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Some things that will make this season interesting

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28 minutes ago, Mr. Chewbacca Jr. said:

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.

 

I think the whole decrease in attendance across MLB is over blown.   MLB is likely to expand by at least two teams in the next 5 years.   That will be an increase in fans for at least 5M fans a year.  If MLB is able to fix Rays and Athletics ball park problems there will probably be increases in attendance from that.  

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1 hour 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.

Like lights?

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1 minute ago, foxfield said:

Like lights?

I believe that lights increased the times when the game could possibly be played, but not really how the game is played.  Just sayin'.  Major change, no doubt, but not really a rules change for the playing of the game.

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32 minutes ago, Mr. Chewbacca Jr. said:

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.

 

I absolutely agree that there are a lot of factors in baseball's declining popularity.  But I think one of them is the ratio of action to standing around, and that makes the really long games worse. 

I've often said that coolness is very hard to make happen.  You just can't do A, B, C and suddenly you have a big group of 25-year-olds drive their Cadillacs to the baseball game.

15 minutes ago, Number5 said:

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

Which is fine.  If this is very unpopular then don't do it.

But baseball needs to be careful about selection bias in their market research.  Of course many people who really like baseball the way it (which is probably a reasonable description of the folks going to MLBTR.com) is are going to vote against major rules changes.  The problem is how to stabilize or even grow the fanbase.  They should be asking people who are somewhat interested in baseball but are turned off by some things.

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5 minutes ago, Number5 said:

I believe that lights increased the times when the game could possibly be played, but not really how the game is played.  Just sayin'.  Major change, no doubt, but not really a rules change for the playing of the game.

Oh I agree, I was just pointing out that being agains change for the sake of change is narrow view.  The game constantly changes.  The beauty of the game for us old-timers is that we see essentially the same game, and to that point, I agree with SG.  But I am open to experiments from time to time and this is a perfect opportunity to introduce some.

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8 minutes ago, Number5 said:

I believe that lights increased the times when the game could possibly be played, but not really how the game is played.  Just sayin'.  Major change, no doubt, but not really a rules change for the playing of the game.

I think it was all downhill from the moment they decided foul balls were now strikes.

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Just now, foxfield said:

Oh I agree, I was just pointing out that being agains change for the sake of change is narrow view.  The game constantly changes.  The beauty of the game for us old-timers is that we see essentially the same game, and to that point, I agree with SG.  But I am open to experiments from time to time and this is a perfect opportunity to introduce some.

What I keep hammering on is that baseball is wildly different from years ago, but nobody changed any rules so nobody was in control of the change.  Nobody asked if a strikeout an inning was a good thing, it just happened. Nobody decided it was a good idea to have 1.5 homers/team/game, it just happened.

Doing nothing doesn't keep the game the same, it just removes the question of what we want baseball to be like from the equation, and we get whatever we get.

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33 minutes ago, Number5 said:

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

For me, the conversation is more, if the fans like it....

Manfred is awful for the sport and he is looking for any reason to “improve it”.  I don’t want anything to occur where that train wreck of a commissioner is able to implement his whacky ideas.

That’s my fear.

Hopefully fans will hate it and this discussion is a moot point.

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1 minute ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Which is fine.  If this is very unpopular then don't do it.

But baseball needs to be careful about selection bias in their market research.  Of course many people who really like baseball the way it (which is probably a reasonable description of the folks going to MLBTR.com) is are going to vote against major rules changes.  The problem is how to stabilize or even grow the fanbase.  They should be asking people who are somewhat interested in baseball but are turned off by some things.

I'm not sure that angering your existing fanbase in the hopes that they will be replaced by more people that will suddenly fall in love with the game because of the new way they handle games in which the score is tied after nine innings would be a good idea.  Seems somewhat similar to the decision to change the formula of Coca-Cola.

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1 minute ago, DrungoHazewood said:

What I keep hammering on is that baseball is wildly different from years ago, but nobody changed any rules so nobody was in control of the change.  Nobody asked if a strikeout an inning was a good thing, it just happened. Nobody decided it was a good idea to have 1.5 homers/team/game, it just happened.

Doing nothing doesn't keep the game the same, it just removes the question of what we want baseball to be like from the equation, and we get whatever we get.

Couldn't agree more.  But change of this nature is like the change in a flowing river.  It's the same river, but it changes all the time.  Things like raising the mound in 68, or the DH in 73 are examples of legislated change.  Obviously integration was a huge change. But most of the changes have occurred organically and I don't think that will ever change.

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5 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)

 

The idea that a faster game is better is a fallacy. We don’t care about the length of the game we care about the interest level of the game. Manfred is chasing windmills when he insists that a shorter game is a better game. It is important to keep that in mind.

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24 minutes ago, Number5 said:

I'm not sure that angering your existing fanbase in the hopes that they will be replaced by more people that will suddenly fall in love with the game because of the new way they handle games in which the score is tied after nine innings would be a good idea.  Seems somewhat similar to the decision to change the formula of Coca-Cola.

It's a challenge.  A graying customer base is not easy to overcome.  You don't want to alienate your core, but you also don't want to get to 2035 and find yourself with an average fan age of 68,  you're the 5th-most popular sport in the US, and most everyone under the age of 30 doesn't care at all.

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On 6/24/2020 at 6:27 PM, Ruzious said:

Not just dumb but agonizingly dumb.  I'd almost rather they decide an extra inning game on some kind of homerun derby idea if it's still tied after 12 innings - to sorta mirror what the NHL does with shootouts.    

Not even one reaction to that Idea?  Ok.  

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The March agreement outlines this season's service formula: (A x (186/B)), where A is the number of days spent on the major league roster and B is the number of days in the season. We know B is 66, which means to receive a full year of major league service, players must spend at least 61 of those 66 days on the active roster.

In other words, teams can leave their best prospects off their major league roster for less than a week, delay the player's free agency by a year and chalk it up to the exceptional circumstances of 2020. The exact cutoff date: July 29. Any player called up that date or later gets "service-timed."

From an ESPN article.  So what exactly does this mean in terms of manipulation of service time for a guy like Mountcastle?   Do we gain an extra year by keeping him down for just one week?   I'm not sure I understand what I read or at least the implications for service time.   (And yes, I am aware the service time before arbitration can and likely will change in the next CBA any way).

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