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Frobby

MLB response to tanking: more playoff teams?

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36 minutes ago, Number5 said:

This begs several questions:

1.  If you don't ever watch, why do you care what's on?

2.  If you don't ever watch, why do you bother to gather statistics about what ESPN is broadcasting and formulate an opinion about it?

3.  If you don't ever watch, why would you think ESPN cares about your opinion?

4.  If you don't ever watch, what makes you think any of us care about your opinion?

I own Disney Stock.   So I care from a financial standpoint.  

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37 minutes ago, Frobby said:

I once announced a baseball game between Duke and UNC on the campus radio station.    I’m sure there were at least five people listening, if you include me, my co-announcer, and the sound engineer back at the station.   

It’s really tough to fill the time between pitches when you know absolutely no trivia about the players or the teams, and can’t talk about what Joe Manager or Joe Outfielder said yesterday.    To make matters worse, it was an extremely lopsided game.   When the score got to UNC 19, Duke 3, I opined, “we’ll, four grand slams and we’re right back in this one!”

The only other thing I remember is that Larry Doby, Jr. was Duke’s best player.   
 

You attended Duke?  

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4 hours ago, Enjoy Terror said:

I don’t watch basketball but how does tanking in the NBA work? My understanding is that the draft is a lottery...

The fewer wins you have, the higher your chances of winning the lottery. 
 

Also, you can only drop a maximum of 3 slots based on where your record projected you. 

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1 hour ago, DrungoHazewood said:

I'm kind of curious. What better decisions should Manfred have made?  I guess two are suspending all the Sox and Astros for months or years, and explicitly changing multiple on-field rules to encourage contact and baserunning.  I don't know that you'd get overwhelming support for either of those things.

What else?

 I don’t know whether I already answered this question from you, or from one of the other posters, but I’d like to add that regarding the players, I think each player who benefited from the trashcan, and it’s obvious(all you Gotta do is go back through the video and listen for when the trash cans are banging) should forfeit his playoff money and be suspended for a period of time. The length of the suspension should be based on the willingness to admit guilt. Somebody who doesn’t should be banned permanently. 

It is really important to severely punish cheaters, because otherwise there is no reason not to cheat.

There be an asterisk beside both World Series. Even if cheating has taken place before, this time it was obvious, undeniable and blatant, so an asterisk is an appropriate response. Otherwise people will just ignore it, and that’s happening now. Nobody in Houston or Boston is expressing any contrition, So why does anybody think that there is any incentive to not cheat going forward?

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1 hour ago, DrungoHazewood said:

85% of the college football I watch is Virginia Tech, and I actively avoid watching teams that constantly win like the Yanks, Sox, Alabama, Duke, etc.

I guess they could do a better job promoting prospects, but if you're flipping through the channels would you even think about stopping on the MLB network to watch a showcase of the D'back's or Twins' top prospect? I wouldn't.

MLB Network is for baseball fans. Would it make more sense to show some high level college games involving top prospects or the Sandlot for the 127th time? 

I not saying it would be a ratings hit. 

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19 hours ago, Frobby said:

I think it sounds kind of fun.    But 7 playoff teams out of 15 is a lot.    

How is home field determined?

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1 hour ago, Enjoy Terror said:

Hard to compare and hard to know. Their attendance issues maybe stem from the Colin Kaepernick thing (not looking to start a conversation about this btw, don't want mod wrath), but not failure to move forward. With a 16 game schedule you can drum up more interest in going to games compared to sports where there are games 3-6 times per week. Longer seasons dilute the impact of the games. Just my opinion.

Of course the smaller number of games is significant. You have just as many mediocre NFL teams as you do in baseball but in the NFL you may go into Week 17 and be a 7-8, 8-7 team and still have a playoff chance. In baseball a 82, 83 win type of team that doesn’t happen nearly as often. 

Baseball for a variety of reasons has become a more regional sport. When I was growing up the Saturday game of the week and Monday Night Baseball was a big deal. Why, because the Orioles weren’t on TV 162 games a year, they were on around 45-50. 

I think RSN’s have created a more regional fan. In 1983 those National TV games may be the only games you could watch that week. The Orioles may not have been on tv at all that week.  I think in an odd way all the games being available has created less interest in other teams outside of the local teams. People watch so many local games they don’t have time for other games. If you have watched 5-7 Orioles games in a week are you going to invest in watching the Sunday Night game? 

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8 minutes ago, El Gordo said:

How is home field determined?

Division winners 2/3 and top WC have Home field. 

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57 minutes ago, eddie83 said:

MLB Network is for baseball fans. Would it make more sense to show some high level college games involving top prospects or the Sandlot for the 127th time? 

I not saying it would be a ratings hit. 

I guess it wouldn't hurt, but how often does a college game feature more than one or two high-round prospects?  I really don't know.

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45 minutes ago, eddie83 said:

Of course the smaller number of games is significant. You have just as many mediocre NFL teams as you do in baseball but in the NFL you may go into Week 17 and be a 7-8, 8-7 team and still have a playoff chance. In baseball a 82, 83 win type of team that doesn’t happen nearly as often. 

Baseball for a variety of reasons has become a more regional sport. When I was growing up the Saturday game of the week and Monday Night Baseball was a big deal. Why, because the Orioles weren’t on TV 162 games a year, they were on around 45-50. 

I think RSN’s have created a more regional fan. In 1983 those National TV games may be the only games you could watch that week. The Orioles may not have been on tv at all that week.  I think in an odd way all the games being available has created less interest in other teams outside of the local teams. People watch so many local games they don’t have time for other games. If you have watched 5-7 Orioles games in a week are you going to invest in watching the Sunday Night game? 

When I was 12 I watched all the baseball I could, which included Saturday games of the week, Orioles games, whatever.  All of that added up to less than you can just watch of the Orioles today. And my schedule is slightly more packed than it was when I was 12.

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1 hour ago, Philip said:

 I don’t know whether I already answered this question from you, or from one of the other posters, but I’d like to add that regarding the players, I think each player who benefited from the trashcan, and it’s obvious(all you Gotta do is go back through the video and listen for when the trash cans are banging) should forfeit his playoff money and be suspended for a period of time. The length of the suspension should be based on the willingness to admit guilt. Somebody who doesn’t should be banned permanently. 

It is really important to severely punish cheaters, because otherwise there is no reason not to cheat.

There be an asterisk beside both World Series. Even if cheating has taken place before, this time it was obvious, undeniable and blatant, so an asterisk is an appropriate response. Otherwise people will just ignore it, and that’s happening now. Nobody in Houston or Boston is expressing any contrition, So why does anybody think that there is any incentive to not cheat going forward?

I do think there should be individual punishments for players who participated.  But how do we really know who participated?  Or how much?  What if no one flips, and testifies against their teammates? What if Altuve says Alvarez was in on it, and Alvarez claims innocence?  Ban Alvarez for life?

Asterisks... meh.  I don't like them.  If you do it for this, do you do it for every team that had a PED cheat?  Do you do it for the '86 Astros division title, everyone knows Mike Scott scuffed the ball and probably learned it from Nolan Ryan.  Do we put an asterisk on Gaylord Perry's cap on his HOF plaque?

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5 hours ago, eddie83 said:

Are owners running to leave the sport? 

All sports have negatives. MLB keeps making money. They certainly have their issues and things to fix but it is still very popular. 

This I can't argue with.  They are making money.  In the case of teams like the pirates its unfortunately to the negative of the fans as the owners plead poverty and take home increasingly large amounts of money.

However you are starting to see a change. Attendance is dropping, down 15 million in the last 8 years.  A sport this big doesnt fail in a day, it fails over a generation or two.

An increasing amount of revenue is coming from media deals, and that is not healthy for the sport.

5 hours ago, Frobby said:

The Fox media contract is very recent (Nov. 2018), and worth about 50% more than their last deal.    The next ESPN deal is expected to be similar.    I’ve been hearing about how the TV rights market was a bubble since at least 2013, but the reality is that rights fees continue to increase. 

Like I said above, it does not fail in a season.  National viewership is down.  ESPN weekly telecasts and ratings for the WS have been steadily decreasing.  While I will admit that local viewership has been strong, and is largely tied to competitiveness of the team, there was at least a 1% drop in that viewership last year.

It's tough to speculate but I am guessing the cheating scandal will be strongly felt come this spring as more disillusioned fans drop off.  Also keep in mind that local media viewership is largely tied to cable viewership which has been in steady decline.  What you get is people watching a game because it comes with their cable subscription.  Ask those people to pay for the product ala carte and you might start seeing different results.

6 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

That's like saying if the world wants to fix climate change, then a simple solution is to just get Republicans and Democrats and the Chinese and the Indians to all come together in a spirit of mutual cooperation and shared sacrifice and they'll work out something awesome.  If it was that easy, it would have happened generations ago.

The problem with fixing revenue sharing is that the people who bought into the Yanks and Dodgers and Red Sox and Cubs and Astros and Giants and Cardinals and others did so on the basis of a model where they have dominant revenue streams.  Their franchise values are based on this.  You are asking them to voluntarily give up $10s or $100s of millions of dollars or more for the good of teams who they currently beat on a regular basis.  The only way they agree to this is if they see the entire structure on the verge of collapse, and even then they probably start off by lopping off weak teams rather than sacrifice their own finances.  And MLB is not on the verge of collapse - it's at peak historical revenues; pretty much the opposite of collapse.

So my first answer to this is that all of those parties did come together and agree on a path to fixing climate change.  It was called the Paris Accords and before that the Kyoto Protocol. One of those parties backed out (but I wont get into politics).  So your analogy fails in that way.

I have been saying g for awhile that MLB is moving toward a 8 team league with 4-6 other teams who are allowed to compete in any given year.

Did you read the article linked.  Because what you are describing, a league and revenue sharing system, largely controlled by the largest markets is what we have. "All of the lower-revenue smaller-market teams are receiving less money than they used to under the old CBA."

In addition because the players didnt put up a fight for more of the pie, smaller market teams didnt object to this system because they could still maximize profits.  This profit maximization system decreases the product on the field (paying players less), disadvantages small market teams (less revenue sharing), while boosting revenues, especially for large market teams who sit at or near the cap and yet make more money.

Profits are one way to measure the success of the game (and rightly should be), and are oft used by supporters of the current system to extol its virtues, but are only part of that story that includes viewership, attendance, the health of cities that are bank rolling new stadiums, etc.  

As long as baseball let's the small market teams compete 3-4 out of every ten years it will renew interest in those cities and expand viewership.  But that's not a super healthy sport long term and that systems relies on a system where baseball and baseball games was a principle form of entertainment.

Things like the streaming boom, Twitch TV, and you tube might change that a bit.

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2 hours ago, Philip said:

No 2WC, no “three batter minimum” no “banning shifts” no replay, no juiced balls, no pitch clock.

those are all gimmicks that don’t help the game.

Are you of the opinion that the game is fine as it is and doesn't need any modifications to appeal to a broader audience?

I don't know how you explain to the fanbase that you're going to not have any replays and allow missed calls that are immediately obvious to everyone to stand.  And I'm good with trying some things to keep the average game time from passing that of an international test match in cricket.

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