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

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8 minutes ago, eddie83 said:

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. 

They might not be kicking older coaches out but the GMs who give the marching orders are getting younger and younger.

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11 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

They might not be kicking older coaches out but the GMs who give the marching orders are getting younger and younger.

True. I have heard complaints that teams drop scouts for analytics guys also. 

I just think the other sports have had changes also and those coaches mentioned adapted to it. A guy like Buck does not fit in baseball today. 

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I haven't had time to go through this whole thread. The first few pages are pretty fascinating. What I'm not seeing is an effort to get speed back into the game. Pushing the fences back is fine (though cost prohibitive), but I think that more punishes awesome hitters than proactively adds speed to the game.

How about they move the bases to 87 ft, or whatever the optimal number to get more guys on base with bunts and situational hitting while bringing back the stolen base. It wouldn't penalize the existing game much, but it would give teams an alternative way of attacking. 

Ok. Move the fences back too. 

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18 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."

Source? This, on the surface, seems like complete nonsense, unless you have some studies to back it up.

If you were to do a poll of why people don't like baseball, I'd guess less than 1 percent of folks would answer "There aren't enough hit batsmen" or "I need to see more petty squabbles between teams trying to injure each other." There's a litany of reasons why attendance is down. Those aren't on the list.

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14 minutes ago, PaulFolk said:

Source? This, on the surface, seems like complete nonsense, unless you have some studies to back it up.

If you were to do a poll of why people don't like baseball, nobody is answering "There aren't enough hit batsmen" or "I need to see more petty squabbles between teams trying to injure each other." There's a litany of reasons why attendance is down. Those aren't on the list.

No source or studies, just my observation.  I always loved those take out slides at second, it is a completely different game now with out the things I mentioned.  How would I begin to quantify the small changes that have turned the game into what it is now?  The only thing I can compare it to is what has happened in football with them protecting the QB and receivers.  It has effectively slowed the game down because you dont have that QB getting smashed and losing the ball creating a micro excitement within the game changing momentum.  If you have a routine double play to end the inning, then ho hum, inning over.  If you have a guy take out the second baseman causing a throw to go into the dugout and a run scored with an extended inning, then things get interesting.  

Then you may also have a team take exception to what happened, causing tension and excitement for the fan because they are mad too and get more invested.  Why do people watch soap operas?  They get sucked in and invested in the out come and part of that is the twists and turns that dont fit into a PC narrative. Who slept with who and who killed JR?

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3 minutes ago, sevastras said:

No source or studies, just my observation.  I always loved those take out slides at second, it is a completely different game now with out the things I mentioned.  How would I begin to quantify the small changes that have turned the game into what it is now?  The only thing I can compare it to is what has happened in football with them protecting the QB and receivers.  It has effectively slowed the game down because you dont have that QB getting smashed and losing the ball creating a micro excitement within the game changing momentum.  If you have a routine double play to end the inning, then ho hum, inning over.  If you have a guy take out the second baseman causing a throw to go into the dugout and a run scored with an extended inning, then things get interesting.  

Interesting for a small fraction of people, perhaps. But not remotely the reason why baseball attendance has declined.

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15 minutes ago, PaulFolk said:

Interesting for a small fraction of people, perhaps. But not remotely the reason why baseball attendance has declined.

Fair enough, but this whole thread is speculation and absurd suggestions on how to make the game more interesting.  I think my argument has more merit than 3 balls equal a walk, foul balls in play are now fair, you can steal first, moving the bases, adding a base, moving walls in, no pitches over 93mph, dancing girls in cages at the park 

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On 8/19/2019 at 11:58 AM, Frobby said:

Home runs aren’t the root problem - strikeouts are.    Pitchers throw harder, so it’s harder to make contact.    So, they juice the baseball to avoid having teams averaging 3 runs a game.   That encourages players to swing for the fences, which leads to even more strikeouts.   

Until they figure out a way to reduce the average velocity of pitches and then start deadening the ball, baseball will continue trending this way.    

So yes, part of these guys’ complaints reeks of Grandpa yelling at a cloud.    They misunderstand why the game has changed.   But they’re not wrong about it being less appealing to watch.  

Are they really misunderstanding why the game has changed?  I don't think they are, or at least, I don't think it really matters to their argument.  The game will always gravitate toward optimal strategies, and I think it's a valid criticism of the game when multiple strategies are invalidated because of the way the game has evolved.  There have been a lot of changes since the start of baseball that could have made certain strategies such as speed or baserunning more valuable.  I can only assume that the reason that they were used after their expiration date is because the teams didn't have data available to them that showed that the other strategies were sub-optimal following x rule changes.  The solution then would be to seeing what policy changes or rule changes would make the game more well-rounded.  Here are a few ideas:

-Tinkering with the ball materials/construction has already been discussed, but we could also tinker with the ball weight.  A heavier ball would be more difficult to throw hard.  Maybe not make a huge difference, but taking off 1-3 MPH off the top fastballs would go a long way.

-BBCOR testing for wood bats to ensure that bats are sufficiently dead.  This could also be achieved by modifying the ball construction.

-Mandate that all new ballparks and renovated ballparks have larger outfields.  I'm thinking 350 down the lines, 440 in center, OR 330 down the lines and 470 in center.  Distances can also be flexible based on wall height.  For Colorado add 10% to all values.

-Lower the mound height.

-Change the strike zone.

 

Many of these things have been tinkered with in the past, so I don't think you're really fundamentally changing the game if you tweak these values.  Even though they look like small changes, I believe that a couple of small changes to the rules could lead to drastic systemic changes to the game.

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4 hours ago, sevastras said:

Fair enough, but this whole thread is speculation and absurd suggestions on how to make the game more interesting.  I think my argument has more merit than 3 balls equal a walk, foul balls in play are now fair, you can steal first, moving the bases, adding a base, moving walls in, no pitches over 93mph, dancing girls in cages at the park 

If they did that I might spring for a 15 game plan, or whatever it is now

Edited by GuidoSarducci

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4 hours ago, PaulFolk said:

Interesting for a small fraction of people, perhaps. But not remotely the reason why baseball attendance has declined.

I don't know. Ya keep changing the rules the old timers are going to get pissed. I wouldn't go to a game now if the tickets were free. Screens all over the place, no beer after the 7th, can't slide into anyone. Not my cup of tea.

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16 hours ago, PaulFolk said:

Source? This, on the surface, seems like complete nonsense, unless you have some studies to back it up.

If you were to do a poll of why people don't like baseball, I'd guess less than 1 percent of folks would answer "There aren't enough hit batsmen" or "I need to see more petty squabbles between teams trying to injure each other." There's a litany of reasons why attendance is down. Those aren't on the list.

Those people have long since moved on to MMA and watching motorcycle crashes on YouTube.

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I don't know about raising the mound...  Deadening the ball seems more beneficial.  Clearly the lively ball is in play to make more HR's probable, so MLB is attempting to reach some target audience that feels HR's ARE baseball.  Those of us who grew up watching 1-0, 2-1, or 3-2 games know this is untrue.  If the ball isn't going to leave the park, the fielders become more active which makes more "action" by default.

I think the problem is partially with metrics.  The numbers DO tell stories, but they also focus scouting on specific details.  With pitchers it's velocity, clearly, and spin rate.  So if you don't have those metrics you are not getting the additional looks from scouts.  Pitching used to be as much about the guy's ability to miss bats.  Now it's about a 95+mph fastball and the ability to change speeds, not as much about pitch placement and movement.   With hitters the metrics find the same style hitters because the value points are exit velocity and barrelled balls.

We're seeing minions everywhere...  THAT makes it boring.  There used to be a variety of skill sets and abilities that were put together to work as a team.  I'm not certain that is the case now.

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