John Smoltz proposes dramatic changes to the game

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  • #70051
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/1357842002

    From the article:

    Smoltz wants to eliminate the shift (“I think it’s single-handedly killing the game), curtail the relentless use of relievers, stop the exploitation of the disabled list, but most of all, revolutionize the schedule.

    Smoltz proposes that MLB adopt a split-season schedule, just as they do in the minor leagues, in a move that he believes will create dramatic division races again, reduce the number of teams tanking for draft picks, and make baseball great again in September.

    Thoughts?? It’s intriguing, but I’d have to think more about it to know how I’d really feel about such a change.

    #70061
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    I definitely agree that a shortened schedule, and the elimination of using the DL and the utilization of roster call-ups and send-downs for the sole purpose of keeping rested relief pitchers are good ideas.

    I also hate the parade of pitchers that are used in a game today. I would like to see a rule where rosters can include at most 12 pitchers, with a possible exception made for double-headers where a 13th man could be added.

    The split-schedule is intriguing, although there has to be a way to include overall season records in the post season mix. You do not want the same thing to happen as it did in ’81, where the Cardinals and Reds were left out despite having better records than some of the playoff teams. In addition, you do not want to simply give a team that had a good first half a post season berth. Theoretically a team could be great in the first half, then tank in the second half and give a lot of youngsters playing time knowing they have a post season berth locked up. But Smoltz does say winning both halves gets a playoff bye, which might take care of that.

    The shift is an interesting thought. I have never been in favor of eliminating it, as there are many times when a guy hits a ball where an infielder would normally play, and gets a hit. And the shift has been around forever, although it is more commonly used today with the data that is available.

    #70063
    AvatarRememberDiz
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    Baseball had its most prestige when the Yankees seemed to win every AL pennant, there were only eight teams in the league, and everyone knew that the Pirates would finish last. But, they also went to see the game because it only cost kids a dime and adults a quarter or fifty cents.

    The shift isn’t a long-term problem. IF you have hitters so stupid that they refuse to learn to hit against an obvious shift, they need to go back to the minors. Learn to bunt and make them pay. It’s funny that women’s softball sees shifts often and makes them pay just as often. If you are dumb enough to give me a hit, I’ll bunt. How right Drysdale was, “hitters are stupid.”

    I always thought it was a bit cheesy for a first half champion to play a second half champion while the season-long winner sat on the sidelines. Is this the same as “give everyone a trophy?” Maybe we should just shorten the season, pay everyone less, and make it easier on the fans. Games in April and May are just exhibitions. It’s bad enough that we reduce a season schedule to a single game wild card playoff.

    Get better managers and let it all work itself out. Hitters that move runners around tend to beat home run/strikeout hitters. Teach people the fundamentals of baseball again. Where is Whitey Herzog? I’m still reminded of the reporter who asked John McGraw why he wasn’t playing a rookie who had hit 400 in Spring Training. “Because he also fielded 400.”

    I see outfielders throwing home rather than keeping the runner on first every game. Doesn’t someone fine these guys for letting winning run get to second? But, then, nobody hits to right rather than strikeout any more either.

    I do agree that there is a problem with using the minor leagues as an extended bench. Every time I saw a really great pitching performance by an unknown (to me), the next day he would be in Memphis. There needs to be some sort of limits, and it appears that they have been relaxed. If Memphis has ten guys who are better than anyone that Philadelphia starts, they need an opportunity to start at Philadelphia. Are three times all you can send someone down? Is that off the table? Cafeteria planning seems to have gone overboard: pitchers from Memphis, who do we have at Peoria that can play third? Maybe we should rotate Gorman, Nunez, and Monero between St.Louis, Memphis, and the Florida State League.

    #70065
    AvatarNJ315
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    I do not have problems with the shift. You should be able to position your defenders as you please. My question would be what will indicate when position becomes an illegal shift.

    #70075
    Avatarforsch31
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    RDiz, the 3 times to send someone down that you refer to is 3 years. Even if you send someone down 10 times in one year (season), that is only 1 option. Each player has 3 option years once they are placed on the 40 man roster.

    #70080
    AvatarBob Reed
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    “The shift isn’t a long-term problem. IF you have hitters so stupid that they refuse to learn to hit against an obvious shift, they need to go back to the minors. Learn to bunt and make them pay.”

    Exactly, Diz. Well said.
    Mike Schmidt and Steve Garvey and Jim Edmonds and many other heavy hitters knew how to bunt. If pitchers can learn to bunt, so can sluggers. At least, well enough to discourage clubs from shifting against them.

    I do think Smoltz is a terrific analyst, and a bright and entertaining broadcaster. Not “entertaining” in the clownish Kevin Millar mold or the wretched, screeching Chris Russo. Entertaining, as in insightful and sometimes surprising, and not the least bit beholden to either hyper-traditionalists or the more narrow-minded ideologues among the SABR set. So I’m not crazy about the idea of disagreeing with Smoltzy. But I do. Forgive me if I ramble, but I want to be thorough.

    Tanking has already been addressed in the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement. Under the previous CBA, from 2012-2016, when the Cubs were the most prominently tanking team, the ethically questionable teams profited in three ways. (1)Higher draft pick. (2)Bloated draft budget, compared to winning teams. (3)Similarly bloated international prospect budget. If you think point #3 doesn’t matter much, then you should check how many millions the Cubs paid to acquire Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres, the star prospects who were eventually key to major Cub trades for pitching.

    But losing on purpose no longer profits a team in the same 3 ways. Now every team is pretty much permitted the same international budget. And the draft budgets are now compressed, closer to one another than they were from 2012-16.

    So teams can continue to radically slash their payrolls and lose on purpose as the Cubs did from 2012-2014. But it won’t generate the advantages that it did for the Cubs. You can’t ever stop teams from being greedy or stupid. But you CAN stop rewarding them for it. And that’s already happening.

    But we are not at some perfect Platonic baseball ideal, I don’t think.
    There are two substantive problems with the game, in my opinion. Too many strikeouts, too many homers.

    So lower the mound 2-3 inches to cut down the K’s.
    And deaden the baseballs just enough to turn 10-15 percent of the homers into doubles and triples.

    You’re welcome, Mr. Manfred!

    #70081
    AvatarPugsleyAddams
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    What about this…..any team that deploys a shift has to remove one fielder for that at bat. That should take care of the issue. And what about this…..any player going on the DL has to actually be injured. The injury to be verified by medical personnel not associated with the player’s team. And what about this…..no changes whatsoever to the present playoff format. And what about this…..Rosters expanded to 27 players. And what about this……Only one pitching change per inning allowed, except in case of injury. If a second pitcher is needed due to injury, the injured pitcher automatically goes on the 10 day DL.

    #70085
    AvatarRememberDiz
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    I kind of wish I hadn’t said anything. It really isn’t broken. I guess we should move rapidly to fix it, —-if there is no problem.

    #70091
    Avatar858booyah
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    How can you outlaw the shift? U can’t do it! You can deploy your defense as you choose. Remember the 2011 postseason and the No Doubles Defense.

    Notice Smoltz offers radical changes to the game except how to get pitchers these day to throw more strikes and ways to slow the game down. I have no problem with the way it is! I really don’t but people may have a point when the MNF game ended at about the same time as the Cardinal game on Monday.

    #70120
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    I do not think the game is “broken” really, in the same way I do not think America needs to be made “great again”. The game is still great, and this is still a great country. I loved baseball as a kid in the ’60s and ’70s, and still love it today. But I do wish the games would normally run 2 1/2 hours or so.

    As Pugs mentioned, I would allow rosters to be 27 players, but limit the pitchers to 12. And definitely stop the minor leagues as an extension of your major league roster. That whole concept that the Cardinals championed this Spring was nonsense.

    I have never understood people who are against the DH because players should “play the whole game”, yet they are okay with pitchers coming in and facing one batter. In order to streamline that practice, we might consider a rule where unlimited pitching changes are allowed in only one inning. Once a manager brings in a third pitcher in any given inning, he has burned that bridge and is now limited to one change for all remaining innings. Then again, that may not have much impact as it is rare that a manager will use as many as three pitchers in two innings. How about this? If you bring in a third pitcher in an inning, the first batter automatically gets a free pass to first base.

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