lot more information than I do, and that flat attendance or a small attendance decline may look different to them from what it looks like to me.
  13. That has to be the feel-good story of 2019. Possible runner-up is Lew Ford and the Long Island Ducks winning the independent Atlantic League championship last night by beating the Sugar Land Skeeters, 8-4, in the decisive fifth game of their series. (By the way, Ford was followed in the Ducks' batting order by one L.J. Mazzilli, the son of former major leaguer Lee Mazzilli. Something in the back of my mind tells me that Lee Mazzilli had a brief non-playing connection with the Orioles, but I've managed to suppress that memory.)
  14. Villar added significant value to the Orioles this year and would be likely to add value next year, albeit maybe less value and at a higher cost. Villar can play 2B or SS, two positions where the Orioles are, to put it mildly, thin. I think it's in the team's interest to have Richie Martin at AAA for most or all of 2010. If the Orioles agree, and if Villar isn't tendered, we'll need a SS and, without an upgrade, will probably stick with Ruiz and/or Nunez (it hurts to type his name in this context) at 3B next year. I don't especially like Villar at SS, but anybody I would like at SS will probably cost more than the ML minimum and be a non-contributor at the bottom of the lineup. The gap in talent and productivity between Villar and the Orioles' other options at SS/2B this year was large, and that's likely to be the case again in 2020. It's too speculative to forecast either what Villar will do or what the alternatives will be beyond 2021, and I wouldn't extend him now. But I suspect he would be expected to be more valuable (that is, provide an upgrade over the alternatives) to the Orioles next year than he would be expected to be to virtually every other ML teams. I know there are plenty of fans who don't care about optimizing the performance of next year's team, or think that would be counter-productive because of the potential effect on the Orioles' position in the 2021 amateur draft. I don't see it that way: I'd like to see the 2020 team shoot for 65 wins (a .400 winning percentage), or at least a lead after 7 innings in 65 games before the bullpen screws things up. Villar would help the team win more games in pursuit of a goal like that.
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