Give me your ideas to save a dying game

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  • #180194
    Card4Ever
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    Free

    As we wait for the billionaires and multi-millionaires to come to some agreement. I am wondering what your ideas that could help save the game we all love.

    After listening to PTI last night and them railing on the GM’s running the game from upstairs via spreadsheets, graphs, etc. I agreed with basically everything they said. I Understand why they do it, but loathe it.

    I have a crazy idea that goes completely against the grain. To try and cut down on all of the launch angles, shifts, etc.

    Deaden the dang ball.

    Force the game back to where it was. You want to juice it back up for the Home Run Derby, fine. Hell, give them aluminum bats for all I care.

    I really don’t can’t stand what the game I have loved for over 50 years has become. Boring, boring, boring…

    In general. the most exciting plays aren’t home runs by .225 hitters. They are stretching a single to a double. Going first to third on a single to right against Clemente, Parker, Evan, Ichiro. A triple, or an inside the park home run. All you get now are K’, BB’s and 2-3 homers a game.

    Okay, I know the odds are 100:1, but I feel a bit better ranting.

    Please add your ideas to save the game we love.

    #180195
    blingboy
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    I’m against a dead ball. BAs are already dreadful. The ‘game we love’ is largely gone. Its now an entertainment product for the smart phone crowd. That business model is working pretty well so far I think.

    #180196
    Card4Ever
    Participant

    Free

    I’m not saying a 1910 ball, but get rid of the juiced ball. You say it is an entertainment product, but it isn’t entertaining.

    Also, you didn’t come up with an idea to save it, lol.

    #180197
    Cardinal in France
    Participant

    Free

    The baseball I loved is gone. It’s a feeling, a culture, a humanity that has disappeared. Going with my dad to minor league games, hot dogs and peanuts, players on the field walking over to talk and sign autographs for kids, watching one of you favorite minor leaguers make it to the bigs and saying, hey I remember that guy back when… Baseball was friendlier, more human. Sure, players were exploited – it took Stan 20 years to make $100,000 – and they deserve a bigger slice of the pie, but the more they get the more greedy and unapproachable they become. It’s always been a business, of course, and owners for the most part have always squeezed the most possible revenue from wherever they could (us). Can it be me? Is it because I am a grouchy old fart who lives in the past and goes on at excruciating length about how much better it was in the “old days?” Perhaps. I still watch games when I can and thank the Lord for MLBTV (Ah ha! Didn’t have that in the Old Days, didja? you probably say). But I miss the soul of baseball. Baseball with a heart.

    #180198
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    The “exciting plays” you described all require baserunners. Seems you would like more excitement on the basepaths Card4Ever.

    If you want a higher OBP for mlb, to increase baserunners, just outlaw the shift.

    Players aren’t going to prioritize using the opposite field to beat the shift because pulling the ball with power is what pays the best.

    #180200
    gscottar
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    To piggyback on what jj said I think the biggest thing that could be done on the field is to ban the shift. The shift has gone a long way to ruin the game IMO. It has exacerbated the two true outcome style of game we now see and is one of the big reasons why we see so few .300 hitters anymore, along with the radical specialization of bullpens.

    I know it is easy to say the hitter should just lay down a bunt to 3B but that is easier said than done.

    #180202
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Ban the shift, move the mound down and/or back, make the bases bigger, speed up pitchers and move fences back. That would be a good start.

    In reality, baseball will likely continue to dwindle in popularity unless some big scandal hits the NFL (like the CTE findings).

    #180203
    thejager
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    MORE BALLS IN PLAY AND MORE BASERUNNERS

    3 steps:

    -automated balls and strikes, current umps arent 100% so why does the tech have to be? At least the tech can be adjusted daily without egos harmed.

    -smaller strike zone, hitter friendly, so hitters know where ball is going and pitchers have to throw it there (and throw it BETTER There if they want to be good) knowing automated balls and strikes eliminate cheating a zone (or at least only being able to cheat a zone briefly before the software can be updated to account for the error)

    -ban shift, or extreme shift, so SS and 3b have to be on one side, 2b and 1b on the other.

    Bonus:

    -umps need to enforce staying in the batters box and pitch clocks, which they should have plenty of time to do without having to worry about balls and strikes (other than calling what they are told) This should be their role anyways, keeping people following the rules, not being the dictator of a zone which SHOULD be non-adjustable and unmalleable

    -larger bags for upping stolen base attempts

    This gets the tempo up, and hopefully creates more hitting, or at worse more men on via walks and added ability for hit and run or stolen bases.

    Length of game is not the issue as much the PACE of the game and the TYPE of of PACE. People don’t seem to care about NCAA football games dragging into 4 hours bore-athons, because there is “exciting” action every 30 seconds.

    Baseball needs to up the TYPE of pace, the “exciting” action.

    It does not limit the value or cheapen the game to make pitchers have to pitch better to be considered great (just like when they lowered the mound) instead of playing against the umpire they have to p[lay against the batter. The batters have to get better too and can’t get bailed out by leaning over or all the other tactics.

    #180204
    blingboy
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    I think the small ballparks are the cause of fewer baserunners and exciting plays. The true outcomes approach to hitting wouldn’t work in parks like Busch Memorial or some of the expansive parks of the past.

    #180205
    ZTR
    Participant

    Free

    No DH – that removes a whole lot of strategy and tough managerial decisions.

    Go back to whatever ball they used in the mid-80’s.

    Shorten the games, whatever it takes. 2 1/2 hours is long enough to play a typical 9 inning game.

    9 inning double headers.

    #180207
    CariocaCardinal
    Participant

    Paid - Monthly

    Raise the nets an inch and make the paddles slightly smaller.

    #180212
    shakenbake McBride
    Participant

    Free

    Remove politics completely from the game.
    Reduce ticket prices.
    Hard salary cap. (floor and ceiling)
    No DH.
    No shift.

    #180219
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    No lockouts, no strikes. On the day each CBA ends, the clock starts. If no deal, 30 days after, independent mediation begins. If no deal 30 days after that, independent arbitration starts and one side’s case will be picked within 14 days. End of story, no more lost games.

    #180221
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    My idea is to force the game to hire a truly independent commissioner with the necessary powers to manage the game fairly for all parties, including owners, players, minor leaguers and fans.

    Having said that, I am far more likely to win the Powerball this weekend – and I haven’t even bought a ticket!

    #180223
    ZTR
    Participant

    Free

    I really like the idea of not letting the hitters back in and out of the box. Your batting gloves are ok Skippy, just hit.

    Unless you get brushed back or knocked down you keep you ass in there.

    No calling time out either.

    You step out of the box it’s a strike.

    #180226
    Cardinal in France
    Participant

    Free

    I’m with you on that ZTR, and I’d like to see the DH in the NL taken off the table until some time after my death.

    #180227
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    I get that some people have a preference for the NL style of baseball, but getting rid of the most boring part of the game (pitchers hitting) is an obvious way to improve the game. It’s not “strategy,” it’s a boring automatic four, six, or more outs in a game struggling to create enough offense as is.

    For those who oppose the DH, I’m curious if you follow other pro sports as well. Would you be in favor of making kickers or punters play offense or defense every down, or have the hockey or soccer goalie move up to play offense when their team gets the puck/ball?

    #180229
    Cardinal in France
    Participant

    Free

    Well. Card 25, you have a perfect right to find pitchers at the plate boring. I for one do not, and appreciate the dilemmas it sometimes creates in the game. Perhaps, if for example we are stuck with a good field-no hit shortstop or second baseman, we could change the rules to let him play only defense and have another, less boring player stand in for him at the plate.

    #180230
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    If parsed out on the spectrum of “part of the game,” pitching would far outpace fielding and even hitting in terms of what overall chunk of value they bring. So pitchers are already providing an oversized share of the game even if they never touch a bat.

    A good fielding shortstop touches the ball, what, maybe 10 times a game at the very most? Sometimes far less. So having them be exempt from hitting doesn’t equate with having a pitcher who is directly involved in the play 100+ times a game being exempt. If pitchers were even remotely valuable as hitters, then I could see the argument to have them keep hitting. As is, the game is too specialized and they’ve become the kind of moments when announcers have to find something else to talk about and fans get up to get a head start on the bathroom or food lines.

    I’ll admit that when a pitcher comes through it’s very exciting, but if we’re talking about keeping pace with (or outpacing) other sports, the pitchers hitting bit’s gotta go. When a punter pulls a fake punt and completes a pass is very exciting too, but no one would say that we should make a rule that they should pass every game. If they did, then teams would then switch to a specialized “thrower” in those cases…which is exactly what the AL did with the DH long ago and the NL should be doing if it hopes to keep the game relevant into the future.

    I understand the desire to hold onto the tradition (I was there too until a couple years ago when I realized that it’s a reason that the NL gets pummeled in interleague play just about every year) but I’ve never really heard an argument that it makes the game better for fans to watch.

    #180231
    gscottar
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    To me it isn’t a boring or non-boring issue. It is an issue of protecting your most valuable assets. I don’t want my top two or three starters getting hit on the wrist or blowing out a hammy running down to first. And no, I don’t want that to happen to any of our other players but frankly I think most position players are easier to replace than frontline starting pitchers. We saw evidence last year what happens when a rotation gets ravaged by injury. Sure, a pitcher most likely will get hurt by damaging their arm while pitching but why increase the odds by sending them to the plate?

    It also protects your bullpen by not having to pull the starter in the 5th inning because he is coming up to bat.

    #180241
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    I am not so sure the game is so much worse than the product we grew up with. I heard a comment one time that said the era of sports between the time you were 8 years old, to 15 will always be your favorite.

    That holds true for me, but I am can enjoy the modern game. Yeah, I do yearn for games that were more like 2 hours and 15 minutes long – starters that went the distance quite often – players that were personal. And by that I mean where you had guys who were sluggers, but also guys whose primary asset was speed, guys who were leather-men, that sort of thing. Today is a little bit homogenous where even traditional smaller, speedier guys tend to be home run hitters, like middle infielders.

    Kind of funny about the shift – I have been perusing through this 1967 Sporting News issue I have. It’s from April and has a big color photo of new Cardinal Roger Maris on the cover. It talks about Maris’ debut as a Cardinal and how he was cheered for twice beating the shift, “which had three infielders between first and second base”, once by bunting for a hit and then hitting a line single to left field.

    So the shift has been around, going way back much farther than the ‘60s. But it was never used on every hitter who comes to the plate like it is now.

    So I don’t know. The soul of the game – I think that is something you get as a kid, the 8 to 15 years, and when you get older you just don’t feel it as much. Everything was magnified then, and burned into your brain. But that feeling is not sustainable. So you try as you might to follow the game pretending to be a kid.

    And to add a bit of a counter-point, it’s a different world in sports now because the money is so great. Some of that soul was traded in for the almighty dollar. Every decision is analyzed against an ROI. That does take some innocence and fun out of the sport.

    When I was a kid I wanted to be a baseball player, mostly so I could play for a living rather than go to an office. Now the lines are blurred. It is still a game, but the corporate part of it is much more pronounced.

    We are all experiencing that right now. No Spring Training – instead, financial discussions in boardrooms.

    #180242
    bccran
    Participant

    Pitchers’ poor hitting isn’t the point. It’s decisions and strategies that are interesting. A starter is going really strong in the 6th in a close game. He’s coming up in the bottom of the 6th. Do I pinch hit for him if a runner or two get on in front of him? He’s at a 75 pitch count. A reliever has just pitched a very strong 8th in a tie game. The closer isn’t available in the 9th. The guy who pitched the 8th is by far the best
    choice to pitch the ninth, but he’s coming up in the top of the 9th.
    What do I do?

    #180250
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    Those decisions with pitchers are still there with the DH, and even more difficult at times. It’s just that you no longer have that defined point in the game.

    A starter has given you 7 strong, but leads off the bottom half in a game you trial 2-1. That is pretty much an automatic PH decision. With the DH, you have the option of pushing him another inning, or going to the ‘pen. What do you do?

    There are still plenty of decisions like that to be made that can swing a ball game. You do miss the double-switch changes and that is a cool thing that does not come as much. But I think it is outweighed by the DH giving you all those ABs that are ho-hum affairs when a pitcher bats. Now you have a few more base runners and action. That in itself will create moments of strategy.

    Plus it can change your lineup construction. I hated that Shildt had Goldschmidt in the two spot last year, with 8, pitcher, and one ahead of him many times. Traditionally that is a place you put guys who move runners along. But with the DH, hitting second becomes a bit more of a production slot. At two, you will hit more times with a runner or runners on base.

    It’s all still there and is still baseball. But it gives the pitcher a little more of a break since he is the workhorse in the game. And it offers a guy whose skills may be more skewed to offense a chance to contribute.

    I have wondered at times how we would look at the game today had the National League gone with the DH back in the late 1920s. There was talk of the league doing that back then, but it never did happen until the AL went with it starting in 1973.

    #180265
    ZTR
    Participant

    Free

    I don’t like the DH and I’m not ever going to.

    I don’t like interleague play either. I think it has the potential to unbalance the schedule and give teams in a tight pennant race an unfair advantage / disadvantage.

    I don’t like wild card playoff teams. If MLB goes to even more playoff teams then at least shorten the regular season. 154 / 162 games was used to separate teams. If 1/2 the league is getting into what amounts to an extended tournament then we don’t need a 6 month season to create separation.

    #180475
    PugsleyAddams
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Just go back to 1990……and play by those rules. And that includes instant replay. The innocence and the human element of the game is what made baseball so special. The game is losing it’s luster…….and the powers that be, astonishingly aren’t recognizing it.

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