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League Proposes 16-Team Playoff Bracket

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2 hours ago, AnythingO's said:

I guess but how? Wouldn't that be harder with pitch clocks and 3 batter minimum to reduce pitching changes? I was thinking it would benefit a lesser team like the O's if they had a lead after 4-5 innings and their expanded roster had lots of 1 inning guys. They make it a bullpen game and it's a lot easier to build a deep bullpen. I was thinking Buck would love it.

How would they slow play it?  They'd just do everything slowly.  Umps don't enforce the pitch clock.  They still let guys fix their gloves between every pitch.  The batter takes off his 11 pads and slowly walks to first after four balls.  The catcher visits the mound six times.  They throw to first 22 times with Matt Wieters on base.  The pitcher gets the signs mixed up four times an inning.  The batter gets dust in his eye or has to fix his contacts six times a game.  They change pitchers every three batters, and the new pitcher ambles in from the pen then takes his eight leisurely warmups.  Baseball games can be played in 90 minutes, but they're actually played in three hours so every single major league team is a DaVinci in the art of slowing down a ballgame.

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13 hours ago, Frobby said:

This only works if you have rules precluding stalling.    Otherwise, the team in the lead slow plays it.   

I think there were a few instances of forfeits caused by teams stalling in the era before lights.  From the SABR forfeit log:

05/03/1897 - New York at Washington - NL - New York scored 7 times in the second inning on a cold, rainy day. Washington started stalling and umpire Tom Lynch called the game. Los Angeles Times, 05/04/1897, p 2 (Baseball)

06/06/1937 - St. Louis at Philadelphia - NL - The first game of this doubleheader had been delayed 88 minutes by rain thus delaying the start of the second game. The games had to be completed by 7 PM due to a Philadelphia law. The Cardinals were leading 8-2 in the top of the fourth inning of game two when the Phillies started stalling. They made unnecessary pitching changes, holding mound conferences and asking for different baseballs. Eventually Bill Klem forfeited the game to the Redbirds. All players statistics were wiped out due to the fact that the game failed to go the required five innings. Manager Jimmie Wilson was fined $100 later by Ford Frick for his stalling tactics. Joe Medwick of St. Louis lost a home run which would have been his tenth of the season. Medwick still won the Triple Crown even though he tied for the home run title with Mel Ott with 31. - New York Time; 06/07/1937; p 27 (Philllies)

05/02/1901 - Detroit at Chicago - AL - Detroit scored 5 runs in the top of the 9th inning to go ahead 7 to 5 as rain started falling. The Chicago team then started stalling trying for a rain out. The umpire awarded the game to Detroit. This was the first American League forfeit. - Detroit Tigers Lists and More, Washington Post, 05/03/1901, p 8 (Detroit)

 

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16 teams make playoffs, just for this one season?? It's hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube once it's out. If it's popular, ratings wise. I don't see owners or players objecting to more $$$$. It is popular in the NBA and NHL. Go back to 154 regular season games, imagine the excitement on the last week of the season with 4 or so teams in contention for the last couple of spots, imagine attendance. You wonder why baseball is dying a slow death? One quarter of the teams are playing out the season at the 81 game mark. By September 1, 75% are dead n the pond.

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Makes one wonder how the game of baseball grew in popularity to be the absolute #1 most popular sport  for years and years,  with the winner of the American League playing the winner of the National League in the WS.   Now more and more diluting of talent with ever more teams in the  playoffs, and still clamoring for more.  Maybe fans were much more discriminating back then,  and would not accept lowering the talent standards for it.  

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28 minutes ago, UpstateNYfan said:

16 teams make playoffs, just for this one season?? It's hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube once it's out. If it's popular, ratings wise. I don't see owners or players objecting to more $$$$. It is popular in the NBA and NHL. Go back to 154 regular season games, imagine the excitement on the last week of the season with 4 or so teams in contention for the last couple of spots, imagine attendance. You wonder why baseball is dying a slow death? One quarter of the teams are playing out the season at the 81 game mark. By September 1, 75% are dead n the pond.

Baseball went from a 4 team playoff to an 8 team playoff for one year in 1981 because of the strike, but it didn't stick around.

They were back at 4 teams in 1982, and stayed that way until 1995.

So I don't think the genie will necessarily go out of the bottle by going to 16 games for this season.

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19 hours ago, AnythingO's said:

How about all games end after 3 hours, team in the lead wins. Maybe let them finish the current inning for fairness. If tied it doesn't count in standings so no points for ties. Teams would likely take more chances close and late to break the tie, maybe be more interesting to fans. Stats for the game would count for the player individual statistics and team totals.

Call me old school or a traditionalist, but I don't like that at all. I am reluctant about the pitch clock and adding clocks to the game at all, but can accept that as a method of speeding up pace. I'm not sure if total length really makes a huge difference in the excitement level compared to pace. If it's a fun, exciting product I want more of it, not less. I guess in this case maybe there might be "too much of a good thing," but I like the idea of a game not controlled by the clock when so much else in our lives are controlled by it.

 

Now on the idea of a 16-team playoff, I can get behind that for the 2020 season, but also don't want to see that in a "normal" season. I liked the 8-team playoff structure. I'm okay with a 10-team and could, potentially, accept a 12-team (depending on the structure), but I don't want half--or more--or the league making the playoffs. That waters down a regular season. If you're going to do that, why have more than 80 games?

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19 hours ago, Oriole1940 said:

Makes one wonder how the game of baseball grew in popularity to be the absolute #1 most popular sport  for years and years,  with the winner of the American League playing the winner of the National League in the WS.   Now more and more diluting of talent with ever more teams in the  playoffs, and still clamoring for more.  Maybe fans were much more discriminating back then,  and would not accept lowering the talent standards for it.  

Baseball became the most popular sport in the country because in 1860 the only popular sports were Base Ball, boxing and horse racing.  So the only professional or semi-professional team sport of any note was Base Ball.  I guess cricket had a few adherents, but almost everyone in North America interested in sports was off cricket and a baseball fan by the 1870s.  And once something takes hold people stick with it.  Football didn't reach baseball's levels of organization and popularity until after WWII, especially the NFL.  The forward pass was legalized the year the National League turned 30. I guess college was reasonably big in the 1920s and 1930s.  Basketball was similar; not even invented until the 1890s, didn't reach anything like today's popularity until the 1960s.  Hockey was very regional.  As late as 1966 the NHL had just six teams, all northeast of Chicago.  Soccer was primarily a European sport for a very long time, although the Orioles briefly had a soccer team in the 1890s.  And without TV, fandom consisted of your local team and what you could read in newspapers and magazines.

Fans weren't more discriminating, they just had dramatically fewer choices.

And "diluting of talent" is not a thing, at least not in baseball.  Although it's hard to pin down exact amounts, the preponderance of the evidence points towards professional baseball getting better and better a little bit every year.  The talent pool gets bigger, the scouting, training, diet, data, analysis, development, infrastructure, tactics, and strategy all improve all the time.  The players are dramatically better athletes, at least on average, than even 40-50 years ago.  And as important as anything, the revenues (at least pre-COVID) are at or near historic highs, even after accounting for inflation, so there are dramatically more resources to make the sport better.  I think the 1927 Yanks would have all kinds of trouble trying to compete with the 2019 Orioles.

They expand the playoffs because I'm guessing the league makes more money on one playoff game than they do on five regular season games.  For 150 years baseball has been a business, and the owners and players have always had an eye on higher profits and higher salaries.  The Orioles aren't in the National League because their owners and manager sold the team out to Brooklyn in 1899, because they thought they could make more money that way.

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18 hours ago, jamalshw said:

Call me old school or a traditionalist, but I don't like that at all. I am reluctant about the pitch clock and adding clocks to the game at all, but can accept that as a method of speeding up pace. I'm not sure if total length really makes a huge difference in the excitement level compared to pace. If it's a fun, exciting product I want more of it, not less. I guess in this case maybe there might be "too much of a good thing," but I like the idea of a game not controlled by the clock when so much else in our lives are controlled by it.

I'm trying to find a good analogy, maybe this works: pitch clocks feel like putting a couple turnstiles in at the gates of the ballpark to control the crowd rushing in, but then opening up a few big garage doors at the park at the same time.  Pretty soon everyone just goes around, and nothing much got accomplished.  It really feels like the umps and the players more-or-less ignore the pitch clocks and there are more exceptions than pitches following the rules.

Baseball is a far better game when played quickly and crisply.  At least to me it's tremendously annoying to have constant stoppages in play and delays and going through the signs six times and mound visits and going to NY for the 3-minute replay thing.  Just...play... some... freakin'... baseball.  But nobody has any real incentive to move things along, and trying to set up those incentives makes you feel like the ticket taker at the turnstile, yelling "stop" to the thousands of fans streaming in the open gates right down the sidewalk.

I think there can be too much of a good thing.  One of football's advantages that they lucked into was tightly controlling the supply of football.  Your team will not have more than one game every 5-7 days.  3-4 hours a week.  The Orioles have weeks where they're playing for 24 hours.  Especially in a modern society with endless entertainment options and family commitments and work schedules, very few people can or even want to devote 20+ hours a week to watching baseball.  Not too many families will have baseball as the only thing they watch from 7-10pm every day, there's too much else for the kids and wife and even me to choose from.  Baseball's place in modern society almost has to be something that's on in the background for six months, with moments of really paying attention and getting into it.  500 hours of game time a year is a lot to ask.

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19 hours ago, SteveA said:

Baseball went from a 4 team playoff to an 8 team playoff for one year in 1981 because of the strike, but it didn't stick around.

They were back at 4 teams in 1982, and stayed that way until 1995.

So I don't think the genie will necessarily go out of the bottle by going to 16 games for this season.

'81 was 39 years ago. TV $$$$ are exponentially higher. Things change and baseball seems to be the slowest to accept change. $$$$ are the driving force and causes change. I don't have any idea of what they'll do, and neither do they. At this point, it seems the 2020 season is likely not happening. So, a 16 team playoff is equally not happening.  The diehard fans, I feel bad for. The destruction of MiL I feel bad for. But mostly, I feel bad for the development of potential major leaguers and the players that were on the cusp of reaching the Bigs this year for a shot and maybe get another chance. Veteran MLB players and owners, I could care less about their plight.

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On 6/11/2020 at 8:46 AM, DrungoHazewood said:

I'm trying to find a good analogy, maybe this works: pitch clocks feel like putting a couple turnstiles in at the gates of the ballpark to control the crowd rushing in, but then opening up a few big garage doors at the park at the same time.  Pretty soon everyone just goes around, and nothing much got accomplished.  It really feels like the umps and the players more-or-less ignore the pitch clocks and there are more exceptions than pitches following the rules.

Baseball is a far better game when played quickly and crisply.  At least to me it's tremendously annoying to have constant stoppages in play and delays and going through the signs six times and mound visits and going to NY for the 3-minute replay thing.  Just...play... some... freakin'... baseball.  But nobody has any real incentive to move things along, and trying to set up those incentives makes you feel like the ticket taker at the turnstile, yelling "stop" to the thousands of fans streaming in the open gates right down the sidewalk.

I think there can be too much of a good thing.  One of football's advantages that they lucked into was tightly controlling the supply of football.  Your team will not have more than one game every 5-7 days.  3-4 hours a week.  The Orioles have weeks where they're playing for 24 hours.  Especially in a modern society with endless entertainment options and family commitments and work schedules, very few people can or even want to devote 20+ hours a week to watching baseball.  Not too many families will have baseball as the only thing they watch from 7-10pm every day, there's too much else for the kids and wife and even me to choose from.  Baseball's place in modern society almost has to be something that's on in the background for six months, with moments of really paying attention and getting into it.  500 hours of game time a year is a lot to ask.

I'm all for hastening the pace, but don't want a clock on the total length. I'm not sure I"m buying the analogy and the best option to hasten the pace would be to enforce the rules rather than just accept that they're ignored.

As for your last point, I agree to a point, but I think what I enjoy about baseball is that I don't have to carve out Sunday at 1 p.m. (or whatever time my team is playing that week) from my schedule. Because baseball is played those 20+ hours a week I will have ample opportunity to catch a couple games (and likely parts of a couple more). I'm not sure the intent should be for baseball to try and get everybody to watch every inning of every game. There are, of course, the hardcore fans that will. I was in that group before having kids, but most people as you say have busy schedules, other commitments and other entertainment options. The availability of baseball most everyday for half the year is what I love about it (and sorely miss right now). As you note, it's place is something in the background, but I'd argue it's more than that. It's something that can be consumed live, yet still somewhat on-demand in this very on-demand culture. That, to me, is one of it's greatest appeal. It's a game that I have ample opportunity to watch live giving me that flexibility I need, but also one that when I do watch I can remove myself from the constant clock-watching that I'm otherwise so focused on during my day-to-day life with so much scheduled out.

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On 6/10/2020 at 1:10 PM, SteveA said:

Baseball went from a 4 team playoff to an 8 team playoff for one year in 1981 because of the strike, but it didn't stick around.

They were back at 4 teams in 1982, and stayed that way until 1995.

So I don't think the genie will necessarily go out of the bottle by going to 16 games for this season.

In a USATODAY article, (6/13), it stated that in their current negotiations, both sides have agreed to a 16 game playoff for the next two seasons.  First round would be best of three. If they can't get it together on other parts of the proposals it doesn't matter, I suppose. 

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