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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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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 10/30/1951

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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. I'm not sure that would work. MLB might call their bluff and move most of the minor leagues to the Caribbean and South and Central America, plus Cape Cod and other college league sites where there are underused ballparks. It would be interesting if the "surviving" clubs took a stand, but it could get pretty ugly.
  2. The article, like others, doesn't refer to a proposal under which MLB would "eliminate" or "cut" these MiL teams. It says the MiL teams' "affiliations" with ML teams would be "severed." Let's say I own the Erie SeaWolves. Under this proposal, would MLB buy me out since it's sucking virtually all the value out of my franchise? Or is MLB just going to tell me, "Hey, good luck with those SeaWolves," leaving me with my ownership of a franchise but no league to play in and depriving me of the source of players, managers, coaches, baseballs and other equipment I've had for 25 years? And what about the ballparks, many of which (I'm guessing) are owned by cities and towns, and were built with the support of state and local governments? (Just last year, Pennsylvania committed to $18 million to fund improvements to the SeaWolves' stadium.) The teams aren't going to be able to pay rent to the ballpark owners if they're not having games. The owners of the ballparks will be left to scramble for concerts, wrestling matches, and the like. Is MLB obligated to, or planning to, do anything to help the ballpark owners? At the heart of all this is what kind of contract rights these MiL teams have against their parent teams or against MLB. Are those arrangements standard, or do they differ from MiL team to team? Were some or all of the 42 MiL teams chosen because their rights are less extensive or valuable? I guess the only things we can be certain of at this point are that MLB will thoroughly think through all the consequences and that whatever it decides will be for the good of baseball. 😏
  3. The games will go so much quicker with the new three-batter minimum that you'll be back home in plenty of time to catch up with that afternoon's work. 😎
  4. Agreed. But to me the problem is this: when this approach to asset allocation seems to a bunch of teams like the best or only way to build a contender, isn't that bad for a sport that should be working hard to maintain current fans and attract new or returning ones?
  5. Senility seems like a stretch. And unnecessary -- arrogance, ignorance, desperation to win now and lack of concern for the team's long-range future were enough to get a deal done. Kind of like going to the zoo when half the bears are asleep, half are awake, and one is on speed, eager to race around the cage against himself.
  6. When he's on the mound, he won't be in the outfield. That's a plus.
  7. Here's a good summary of the coming changes in this article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/02/27/mlb-reportedly-offers-postpone-pitch-clock-until/?arc404=true
  8. It will take some time, like a few seasons, to see how this shakes out after adjustments by managers (and GMs who set the rosters), and adjustments to those adjustments, and so on. As one possible example. I expect that the three-batter minimum will lead to an increase in borderline or bogus injuries to pitchers who are ineffective but haven't reached the minimum. That may, in turn, lead to changes in how readily supposed injuries lead to unlimited warm-up times for new pitchers. Just an example of potentially unforeseen consequences. I can see both sides of the issue on this change, but what continually puzzles me is why MLB doesn't take immediate steps that should be more effective in speeding up play and much less controversial: enforce the rules governing pitchers and batters that are on the books, toughen the penalties for violating those rules, and adopt immediately a 20-second pitch clock (scheduled to be introduced in MLB in 2022). The current rules require pitchers to throw the ball within 12 seconds when the bases are empty. When a pitcher exceeds that limit – and, I believe, the batter is in the batter’s box, ready to hit -- the umpire is supposed to call a ball: Rule 5.07(c). Pitcher Delays When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.” The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball. The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire. The coming rule will (I think) be phrased similarly in setting a limit of 20 seconds when a base is occupied. The current rules limit a hitter’s right to leave the batter's box. It needs to be modified so that the umpire is required to call a strike when a batter violates the rule by leaving the box improperly or failing to be in the box when the pitcher is ready to pitch: Rule 5.04(b)(4). The Batter’s Box Rule The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout the batter’s time at bat, unless one of the following exceptions applies, in which case the batter may leave the batter’s box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate: (i) The batter swings at a pitch; (ii) An attempted check swing is appealed to a base umpire; (iii) The batter is forced off balance or out of the batter’s box by a pitch; (iv) A member of either team requests and is granted “Time”; (v) A defensive player attempts a play on a runner at any base; (vi) The batter feints a bunt; (vii) A wild pitch or passed ball occurs; (viii) The pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound after receiving the ball; or (ix) The catcher leaves the catcher’s box to give defensive signals. If the batter intentionally leaves the batter’s box and delays play, and none of the exceptions listed in Rule 5.04(b)(4)(A)(i) through (ix) applies, the umpire shall issue a warning to the batter for the batter’s first violation of this Rule in a game. For a batter’s second or subsequent violations of this Rule in a game, the League President may issue an appropriate discipline. In National Association play, for a batter’s second or subsequent violations of this Rule in a game, the umpire shall award a strike without the pitcher having to deliver the pitch. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance. (B) The batter may leave the batter’s box and the dirt area surrounding home plate when “Time” is called for the purpose or as a result of (i) an injury or potential injury; (ii) making a substitution; or (iii) a conference by either team. Rule 5.04(b)(4)(B) Comment: Umpires shall encourage the on deck batter to take a position in the batter’s box quickly after the previous batter reaches base or is put out. (5) The batter’s legal position shall be with both feet within the batter’s box. If you watch a game from the 60s or 70s, you'll see right away two reasons why games moved faster then. Within a few seconds after getting the ball, most pitchers take the sign, wind up (or go to the stretch) and pitch. And when they’re ready to pitch, the batter is almost always in the batter's box and ready to hit. (I haven’t seen any tapes with Mike Hargrove at the plate.) That pretty much would be the game we'd see today if the rules on the books, with some penalties added, were enforced and the coming rule imposing a 20-second pitch clock were put into effect. Why not try that first?
  9. I'd be glad to assist in the event there's a need to bring the level of tech expertise down another notch or two.
  10. spiritof66


    That sounds nice, but I think it's highly improbable the Orioles can get to that point if I assume the structure of MLB doesn't change dramatically. (I'll also assume that the stupid and arrogant decisions by Peter Angelos and his pre-Duquette hires won't recur, and that beginning in 2018 decisions that affect the team have been and will be made intelligently and competently.) Here are a few reasons: 1. It takes time to build the size and quality of productive internal resources like analytics, scouting, player development and marketing. The "sustained success" teams mentioned in the prior post (NYYs, Cubs, Dodgers, Astros, Nats -- the Nats don't really belong in the "sustained success" category, at least not yet, and I would add the Red Sox and Cardinals), as well as many of the other ML franchises, are way ahead of the Orioles in most of these areas, and most of them will be working to expand and improve their own departments, maintaining their competitive edge over teams like the Orioles. Many of them have a lot more money to do that with, and a lot more experience in doing that, and a very large head start in reputation among prospective signers and their advisors. 2. The Orioles are way behind when it comes to scouting, spending on, signing (including signing big-bonus prospects more likely to reach the big club) and developing international talent. Some of the teams that are ahead of them have a lot more experience in doing those things, more money to spend, and a large head start in reputation among prospective signers and their advisors, And they are not standing still. They are upgrading, improving, and adapting to the limits imposed by the international slot regime, including huge investments in facilities by the Dodgers and probably others. Even if you were to identify a point in the future when the Orioles are adding Latin American talent that is equivalent to that brought on by "sustained success" teams, most of that that talent will be at least four to six years away from helping the Orioles. 3. None of the "sustained success" teams mentioned by either the previous poster or me competes in a division with a team that has substantially higher revenues. The Orioles compete with two such teams, and a third team, the Jays, has the potential to bring in much more revenue than the Orioles. Someone might ask, "What about Tampa Bay's ability to compete successfully in the AL East?" Well, what about it? I agree that the Rays have performed impressively in light of their limited resources. I don't fully understand how they've done as well as they have, but one contributing factor is their ruthless trading of their young talent before it reaches free agency, so that there has never been and may never be a long-term Ray, other than Evan Longoria, sort of, with ten years as a Ray before he was traded. In their 22 years, the Rays have won two division titles and three wild-card spots, and in the past ten years they have finished first once, second twice, fourth three times, fourth twice, and fifth once. (Many of those finishes have been buoyed a spot by the Orioles' lousiness, and if we're expecting the Orioles to improve it is almost certain to be at the expense of the Rays.) Pretty good under the circumstances, but I wouldn't call it "sustained success." 4. The Nats were able to get to the postseason this year in part because of disappointing performances by two of their north-by-Amtrak NL East competitors. The Braves were very good, but hardly a great team, the Phillies and Mets each looked strong at times but eventually pulled the old cheap-suitcase routine, and the Marlins were terrible. The Nats' 93 wins would not have gotten them a wild card spot in the AL. When the NYYs or RS had uncharacteristic off-years in '12, '14 and '16, the Orioles were able to climb through a somewhat similar window. But when your recipe for getting to the postseason calls for other teams' playing unexpectedly badly, I wouldn't call the end-product "sustained success." The Orioles are one of nine MLB teams (the others are the Jays, Rays, Brewers, Pirates, Reds, Pads, Rockies and D-Backs) that have and, unless there is a realignment or some other significant change affecting teams' relative financial resources, will continue to have a lot less money to spend than their division rivals. None of them has had sustained success for a very long time, and it's unlikely -- not impossible, but unlikely -- any of them will. These teams appear to me to have three choices, with a limitless number of variations. They can jump on (or stay on) a treadmill of mediocrity, trying to win as many games as they can each year and hope to catch the proverbial lightning in a bottle (say, by drafting a Mike Trout or two, or having a bunch of guys have breakout seasons together), or use what they believe to be their front-office brilliance and farsightedness to outmaneuver other teams like Branch Rickey or (maybe) Billy Beane, or hope for divisional rivals to fade or collapse for a season or two. If something like that happens, they can try to pick up a couple of still-productive (even if overpriced) veterans to put them over the top. They can do what the Astros did and the Orioles are doing: toss in their cards from a bust hand and, while the team is really bad, try (with talent collected from all sources, including trading veterans and high draft picks) to stockpile player value that will peak over a few years, in the hope that they can win something over, say, a three-to-five-year stretch, and then toss in that hand, maybe retaining more value and winning more games than in the first cycle, and repeat the process. They can follow the Rays' model and try to stay competitive by acquiring a stream of valuable players, including other teams' castoffs, and trading those players once they establish their value, creating a constant churn of players sporting the Rays laundry without much concern for the effect on the team's fans (not a big deal in Tampa since there isn't going to be much of a fan base anyway). The first approach has not worked too well in recent years. It's not yet clear how well either of the last two will work in the AL East (or NL Central or NL West). But none of them is a model that seems capable of creating sustained success for a team like the Orioles. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't think that's realistic.
  11. I hope you're right, but I'm dubious. MLB is very reluctant to make changes to the game itself -- as opposed to the rules for player acquisition,team finances, etc. -- that might put off traditionalist fans. At a minimum, I think there will be two or three years of testing and fine-tuning in the minors before balls and strikes are called electronically in MLB.
  12. My guess is that MLB is likely to implement an electronic strike zone in about 10-15 years.
  13. I just don't know. And we';re not, or at least I'm not, talking about him becoming a Gold Glover. Just moving up to ML average, which in my opinion would not be that big a step.
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