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

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38 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

The 1990-2005 era was exciting because we were seeing things that hadn't happened in baseball since before most of us were born.  I grew up reading about Jimmy Foxx and Lou Gehrig and Hank Greenberg hitting 50 homers and slugging .700.  Pretty much nobody did that from 1965-1992.  In 1989 Fred McGriff led the AL with 36 homers.  This year's Twins might have six guys over 30 homers.

It was exciting because it was the rebirth of something not seen in decades.  Now it's utterly commonplace.  If tonight some team hits eight homers it might not even lead SportsCenter.  If your #9 hitter hits one off the end of the bat or the handle and it goes 425' it's just a thing.  Home runs are banal.  They're nothing special.  Between the two teams you see three homers a game.  If it's the Orioles you might see 5-6, with 4-5 hit by the opponent.  

Different is exciting.  We've had wall-to-wall power for 25 years.  It's boring.  If I wanted to see 18 huge guys stand around and wait for a homer I can go to a St. Mary's County beer league softball game.

Can't really argue with that. I'm not sure it will be easy for the game to let go of the home run obsession, though. It's hard to imagine a near future where another strike doesn't happen. Certainly, position players would reject any change that would lessen home runs. You mentioned Nick Castellanos of the Tigers complaining about the deep outfield at Comerica for starters. I don't think it's something that will be changed without a lot of kicking and screaming and that's just one thing, but how long will it take for the realization to set in is the question. Very rough waters ahead for baseball indeed. At some point, someone has to have the courage to just do what's best for the game as opposed to making wild changes that won't ruffle too many feathers. Feathers are going to have to be ruffled to fix what's wrong with this game.

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1 minute ago, Sessh said:

Can't really argue with that. I'm not sure it will be easy for the game to let go of the home run obsession, though. It's hard to imagine a near future where another strike doesn't happen. Certainly, position players would reject any change that would lessen home runs. You mentioned Nick Castellanos of the Tigers complaining about the deep outfield at Comerica for starters. I don't think it's something that will be changed without a lot of kicking and screaming and that's just one thing, but how long will it take for the realization to set in is the question. Very rough waters ahead for baseball indeed. At some point, someone has to have the courage to just do what's best for the game as opposed to making wild changes that won't ruffle too many feathers. Feathers are going to have to be ruffled to fix what's wrong with this game.

Stuff like that hasn't historically been open to collective bargaining.

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o

 

We haven't had any "I used to walk 5 miles to school, in the snow, with no shoes, and the walk was uphill both ways" posts yet ???

 

o

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1 minute ago, Can_of_corn said:

Stuff like that hasn't historically been open to collective bargaining.

Fair enough, thanks. That's one area where I'm not all that well versed in the details.

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20 hours ago, Frobby said:

Personally, I wasn’t a skilled enough hitter to try to foul off pitches.    I was either going to hit the ball or not (and mostly not).    

I guess you could sort of figure out the answer by comparing foul ball rates on 2-strike counts with foul ball rates on non-two strike counts.   But I don’t know if that data is available.    

Meanwhile here are some stats on P/PA and the percentage of strikes thrown that are (1) taken, (2) whiffed on, (3) fouled off, and (4) put in play.

1989: 3.63, 24.9, 14.0, 26.7, 34.2

1999: 3.75, 27.1, 14.1, 26.4, 32.4

2009: 3.84, 27.9, 14.3, 27.4, 30.4

2019: 3.92, 26.0, 18.8, 28.0, 27.2

As you can see from this, there has been an uptick in the percentage of strikes fouled off over the last 20 years, but what really stands out is the huge increase in swing and miss strikes over the last 10 years, after being very steady before that.     To me that’s the biggest problem in the game today.    And it’s mostly the result of higher velocity, in my opinion.    

 

The interesting for me in these stats (good work) is that, though there is a trend from 1989 to 2019, the 1999 and 2009 numbers are closer to each other than 1989-1999 and 2009-2019 are. That tells me that baseball did not change as much in the 2000's, but that there were big changes in the 1990's (we already knew this, PEDs) and 2010's (I at least wasn't so aware of that, probably the juiced ball and analytics).

The bottomline is that the game has changed a lot over the past decade, right before our eyes.

 

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Just now, Uli2001 said:

The interesting for me in these stats (good work) is that, though there is a trend from 1989 to 2019, the 1999 and 2009 numbers are closer to each other than 1989-1999 and 2009-2019 are. That tells me that baseball did not change as much in the 2000's, but that there were big changes in the 1990's (we already knew this, PEDs) and 2010's (I at least wasn't so aware of that, probably the juiced ball and analytics).

The bottomline is that the game has changed a lot over the past decade, right before our eyes.

 

Geez I don't like this. 

How about increased efficiency of PEDs used in conjunction with superior training and nutrition?  Maybe throw something in about smaller stadiums being built?

Plenty of guys were using various PEDs before the '90's.

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Just now, Can_of_corn said:

Geez I don't like this. 

How about increased efficiency of PEDs used in conjunction with superior training and nutrition?  Maybe throw something in about smaller stadiums being built?

Plenty of guys were using various PEDs before the '90's.

Sure, it's a combination of factors (and that's why the trend continued after they removed PEDs). I just went with the easy headline.

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4 minutes ago, Uli2001 said:

The interesting for me in these stats (good work) is that, though there is a trend from 1989 to 2019, the 1999 and 2009 numbers are closer to each other than 1989-1999 and 2009-2019 are. That tells me that baseball did not change as much in the 2000's, but that there were big changes in the 1990's (we already knew this, PEDs) and 2010's (I at least wasn't so aware of that, probably the juiced ball and analytics).

The bottomline is that the game has changed a lot over the past decade, right before our eyes.

 

And I suspect that most of this change has occurred over the second half of the 2010's, not the first half.

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I'm really bored by the game.  I'm especially bored by the Orioles, who I find watching to be a complete waste of my time, but in general I'm not interested in watching other teams when they are on.  And you can't fault franchises for managing themselves in a game theory-optimal way.  But the dread of inevitability is palpable watching baseball.  The races are mostly bad, a lot of the games aren't competitive or exciting.  Maybe my tastes are changing but I don't think that's the entirety of it.

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Just now, Barnaby Graves said:

I'm really bored by the game.  I'm especially bored by the Orioles, who I find watching to be a complete waste of my time, but in general I'm not interested in watching other teams when they are on.  And you can't fault franchises for managing themselves in a game theory-optimal way.  But the dread of inevitability is palpable watching baseball.  The races are mostly bad, a lot of the games aren't competitive or exciting.  Maybe my tastes are changing but I don't think that's the entirety of it.

It is true that if the Orioles were winning the mood in this thread would be different. But I think most of it's said in this thread is accurate, even after you account for the negative effect of a losing home franchise.

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11 minutes ago, Uli2001 said:

It is true that if the Orioles were winning the mood in this thread would be different. But I think most of it's said in this thread is accurate, even after you account for the negative effect of a losing home franchise.

We've had a front row seat to some of the worst excesses of 2019 baseball.  The Orioles are going to lose well over 100 games for the 2nd straight year, and in the year of the Super Bounce Ball they're going to give up more homers than the 1972, '74, and '76 Orioles combined.  And they play in a beautiful ballpark that sometimes seems like a Little Leaguer could hit balls out of without much effort.  Renato Nunez (and recently Mark Trumbo) will end up with home run totals Eddie Murray would have loved, and yet they're below-average players.

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43 minutes ago, Uli2001 said:

It is true that if the Orioles were winning the mood in this thread would be different. But I think most of it's said in this thread is accurate, even after you account for the negative effect of a losing home franchise.

 

23 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

We've had a front row seat to some of the worst excesses of 2019 baseball.  The Orioles are going to lose well over 100 games for the 2nd straight year, and in the year of the Super Bounce Ball they're going to give up more homers than the 1972, '74, and '76 Orioles combined.  And they play in a beautiful ballpark that sometimes seems like a Little Leaguer could hit balls out of without much effort.  Renato Nunez (and recently Mark Trumbo) will end up with home run totals Eddie Murray would have loved, and yet they're below-average players.

Yeah, if they were winning, it'd have to change the equation (at this point they're playing televised funerals).  But even so I find the K-K-BB-HR-K style of baseball to be really, really boring.  Even if sac bunts and stealing and other bygone strategy is *stupid*, it's far more exciting.

And I also hate the changes in bullpen management, too many pitchers, starters being handled the way they are.  There was an aspect of excitement in seeing if a guy could pull off a shutout, no-hitter, or at least push himself.  Again, won't fault teams for executing strategies based on data; I'd expect nothing less.  But when Hess was cruising through several no-hit innings and they pulled him because it was time to do that, part of me died.  I hated it.  Didn't help that his replacement (Araujo I think?) came in and allowed a 3 run HR, and then that the Orioles almost lost the game.  It was like, I was watching something really cool, and then the MATLAB program that runs this and every other baseball team said it was time for it to be over.  I really don't care what the argument is for doing that, you're never going to get me to like it, and it's never going to make me want to watch more baseball.  And enjoyment is the only reason I watch the game.

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Man, there are a lot of haters on old man Gossage on here, followed by generally agreeing with the man.

 

Makes me wonder sometimes whether there are other agendas.

 

The man has earned the right to talk about this game that he has devoted his life to.

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I wish there was more action no doubt. I still love the game but HR’s are out of control. 

The worst part of the article was when talking about the older coaches in other sports. Those coaches evolved and didn’t live in the past which is why they have stayed successful. Baseball isn’t kicking the older coaches out, their unwillingness to adapt is. 

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