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

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4 hours ago, Philip said:

 It takes skill to foul off a pitch...

Kind of.  It used to, when guys would choke up and poke the ball and intentionally foul off pitches they couldn't drive.  Now they're just getting all jacked for the next 97mph heater and try to get a piece of it.  If they're lucky they barrel it and it goes 475'.  If they just miss it hits the backstop, and they try to hit the Warehouse on the next pitch.

It would be cool if guys were dropping fat bats in the zone and flaring opposite field hits on pitch 10.  But the analysts have done the math and hitting .300 on singles isn't as productive as a homer every 15 PAs, so swing that 28 ounce bat hard in case you hit something.

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37 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Kind of.  It used to, when guys would choke up and poke the ball and intentionally foul off pitches they couldn't drive.  Now they're just getting all jacked for the next 97mph heater and try to get a piece of it.  If they're lucky they barrel it and it goes 475'.  If they just miss it hits the backstop, and they try to hit the Warehouse on the next pitch.

It would be cool if guys were dropping fat bats in the zone and flaring opposite field hits on pitch 10.  But the analysts have done the math and hitting .300 on singles isn't as productive as a homer every 15 PAs, so swing that 28 ounce bat hard in case you hit something.

Deaden the ball and move the fences back and then you have more incentive to hit the ball on a line drive instead of launching the ball for the sky.  I have no idea why the league decided to juice the ball.  Terrible idea. 

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18 hours ago, OsFanSinceThe80s said:

I think a lot of the problems would be solved if MLB goes back to a neutral baseball that doesn't turn warning track pop flies into home runs. Home runs are being incentivized and you can't blame teams/players for taking advantage.  

Launch angle isn't going away, but I'm curious to see how Nunez or little Yaz profiles as a hitter if you make them start hitting baseballs from 2014. 

I agree with the Goose... a game of strategy without a good portion of the strategy makes the game hard to watch very often.  Home Run Derby-style baseball is only fun for those that never really took the time to understand the game, imo.  But I do think the neutral baseball is the way to go.

I don't even mind teams using the shift.  What I can't stand is that the OFF doesn't make adjustments to that.

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I already made my point, but strikeouts are the root cause of baseball being more boring, not home runs.    Up from 6.07 per game in 2004 to 8.72 today.    Homers have gone from 1.07 to 1.44 in that same time frame.   By the way, doubles and triples are virtually unchanged in that time.    

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26 minutes ago, atomic said:

Deaden the ball and move the fences back and then you have more incentive to hit the ball on a line drive instead of launching the ball for the sky.  I have no idea why the league decided to juice the ball.  Terrible idea. 

Because they couldn't/wouldn't do other things to keep overall offense at acceptable levels while pitchers continue to throw 100 mph and strike out a batter an inning.

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19 minutes ago, Frobby said:

I already made my point, but strikeouts are the root cause of baseball being more boring, not home runs.    Up from 6.07 per game in 2004 to 8.72 today.    Homers have gone from 1.07 to 1.44 in that same time frame.   By the way, doubles and triples are virtually unchanged in that time.    

The home runs and strike outs go hand in hand.  If players were trying to put the ball in play when they got two strikes instead of swinging for the fences there would be less strike outs.

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5 minutes ago, atomic said:

The home runs and strike outs go hand in hand.  If players were trying to put the ball in play when they got two strikes instead of swinging for the fences there would be less strike outs.

I agree, but only in part.    I think increased velocity is the main cause of more strikeouts.    Change in approach is a secondary cause.   

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While homeruns and strikeouts are essential components of the game, there is a certain threshold above which their frequency becomes detrimental to baseball.

Both HRs and Ks are basically non-plays. Infielders, outfielders, runners, no one plays. In a sport where action is already limited, an overabundance of HRs and Ks makes the game hard to watch.

The only part I disagree is about "robot" umpires. I think this is long overdue and can improve the game.

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5 hours ago, Philip said:

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.

But if you did this batters would just cut down their swings to make some kind of contact. Major league batters could make contact on most pitches if they wanted to, especially if they weren't concerned with making hard contact.

I don't think it's an awful idea to let batters try and "steal" first base on WP or PBs. Might lead to pitchers not trying to make that pitch with crazy movement because the catcher could miss it as well. Perhaps it would encourage more strikes.

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11 minutes ago, Uli2001 said:

While homeruns and strikeouts are essential components of the game, there is a certain threshold above which their frequency becomes detrimental to baseball.

Both HRs and Ks are basically non-plays. Infielders, outfielders, runners, no one plays. In a sport where action is already limited, an overabundance of HRs and Ks makes the game hard to watch.

The only part I disagree is about "robot" umpires. I think this is long overdue and can improve the game.

I think robot umpires for balls and strikes will improve the game.  As part of that I would like them to get rid of the video review.  To me that slows down an already slow game.  You get more accurate balls and strikes and you deal with a missed call now and then on the base paths. 

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15 hours ago, Frobby said:

A few other stats:

1.  Percentage of one-pitch at bats.

2.  Percentage of at bats getting to two strikes.

3.   Percentage of two-strike at bats resulting in strikeouts.

4.   Percentage of full count at bats.

1989: 14.0, 41.2, 33.7,10.9

1999: 12.9, 45.1, 35.0, 12.9

2009: 11.0, 47.9, 36.4, 13.0

2019: 10.5, 53.6, 42.3, 14.5

It's pretty clear batters are willing to get to deep counts now because the strike out is no longer looked down upon like it once was. I can remember back in the day when 100 strikeouts meant you were a strikeout machine. 

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5 minutes ago, Tony-OH said:

It's pretty clear batters are willing to get to deep counts now because the strike out is no longer looked down upon like it once was. I can remember back in the day when 100 strikeouts meant you were a strikeout machine. 

That's a couple months for Davis.

I agree that the idea of a strikeout is no longer looked down upon.  Combine that with increased velocity, strikeouts are at a peak.  

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Honestly I think I lot of these old guys have sour grapes because they played baseball too early and didn’t have a chance to get filthy stinking rich off it.

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Why is attendance always equated to the negatives of the game?  Maybe its just me, but its much cheaper to pick up a 6 pack and order pizza to watch the game at home, than pay $9 for one beer and like $12-14 for Boog's BBQ.  I have done this several times this year, but I hate when ballplayers or MLB experts have no idea the cost to the common man or woman and the fact that wages have been stagnate for decades now. Same with all other sports.  

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45 minutes ago, atomic said:

I think robot umpires for balls and strikes will improve the game.  As part of that I would like them to get rid of the video review.  To me that slows down an already slow game.  You get more accurate balls and strikes and you deal with a missed call now and then on the base paths. 

I think you get rid of the challenge system and have someone in the booth watching the telecast.  They radio down to the ump when something is obviously wrong.  If it takes more than a minute to figure out you just move on.  Postseason maybe you give them two or three minutes because all postseason games end at 2am anyway.

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