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MLB lifers decry the state of the modern baseball: 'Unwatchable'

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6 hours ago, LocoChris said:

Every change they make is for the worse, except for increasing netting. You want to increase the pace of play? Get rid of all the damn commercials. But of course the greedy bastards would never do that. So they do all this stupid s*** to cut 2 minutes off the game time and are actually stupid enough to think that will make a difference. Manfred is a buck-toothed idiot. 

Oh my god you are so right! That man wakes up ever morning trying to think of idiotic things to do to make the game worse. 

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6 hours ago, Tony-OH said:

In his defense, I watched a lot of this in the 70s and 80s and had fun watching it. Watching Dick Tidrow face Gorman Thomas was good stuff. :D

Although I do think the home runs are becoming ridiculous (Simply go away from the current superball used and get back to the one used a year or two ago) there are two things that annoy me about today's game, and that's the crazy shifts and 12 pitch foul ball at bat. Both of these could be limited by instilling a rule that you can't have more than two fielders on one side of an infield within 30 feet of the infield dirt (they could draw a line) as the ball is pitched. To get rid of these 8-12 pitch at bats where batters keep fouling off pitches, just institute a rule that the batter gets two fouls after getting to two strikes then is out.

I love all the analytical data like pitchers arsenals, batters EVs, and fielders burst and spring speeds and feel they actually improve the game. I love the fact that there's no more arguing over how straight a guy's fastball is because now we can just look up the data.

Ruiz hit his home run tonight {Monday), with two outs in the ninth inning, to bring the Orioles within one run, on the tenth pitch of the at bat.  He had fouled off four pitches after getting two strikes.

To me, that's competition, and interesting.  Each competitor, the pitcher and the batter, trying to out think, then out execute their opponent.  Well matched for 9 pitches.  I wouldn't like to see that go away.

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15 minutes ago, Philip said:

Consider this: Would you rather watch a replay of a homerun, a stolen base attempt, an intricate double play, a great running or leaping catch in the outfield, or a long throw to catch a runner trying to extend a single or double?

I guarantee you that the overwhelming answer would NOT be the home run. Defense is more interesting. Baserunning is more interesting. The problem with the home run is that it is now so common as to have lost all the impact it once had.

a 2-1 game with excellent defense and strategy is far more exciting than trying to bludgeon the ball at every at bat.

Although game 6 of the 2011 WS was the best single game I’ve ever watched, the 2014 ALCS was the most exciting whole series I’ve ever watched( the result was less appealing.)

This had always been my argument to non-baseball watchers. Outside of football, what other sport do you have so many interesting plays that could happen that you don't see every game? Triple plays, shutout outs, stolen bases, balks, steals of home, bunts singles etc.

I don't watch the NBA because I feel like the lack of variation between games becomes monotonous and boring. I feel the three true outcomes style of the current game is making baseball like that. It is killing what makes baseball such an interesting and dynamic sport, the variety. I think this is really hurting the appeal for people.

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The league and people who complain and want changes in baseball are looking at the wrong things.  The games arent too long, there isnt too many home runs or blah blah blah.

The reason baseball has lost viewership and declining attendance is the "wussafication" of the game.  Bring back take out slides at second, collisions at home plate, bring back hitting a batter for showing a pitcher up, bring back hitting the other teams hitter for hitting your guy, bring back chewing tobacco, bring back managers who get ejected, bring back benches clearing, bring back hitting a batter 2 months later because you didnt get your chance last time.  Bring back the unwritten rules that have been lost.

I was waiting for one of the Os pitchers to hit a batter after whoever it was ran into Sisco last night and it never happened.  I doubt anyone in the bullpen even thought twice about protecting his catcher.  They basically said, "We dont care about each other and just walk all over us."

That is the baseball that these old guys are missing and cant figure out why this baseball is not entertaining to them any more.  I am not a violent person, but I really enjoyed watching the Steelers and Ravens play pre"wussification" of football.  I am just not into football as much as I use to be now that it doesnt have those hits that make you cringe and want to look away.  And I dont think there is many small things within baseball that are as fun as a hard slide into second or knowing in the back of your mind that the next time the Red Sox come to town, there are going to be some words.

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The strategy of the game is being minimized. It can be compared to two Vikings Slashing at each other with double bladed axes,

Or two fencers With those fragile rapiers. I think the fencers would be much more interesting to watch, although the Vikings would be quite a bit more bloodyI think the fencers would be much more interesting to watch, although the Vikings would be quite a bit more bloody.

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1 hour ago, Philip said:

Oh my god you are so right! That man wakes up ever morning trying to think of idiotic things to do to make the game worse. 

Finally someone has the courage to speak the truth!

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Vikings.  Double-bladed axes.  Wussification! (Love it!)

As a temporary measure, let's require that batters have to hold on the the bat until they're somewhere between second and third.  I'll bet that sucker gets used the right way in no time flat.  

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3 hours ago, 24fps said:

Vikings.  Double-bladed axes.  Wussification! (Love it!)

As a temporary measure, let's require that batters have to hold on the the bat until they're somewhere between second and third.  I'll bet that sucker gets used the right way in no time flat.  

That made me laff laff.

we’re turning baseball into Mad Max.

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11 hours ago, Tony-OH said:

, just institute a rule that the batter gets two fouls after getting to two strikes then is out.

I strongly feel the rule should be the opposite. We want more baserunners, not fewer. If a player succeeds in fouling off a certain number of pitches, he is awarded first base. It takes skill to foul off a pitch, and creating a game-altering result would create a sense of urgency in what is currently a waste of time. Also because the pitcher risks putting a guy on after a set number of fouls, he’s going to be more careful about his pitch location. The result will be more interest in foul balls, an added element of strategy( increasing pitch counts forces pitchers out sooner) and more guys in base and more runs.

I’d also like the batter to have the chance to steal first on a wild pitch or passed ball, but that’s another subject.

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15 hours ago, atomic said:

I like the long foul ball at bats.  That shows you a good hitter who is wearing down the pitcher for the team. Markakis had those a lot.  I also don't mind the shift.  If you are good hitter the shift shouldn't affect you. 

I think there is too much stats.  I like the old days when people judged a player by watching the game. 

I agree that shifts are good, and that long foul ball at bats should be interesting.   But often just result in a home run or a strikeout.  There's little or no changing strategy to shorten up and make contact, it's still swinging from the heels on pitch 11.

There's no going back on the information revolution.  We're not reverting to a place where Cliff Claven and Goose Gossage expound on every major leaguer based on watching them for 30 seconds over a beer.  But I do understand the nostalgia over being that level of fan; it's kind of how I watch soccer.  

15 hours ago, webbrick2010 said:

This This

The stadiums are way too small, results in more HRs and less emphasis on OF defense. No place in the game for Paul Blair today and that is really sad

 

Unfortunately we're on the back end of a generation of new stadiums, many of which will be here for a long, long time.  And not a single one of them have a 460' sign in LC.  I kind of doubt they ever will, because the power hitters will all erupt in righteous indignation the minute you try to enforce reasonably long fence distances.  

I remember when the renovated old Yankee Stadium slowly moved the LC fence in from over 400' to something like 380' so that they wouldn't anger their right-handed sluggers.  Now everyone is a slugger with an axe to grind over fence distances. Who's the guy on the Tigers who basically asked to be traded because Comerica wasn't fair, and he just wasn't going to have any more of 390' fly outs?

15 hours ago, Sessh said:

Also, starting pitchers need to go deeper into games again.

There's a fundamental challenge in that we now know with complete certainty that almost every pitcher pitches better in short outings.  That will never change, it's a physical characteristic of human beings.  The only way to force pitchers to pitch more is to limit how many of them you can have.  I've suggested that over a period of five years they phase in a limit the number of pitchers on the roster to nine.  Individual pitchers would have to pitch more often and more innings, meaning they'd have to back off from max effort all the time.  Which probably means other changes to limit offense, because with today's ball an average starter a third time through the lineup probably has an ERA north of 9.00.

15 hours ago, Frobby said:

That may be the worst proposed rule change I’ve ever heard.    Just what we need, more strikeouts.    

How about this: four strikes and you’re out, but a foul ball on strike four is an out.    I’m not sure how that tradeoff would work, in terms of strikeouts going up or down.    

In general, I’d like to go back to 6-7 strikeouts per team per game, roughly 1.0 HR per game.    Just tell me how to get there.  

Maybe we need to remember why the early rulesmakers invented walks: to make pitchers throw pitches the hitter could hit.  In the mid-19th century the concept was that the pitcher was there to serve up pitches the batter could put in play so the exciting stuff could happen in the field.  We've gone 180 (okay, maybe 120) degrees out from that because they found out the batter-pitcher matchup was pretty exciting, too.

I'd like to come up with a non-intrusive way to disincentivize pitchers from striking everyone out.  But I don't know that I have anything.  A strikeout is an out 99.9% of the time.  A ball in play is an out less than 70% of the time, and there's probably no rules change that could bring those two closer together without fundamentally altering baseball.

If you throw out tradition you could do something like move the mound back 2', and make a strikeout two outs.  A strikeout kills almost any rally.  Make it harder for pitchers, and a huge negative for batters.

 

8 hours ago, sevastras said:

The league and people who complain and want changes in baseball are looking at the wrong things.  The games arent too long, there isnt too many home runs or blah blah blah.

The reason baseball has lost viewership and declining attendance is the "wussafication" of the game.  Bring back take out slides at second, collisions at home plate, bring back hitting a batter for showing a pitcher up, bring back hitting the other teams hitter for hitting your guy, bring back chewing tobacco, bring back managers who get ejected, bring back benches clearing, bring back hitting a batter 2 months later because you didnt get your chance last time.  Bring back the unwritten rules that have been lost.

I was waiting for one of the Os pitchers to hit a batter after whoever it was ran into Sisco last night and it never happened.  I doubt anyone in the bullpen even thought twice about protecting his catcher.  They basically said, "We dont care about each other and just walk all over us."

That is the baseball that these old guys are missing and cant figure out why this baseball is not entertaining to them any more.  I am not a violent person, but I really enjoyed watching the Steelers and Ravens play pre"wussification" of football.  I am just not into football as much as I use to be now that it doesnt have those hits that make you cringe and want to look away.  And I dont think there is many small things within baseball that are as fun as a hard slide into second or knowing in the back of your mind that the next time the Red Sox come to town, there are going to be some words.

In the 1890s baseball was played a little bit like 1970s hockey, maybe more violent.  Fistfights were common among players, umpires, fans.  Spikings happened frequently. Collisions were everywhere.  Cheating was rampant.  Arguments often got violent.  Police sometimes has to escort players out of the stadium to avoid bodily harm.  

Attendance plummeted.  Even in the wild west era where the average guy was much tougher than today, there was little stomach for that kind of baseball.  Players weren't allowed to stay in better hotels.  Parents didn't want their kids becoming something as disreputable as a baseball player.  One of the reasons the American League won the early 1900s battle with the NL was that they marketed themselves as "clean baseball" that had eliminated the unsavory aspects of the game from the '90s.

There's just no way in today's culture that we're going to have some kind of WWF baseball. Beanings and spikings and broken limbs and concussions and careers cut short and parents who won't let their kids play baseball and an endless string of lawsuits is no way to increase fan interest.  It's a desperation move.  

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I have zero interest in making changes to the fundamental rules of the game that have been in place for 100 years.  No need to change the foul ball rule.  I also do not like the 3 batter minimum for pitchers.  The state baseball is in today is driven from the optimization strategy on what gets your the team the most wins.  Right now the home run is king. 

MLB needs to get rid of the super ball, this should reduce homeruns which could result in a different optimization strategy to win.  Reducing homeruns is the key.  If replacing the super ball does not work, raise the mound.  Eventually this results in a greater emphasis of getting on base, which probably means hitters start looking to beat the shift and batters value making contact.  I think the emphasis on batters trying to draw walks is here to stay because not making outs and getting on base is critical to scoring runs.  Same as pitchers looking for strikeouts is here to stay, if the batter doesn't the hit ball, you can't get hurt. 

 

 

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