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Some things that will make this season interesting

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Some more info on the upcoming season:

   -- teams will be allowed to schedule up to 3 exhibition games against teams in "close proximity".   If they can't find a team in close proximity they can play exhibition game(s) vs their Opening Day opponent just before the season starts (since they have to travel there anyway).   I imagine the exhibition games would be in the July 15-21 range, shortly before the season.

   -- Players will be able to go back and forth between the ML roster and taxi squad as long as they stay on the 60 man group (which consists of the MLB roster, which is 30/28/26 players depending on what part of the season it is, and the taxi squad).

   -- If a player is removed from the 60 man player pool he can't be put back on it.   [This leads to the concept that a player can be taken off the 60 man pool and replaced by someone else, so the actual pool of potential players could be more than 60?   Or am I reaching?]

   -- Opposing scouts will not be allowed to attend taxi squad workouts or intrasquad games.   And it's possible that in person scouting won't be allowed at all this year (meaning advance scouts I guess?)

Source:  mlbtraderumors.com

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13 hours ago, Philip said:

If the game goes 16 innings, that’s because it went 16 innings, and if there are only six people remaining at the end, there are six people who care about the result. Are you going to tell them that they don’t matter because going 16 innings is somehow illogical And because there are only six of them?

...

I certainly agree that we need to make the game more interesting, and If I am understanding you correctly, you agree that most of the stuff our comrade commissioner has done has had the opposite effect. If I am incorrect about that assumption I apologize, but This is without a doubt a silly rule with no beneficial effect.

Why does professional baseball exist?  It's a form of entertainment, that the owners want to make money and gain prestige from.  If you have a potential fanbase of millions and just six of them care to watch to the end of a game, is that an effective form of revenue-generating entertainment?  Almost everyone has turned off the TV, so advertisers get nothing out of it.  The stadium has more paid ushers, vendors, security, etc than fans, so that's a negative.  The fans vote with their feet and their remotes, and 99% of them vote no on five-hour, 16-inning games. Who is holding fast to tradition serving if not the fans?

I think Manfred is trying to straddle the line between changing things to keep baseball relevant, and trying to placate the older, more conservative fans who make up a majority of the current base.  And not often succeeding. But I'm not sure who could do that successfully because there's a natural tension between the fans who want the game (or at least most of the rules or conditions) to be frozen in 1950 or 1970 or 1990, and those who see a number of issues they'd like fixed that require fairly major changes.  If he alienates the older fans he'll get excoriated for what he's proposing, and if he defers to them baseball's fanbase will likely continue to shrink.

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I would rather have a tie than the runner on second rule because I worry that the runner on second rule is something that enough people like that they end up making it a permanent rule.

Manfred has already thrown this out there.  I believe they have tried in the minors.  He wants to speed up the game and feels this is another way to do it.  (When the only true way to speed up the game is lessen the commercials, which of course hurts the bottom line and greed won’t allow that)

 

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16 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

I would rather have a tie than the runner on second rule because I worry that the runner on second rule is something that enough people like that they end up making it a permanent rule.

Manfred has already thrown this out there.  I believe they have tried in the minors.  He wants to speed up the game and feels this is another way to do it.  (When the only true way to speed up the game is lessen the commercials, which of course hurts the bottom line and greed won’t allow that)

 

Totally agree.

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47 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

I would rather have a tie than the runner on second rule because I worry that the runner on second rule is something that enough people like that they end up making it a permanent rule.

Manfred has already thrown this out there.  I believe they have tried in the minors.  He wants to speed up the game and feels this is another way to do it.  (When the only true way to speed up the game is lessen the commercials, which of course hurts the bottom line and greed won’t allow that)

 

Yea, it would be horrible if baseball changed something because a lot of people like it. Baseball should be telling the fans what they should like and admonishing them for not falling in line.

One thing they can do is lessen commercials.  And mitigate the revenue impact by charging more for each minute of commercial time.  Or having more on-screen or on-field/jersey advertising.

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12 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Yea, it would be horrible if baseball changed something because a lot of people like it. Baseball should be telling the fans what they should like and admonishing them for not falling in line.

One thing they can do is lessen commercials.  And mitigate the revenue impact by charging more for each minute of commercial time.  Or having more on-screen or on-field/jersey advertising.

In the case of the runner on second, yes I think they should ignore fans if they like it.  Lots of fans like the college football OT..doesn’t mean it’s good.  
 

 

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On 6/25/2020 at 8:10 AM, Philip said:

Ending in a tie isn’t just stupid, it would require a whole rethinking of baseball, which doesn’t do ties.

if a game goes 16 innings, it goes 16 innings. “That’s the way baseball go.”

this rule serves no purpose, accomplishes no goals, solves no problems. It’s just stupid. 

Im fine either way, but the purpose is to speed games up, the goal is to spice things up and it solves the problem of adding innings and work to a season with very few off days.

21 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

In 2001 Cal's last game was supposed to be at Yankee Stadium.  9/11 changed that, but a friend of mine got some tickets to that game.  We went, it was raining on an off all day.  After 15 innings they called it, and end went in the books as a tie.  I don't think anyone was walking out of the park thinking "ties are stupid enough that we need to keep playing in the pouring rain in a game that has zero impact on the standings."

I was there.  I didn't mind.

1 hour ago, Sports Guy said:

I would rather have a tie than the runner on second rule because I worry that the runner on second rule is something that enough people like that they end up making it a permanent rule.

Manfred has already thrown this out there.  I believe they have tried in the minors.  He wants to speed up the game and feels this is another way to do it.  (When the only true way to speed up the game is lessen the commercials, which of course hurts the bottom line and greed won’t allow that)

 

Look who's back??  

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1 hour ago, Sports Guy said:

In the case of the runner on second, yes I think they should ignore fans if they like it.  Lots of fans like the college football OT..doesn’t mean it’s good.  
 

 

What is the criteria for good?  Who gets to decide if it's not the fans?  If the fans don't like it they won't buy as many tickets or watch as many commercials, so the owners and the advertisers won't like it.  If the owners are getting less revenues the players will get paid less, so they won't like it. 

Why should a small group of traditionalists be able to overrule the fans, owners and players?

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7 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

What is the criteria for good?  Who gets to decide if it's not the fans?  If the fans don't like it they won't buy as many tickets or watch as many commercials, so the owners and the advertisers won't like it.  If the owners are getting less revenues the players will get paid less, so they won't like it. 

Why should a small group of traditionalists be able to overrule the fans, owners and players?

What if the fans want to get rid of the shift?  What if the fans want the fences brought in 50 ft all around?  What if the fans are in favor of 12 position players?

Where does the line get drawn?

For me, anything that drastically changes how the game is played should be off the table.

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9 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

What if the fans want to get rid of the shift?  What if the fans want the fences brought in 50 ft all around?  What if the fans are in favor of 12 position players?

Where does the line get drawn?

For me, anything that drastically changes how the game is played should be off the table.

Why should the fans' opinions not count?  Shouldn't their opinions count more than anything else?

I'm not asking for a populist direct democracy, where there's a big clamor for something and a week later there's two strikes for an out, or something like that.  But if fans complain loudly for years about something I think the people in charge should listen.  One of those things is long extra inning games.  For years and years the 13th inning of anything but really important games sees the stands empty and the TVs mostly off.  Ignoring the people who pay the bills isn't a great business model.  Telling the people who pay the bills they're wrong is probably even worse.

And "drastically" is in the eyes of the beholder.  There are people who think limiting pickoff throws or enforcing the 20-seconds-between-pitches rule is drastic. There are people who think any rules change is too drastic.

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8 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Why should the fans' opinions not count?  Shouldn't their opinions count more than anything else?

I'm not asking for a populist direct democracy, where there's a big clamor for something and a week later there's two strikes for an out, or something like that.  But if fans complain loudly for years about something I think the people in charge should listen.  One of those things is long extra inning games.  For years and years the 13th inning of anything but really important games sees the stands empty and the TVs mostly off.  Ignoring the people who pay the bills isn't a great business model.  Telling the people who pay the bills they're wrong is probably even worse.

And "drastically" is in the eyes of the beholder.  There are people who think limiting pickoff throws or enforcing the 20-seconds-between-pitches rule is drastic. There are people who think any rules change is too drastic.

So then where is the line drawn?  Fans would probably like to see some version of the golf course in Caddyshack 2 out there. Is that ok?

I could maybe be talked into the idea of saying, we will start with a runner on second in the 12th or 13th inning..something like that.  But not earlier than that.

And how many games a year go beyond say, 11 innings, anyway?  Why are worried about a rule change that effects so few games?  
 

I’m not against change and am far from a baseball purists but I’m just against rule changes that change how the sport is played.  

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3 hours ago, Sports Guy said:

I would rather have a tie than the runner on second rule because I worry that the runner on second rule is something that enough people like that they end up making it a permanent rule.

Manfred has already thrown this out there.  I believe they have tried in the minors.  He wants to speed up the game and feels this is another way to do it.  (When the only true way to speed up the game is lessen the commercials, which of course hurts the bottom line and greed won’t allow that)

 

I don't see a problem with ties either.  If they are going to do something, I do like that they used the same thing that is used in the WBC.

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45 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

So then where is the line drawn?  Fans would probably like to see some version of the golf course in Caddyshack 2 out there. Is that ok?

I could maybe be talked into the idea of saying, we will start with a runner on second in the 12th or 13th inning..something like that.  But not earlier than that.

And how many games a year go beyond say, 11 innings, anyway?  Why are worried about a rule change that effects so few games? 

I’m not against change and am far from a baseball purists but I’m just against rule changes that change how the sport is played.  

There are 2430 games in a regular season.

In 2019 202 (8.3%) went to extras, or about 13 per team per year.

15 games went at least 15 innings.

About 53 went 12 or more innings.  That's roughly 10 a month across MLB, or two per team per season.

The median length of a 2019 extra inning game was 226 minutes, or about 3:45.  The median length of a 12+ inning game was 4:40.

Is all of that too much?  That's subjective. Personally, if a game goes much past 10:00 on a week night I'm usually turning it off.  Which means I'm probably not seeing any of those extra innings, since on average nine innings takes us to around 10pm.

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3 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Why does professional baseball exist?  It's a form of entertainment, that the owners want to make money and gain prestige from.  If you have a potential fanbase of millions and just six of them care to watch to the end of a game, is that an effective form of revenue-generating entertainment?  Almost everyone has turned off the TV, so advertisers get nothing out of it.  The stadium has more paid ushers, vendors, security, etc than fans, so that's a negative.  The fans vote with their feet and their remotes, and 99% of them vote no on five-hour, 16-inning games. Who is holding fast to tradition serving if not the fans?

I think Manfred is trying to straddle the line between changing things to keep baseball relevant, and trying to placate the older, more conservative fans who make up a majority of the current base.  And not often succeeding. But I'm not sure who could do that successfully because there's a natural tension between the fans who want the game (or at least most of the rules or conditions) to be frozen in 1950 or 1970 or 1990, and those who see a number of issues they'd like fixed that require fairly major changes.  If he alienates the older fans he'll get excoriated for what he's proposing, and if he defers to them baseball's fanbase will likely continue to shrink.

This is a great post and I think explains Manfred's position very well. MLB is a product - and it's his job to make everyone money now, while also evolving that product to make money in the future.

There's a million factors that have led to baseball dropping from its glory as "the nation's pastime" to 3rd/4th in popularity today. I don't really think rule changes can solve everything. A typical NFL game is full of dumb penalties, breaks, commercials, really long challenges, and usually run about three hours - and it's extremely popular. So, that alone isn't keeping kids away.

I really think MLB's biggest issue is its communications strategy, the poor quality of its broadcasts, and the accessibility of the games. It just feels like a game for boring, old people - and that just isn't attractive to kids looking for their own thing.

 

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The discussion Drungo and Sports Guy are having seems to be based on the suggestion that fans want and like the runner on second to start an extras inning rule.  I doubt that premise very much.  I believe that the overwhelming majority of fans are against this rule change.  MLBTR just ran a poll on this and the vote was 80% to 20% against the rule.  Not close.  So, if as Drungo asserts, they should go with what the fans want, then there is little doubt which way they should go.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/06/poll-a-major-change-to-extra-innings.html

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