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Article: Pace of Play and the Twins

casey fien brian duensing glen perkins rob manfred caleb thielbar
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#21 TheLeviathan

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:08 AM

SockNet, you don't think micro-managing from the bench and bullpen use have radically changed in the last 20 or so years?  

 

I'd also suggest Nomar ushered in a whole new era of nerotic batter tendencies between pitches.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 08 February 2015 - 10:11 AM.


#22 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 11:22 AM

remove the 7th inning patriotic salute to America from the current length of games, what do we end up with? (Please don't tell me we should have time for the salute, I know that, this is only about the math).


Baseball made it 100 years without the 7th inning salute and no one questioned the sport's integrity and/or patriotism.

It's time for the salute to go away and make baseball games about baseball, not faux patriotism.
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#23 Boom Boom

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 11:28 AM

The specialization of bullpens combined with the starter's pitch count means more pitching changes than ever.

And every time, the manager jogs out to the mound, taps his arm, gives the outgoing pitcher a pep talk and pats him on the behind, then holds an inexplicable pow-wow with the infielders while the reliever jogs in. Then the reliever throws a few warm-up tosses before play begins again.

#24 JB_Iowa

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 11:35 AM

Baseball made it 100 years without the 7th inning salute and no one questioned the sport's integrity and/or patriotism.

It's time for the salute to go away and make baseball games about baseball, not faux patriotism.

 

The problem is that it is always harder to take something out than add it.  But I agree.  Plus we might eventually come to enjoy "God Bless America" again (in other contexts.)

 

BTW. what do they do in Toronto?

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#25 TheLeviathan

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 11:46 AM

The problem is that it is always harder to take something out than add it.  But I agree.  Plus we might eventually come to enjoy "God Bless America" again (in other contexts.)

 

BTW. what do they do in Toronto?

 

 Nickelback?


#26 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 11:56 AM

BTW. what do they do in Toronto?

Something more interesting*, I'm sure.

 

*literally anything


#27 Willihammer

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 12:30 PM

I just hope MLB works obvious-to-obscure and not the other way around. Start by improving replay and eliminating the patriotic circle jerks, before messing with a 3-PA minimum for reliver or eliminating defensive shifts(?), shot clock, etc.

Edited by Willihammer, 08 February 2015 - 12:30 PM.

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Well, there's that.

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#28 Circus Boy

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 12:49 PM

Baseball made it 100 years without the 7th inning salute and no one questioned the sport's integrity and/or patriotism.

It's time for the salute to go away and make baseball games about baseball, not faux patriotism.

 

But we all like patriotism, faux or not. And I'm always sincere, even when I have to fake it.

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#29 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 01:14 PM

I just hope MLB works obvious-to-obscure and not the other way around. Start by improving replay and eliminating the patriotic circle jerks, before messing with a 3-PA minimum for reliver or eliminating defensive shifts(?), shot clock, etc.


I agree but the pitch clock wouldn't be a real imposition on the players. It would simply be a visual representation of the rules already on the books. If anything, the players should appreciate the clarification.
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#30 ScrapTheNickname

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 03:20 PM

Here's a question. If you deduct the extra commercial time,both between innings and pitching changes, and remove the 7th inning patriotic salute to America from the current length of games, what do we end up with? (Please don't tell me we should have time for the salute, I know that, this is only about the math). I am not sure when the inning breaks time was increased and to what level?

For the record, I am an "old schooler" or at least old something. And I do find the games too lengthly. TIVO solves some of the problem at home, but complicates participating in the TD game threads.

If it wasn't for the game threads I couldn't get through a game. They're funny to read and participate in.


#31 ScrapTheNickname

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 03:24 PM

It looks like I've come onto this thread a day late, so if anyone's still reading, hello.

 

The one thing that irks me is the sheer number of pitching changes that occur, on average, in major league baseball games. This is a fairly modern phenomenon and it's getting "worse" year after year. Baseball has made all kind rules over the years to make the game better. How about limiting the number of relief pitchers that can be used in a game? I hope the Commissioner thinks about it. It wasn't a "problem" that needed to addressed 30 years ago, but it needs to be addressed now.

 

I did some research last summer: Here is an example. in 2013, 2.9 relievers were used by each team per game.

 

In 1973, 1.37 relievers were used by each team per game.

 

In other words, in 40 years the use of relief pitchers has literally more than doubled.


#32 USNMCPO

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 04:59 PM

There are a lot of things to agree with on this thread. Like Jimmer said, I don't really mind a long game. I am an old guy so it's fine if the game goes long. I too can see where it is hard to attract new fans who may get bored easily and I understand the need to get home on a weeknight because of school, work, golf etc the next day. i think Jim Kaat had a really good point about batters. Have all of us ever watched a Red Sox - Yankees game? I think it is faster paced watching paint dry and mostly it is batters primping after every pitch. Do batters gloves really get loose after every pitch?


#33 ashbury

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:13 PM

Do batters gloves really get loose after every pitch?

IMO it's clearly a mechanism for batters to make sure they are composed and ready for each pitch.By now it's become simply a crutch, and/or evidence to a coach who has been on his case that his head is in the game.If the rules forbade it, they would all find a different mechanism instead (popping oneself on top of the helmet, for instance), and the game would move faster with no loss of focus by the batters. Ditto for pitchers who have developed similar routines between pitches, pawing at the mound and so forth.It's gotten out of hand on both sides, baseball has the ability to add a rule when things get out of hand, no big deal.

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#34 Wookiee of the Year

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:53 PM

For those who think length of game isn't a problem, I'd suggest it might not be so much length of games as lateness of games.

 

During the Front Office Q&A session at TwinsFest, I asked how concerned the Twins are about pace of games, and Dave St. Peter said the big problem is that the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings are supposed to be the most exciting innings, and on many weeknight games you look around the stands and half the fans have left before the game reaches its conclusion.

 

I don't think this is ADD or a lack of attention span; it's that people have to get home after a weeknight game. I live in St. Paul, but when I take the bus & light rail to and from a game that's gone til 10:45, I'm often getting home close to midnight. People driving from the exurbs or further are experiencing the same thing--and if you've got kids, there's no way you're staying til the game concludes. That's a problem.

 

The one thing that irks me is the sheer number of pitching changes that occur, on average, in major league baseball games. This is a fairly modern phenomenon and it's getting "worse" year after year. Baseball has made all kind rules over the years to make the game better. How about limiting the number of relief pitchers that can be used in a game? I hope the Commissioner thinks about it. It wasn't a "problem" that needed to addressed 30 years ago, but it needs to be addressed now.

I'm also curious about strategies to cut down on pitching changes; that holds much more appeal to me than a pitch clock (even if it is on the books, it just seems distracting for me as a fan--and impossible to implement with runners on base, when the pitcher can just throw over to 1st to buy more time). The three main strategies I've seen are:

 

1) Outright limiting the number of pitching changes (with adjustments for extra innings). To me, that feels difficult to implement in a way that both impacts the game and doesn't have a radical impact on bullpen management (though in many ways, maybe that's not a loss).

 

2) Requiring pitchers to pitch to at least 2 or at least 3 batters after entering a game. This one's intriguing to me, but also somewhat radical and could have some problems around the margins (injuries, rain delays, etc.).

 

3) Capping the number of players who are primarily pitchers on the roster. This one probably holds the most appeal for me--I'd think it would have the least dramatic impact on strategy while still offering strong encouragement to limit pitching changes. And it could give birth to some "go both ways"-style players, i.e. a Drew Butera who's your back-up catcher but steps in to pitch occasionally when the bullpen's worn down (though classifying these sorts of players could cause problems).


#35 SockNet

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:59 PM

SockNet, you don't think micro-managing from the bench and bullpen use have radically changed in the last 20 or so years?  

 

Absolutely it has, as one would expect due to the specialization of relief pitching. I'm all for looking at and maybe changing how mound visits can be done. But does that third or fourth pitching change make up the additional 29 minutes over the past 10 years the article mentions? Get rid of "God Bless America", mascot races, foundation recognitions and the rest of the between inning stuff and see where we're at. Add a little hustling on and off the field and you will have a pace that resembles a college baseball game, and thats with pitches and defensive positioning being called from the dugout. Once you have 2.5 minutes between innings though commercials won't be done before action resumes. 

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#36 notoriousgod71

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:36 PM

Twins could shorten their game times by getting people out and not making five pitching changes per game to do so.

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#37 USAFChief

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 09:24 PM

My strong preference is not to mess with actual game play or managerial options. I would be very opposed to limiting pitching changes, or requiring pitchers to pitch to more than one hitter. Those have always been managerial decisions and should stay that way. I also believe the growth of bullpens will eventually self correct, as managers decide they can win more games with a stronger bench than another OOGY.

But I would have no problem with finding ways to speed up pace of play that don't impact actual game play. A pitch clock is an easy solution, as is requiring hitters to stay in the box and hit. Find ways to limit time between innings...first pitch of every half inning should be on its way no more than ten seconds after the last TV ad ends. Find ways to prevent managers from stalling. Consider starting games earlier...6:40 instead of 7:10.

Just don't change the way the actual game is played.
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#38 Willihammer

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:35 PM

I agree but the pitch clock wouldn't be a real imposition on the players. It would simply be a visual representation of the rules already on the books. If anything, the players should appreciate the clarification.


Its on the books like mixed marriage laws in Alabama are on the books. To start enforcing it now would change the whole pace and feel of the game, for the worse I believe.

Well, there's that.

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#39 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:42 PM

My strong preference is not to mess with actual game play or managerial options. I would be very opposed to limiting pitching changes, or requiring pitchers to pitch to more than one hitter. Those have always been managerial decisions and should stay that way. I also believe the growth of bullpens will eventually self correct, as managers decide they can win more games with a stronger bench than another OOGY.

But I would have no problem with finding ways to speed up pace of play that don't impact actual game play. A pitch clock is an easy solution, as is requiring hitters to stay in the box and hit. Find ways to limit time between innings...first pitch of every half inning should be on its way no more than ten seconds after the last TV ad ends. Find ways to prevent managers from stalling. Consider starting games earlier...6:40 instead of 7:10.

Just don't change the way the actual game is played.

 

Agree with 100% of this except for the pitch clock (so maybe just 94% of it).

 

Like Jim Kaat said, make it about the batter. That seems to be one of the main culprits anyway, the time the batter takes between pitches.

 

Instead of an actual clock you could just empower umpires to give the ready signal to the pitcher, that way we wouldn't have an actual ticking pitch clock to distract everyone. There's a possibility that a single spring training season of strict enforcement would get guys moving fast again, as long as MLB fully supports the umpires. Which is no sure thing. 

 

Batter up!

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#40 Steve Lein

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 11:28 AM

I think there are tons of easy common sense ways they can speed up pace of play, but I'm not even sure it's the pace of the game that needs to be adjusted, but also the pace of how they broadcast it...

 

For pace of the actual game, why does a relief pitcher need to throw 10+ warm-up pitches from the mound? Why does a hitter have to step out of the box after every pitch? Those are just a few examples, each of which would shave off 10-20 minutes of time on their own.

 

The bigger problem I think, however, is the pace of the TV broadcast caused by the associated advertiser $$$.

 

Everything is sponsored now: Pitching changes, the seventh inning stretch, the scouting reports they show on air... All these things have a "sponsor" that gets pitched. I'd love to see someone track how much time is spent on plugging a product during a baseball broadcast these days.

 

And I'm not even talking about commercial breaks, I'm talking about the things during the game broadcast.

 

"This call to the bullpen is brought to you by [fill in the blank]," etc... I think those seconds would add up pretty quick to significant amounts of time. There's so much extra stuff than the actual game being played, that I think this is what turns off the ADD crowd, or just the casual fans they're trying to cater to.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)




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