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Nightengale: Changes

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#1 jorgenswest

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 08:23 AM

This comment interested me in another thread but my response had nothing to do with topic so I started one here.
 

This is on the front office not Moliter. He plays the players given to him. Everybody should read yesterday’s
article in the USA Today by Bob Nightingale on the state of today’s game. It’s not good. In short summary:
Too slow, attendance down, too many strikeouts, not enough base runners....which causes fans to lose interest, maybe too much analytics, too many players trying for homeruns which leads to more strikeouts and less base runners. He also thought maybe baseball should look into the shift.
Maybe baseball is becoming too boring for the young generation. Remember the writer is baseball lifer.


Want a faster game? More pitch to contact? Three balls equal a walk will eventually accomplish both. It might start with a bunch more walks but then the command pitchers will start being more successful than the wilder hard throwers.

Want to give value to positional bench players and shrink pens? Allow one re-entry per position player. I am guessing having bats on the bench gain much more value than that LOOGY in the pen. I think I would enjoy the conversation around when to use that hitter once for Wilson and also how to construct the roster to best utilize those opportunities.

I don’t see how eliminating the shift will either change the time or shift the power/strikeout environment. It will result in more Joey Gallo types.

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#2 TheLeviathan

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 08:42 AM

I've been reassured though?

 

People-ask-how-things-are-Everything-is-

 

I think the idea behind outlawing the shift is to try and allow pull hitters to exist again.Major changes are coming though, it's inevitable.


#3 Sconnie

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 09:02 AM

This comment interested me in another thread but my response had nothing to do with topic so I started one here.


Want a faster game? More pitch to contact? Three balls equal a walk will eventually accomplish both. It might start with a bunch more walks but then the command pitchers will start being more successful than the wilder hard throwers.

Want to give value to positional bench players and shrink pens? Allow one re-entry per position player. I am guessing having bats on the bench gain much more value than that LOOGY in the pen. I think I would enjoy the conversation around when to use that hitter once for Wilson and also how to construct the roster to best utilize those opportunities.

I don’t see how eliminating the shift will either change the time or shift the power/strikeout environment. It will result in more Joey Gallo types.

or a walk comes at 4 balls but gets you two bases. That would take away the strategy of trying to get the double play, and force pitching to good hitters.

#4 nmcowboy

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 09:14 AM

 

or a walk comes at 4 balls but gets you two bases. That would take away the strategy of trying to get the double play, and force pitching to good hitters.

No, can't agree with that one.  Two bases on a walk is too much of a premium.  Why swing and hit the ball if a free pass is two bases?  That would incentivize hitters to swing less, take more pitches and make the game even longer.

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#5 Sconnie

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 10:33 AM

No, can't agree with that one. Two bases on a walk is too much of a premium. Why swing and hit the ball if a free pass is two bases? That would incentivize hitters to swing less, take more pitches and make the game even longer.

why swing? Because the pitches would have to catch more of the plate more frequently

#6 bluechipper

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 10:46 AM

I'm all for banning the shift. Not only would there be more offense, but this would make middle infield defense more important at the same time.


#7 drivlikejehu

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 11:49 AM

The shift is not a factor driving strikeouts or pace concerns.

 

I think there are some obvious solutions . . . un-juice the ball, enforce a strict (i.e., not expanded) strike zone, limit hitters stepping out of the box during their PAs.

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#8 KirbyDome89

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 02:00 PM

Honestly I think having 2 competent/knowledgeable broadcasters and foregoing the constant commerical interruptions during the later innings would alleviate a lot of the consternation. Does that cut down on game time? No, but 3 + hours of watching/listening to something you enjoy goes by much faster than 2.5 hours of constantly interrupted enjoyment. Football also has a ton of"dead time," but it's made bearable by constant analysis, replays, highlights from the current game or others, ect.  

 

(Yes, I know, there's no chance MLB is cutting commercial time)

 

Little things like a pitch clock, cutting down on time out of the batters box, ect. I don't have an issue with. Honestly I don't think it saves much time but if MLB wants to convince itself that making those changes will in fact have an impact then go for it. I can't say I'm a fan of making fundamental changes like altering the strike zone, starting extra innings with a runner on base, limiting pitching options, banning defensive alignments, ect. 

 

The criticisms of strikeouts, baserunners, analytics, and hitting approach all smack of "get off my lawn." I'm not sure the fact Nightengale is a lifer helps him here. Listening to Jack Morris repeat the same concerns inning after inning last night quickly became tiresome. Every previous generation thought their way of doing things was the "best way," and any deviation from it is criticized. 

 

I will say I think Morris did make a good point between rants. Baseball, like life, is about adjustment, and at some point things will shift back towards an equilibrium position. Strikeouts won't skyrocket into the 300+ range and continue upward, the value of running the bases and producing runs isn't gone, every hitter in MLB won't be trying to max out their launch angle. 

Edited by KirbyDome89, 23 June 2018 - 02:01 PM.

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#9 yarnivek1972

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 06:00 PM

No, can't agree with that one. Two bases on a walk is too much of a premium. Why swing and hit the ball if a free pass is two bases? That would incentivize hitters to swing less, take more pitches and make the game even longer.


Or, it would incentivize pitchers to throw strikes more frequently, leading to more contact and a faster game pace.
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#10 Mike Sixel

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 11:29 AM

 

Or, it would incentivize pitchers to throw strikes more frequently, leading to more contact and a faster game pace.

 

If they could throw more strikes, they would.....or at least close balls. This will lead to no one swinging the bat, well, a lot of people not swinging the bat. And slow the game down.

 

I love the anti stats (or, as anyone should call it, anti being smart) parts of this article....

Edited by Mike Sixel, 26 June 2018 - 11:29 AM.

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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#11 clone52

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 11:43 AM

1.Remove the shift.2 players on IF on each side of 2nd base and 3 OF required.Minor change, but it would lead to more hits.

2.Fans like home runs, so I don't think deadening the ball would be a good idea.If you get more runs scored per game, more fans will come.

3.Pitch clock to speed up the game.Being able to manage a pitch clock becomes a skill players need to have.I see absolutely no issue with this.Players need to adjust.

4.Lower the mound.Instead of 10 inches, lower it to 7 or 8.

5.Maybe even limit how far outfielders can shift from straight away.


#12 jkcarew

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 11:52 AM

 

I love the anti stats (or, as anyone should call it, anti being smart) parts of this article....

True...but what is smart...and leads to more wins...does not necessarily make for a better game in terms of entertainment, pace, diversity/balance of styles.Flopping like you've taken sniper fire every time someone comes near you in the penalty area in soccer is smart.But it's downright abhorrent to have to watch all the time.I think that's the dilemma.There are 'good' reasons the game has evolved (taking pitches, launch angle, pitching changes, roster construction, 3-true outcome...etc., etc.) the way it has.But how do address/fix (temper?) some of the undesirable outcomes that have come along with that evolution (rhetorical)?I do believe it will get worse before it gets better.But I also believe the pendulum on some of this stuff will eventually swing the other way.

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#13 Mike Sixel

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 12:05 PM

Stop players from stepping out of the box for thirty seconds between every pitch. Start there.
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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#14 jkcarew

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 12:10 PM

By the way...the 'lifer' condemnation (which is a thinly disguised reference to being old) we can do without in this thread.The insinuation that someone that's watched mlb baseball for 40 or 50+ years, for some reason, can't be capable of understanding and/or appreciating how and why the game has evolved...and can't be capable of objectivity...well, it's kind of offensive.And also smacks of defensiveness regarding how 'their generation' plays the game.

 

Many on this board...including, those that fully embrace the sabrmetric revolution, have pointed out that it's suicide for baseball to stick it's head in the sand regarding current and future challenges.Denial is not a strategy for the future.It won't do any good for baseball purists (whether defined by 1970 or 2018 standards) to be "correct", if in the meantime the game dies in terms of it's broad public appeal.

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#15 bighat

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 12:41 PM

For years I've said "LEAVE BASEBALL ALONE" - pitch clock, mound visits, leaving the batter's box...I never really had a problem with any of it.

 

But I've started to change my tune. The amount of strikeouts is almost unbearable. More strikeouts than hits this year, if I remember correctly. It's become an all-or-nothing game....with "nothing" seemingly being the most frequent outcome.

 

The Twins are a good example of a team that's become really hard to watch. Not just for Twins fans, but for anyone. The first 4 innings typically feature a walk, no hits, and about 7 strikeouts from the offense. At that point it's just time to turn off the tube.

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#16 Platoon

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 12:43 PM

To expound on jkcarew a little. I am a lifer, and admittedly not an advanced metrics guru. But I am also not without appreciation for the use of metrics. It's a tool that, for a time, will give tech savvy teams an advantage. But, and I have mentioned this before, what happens when everyone is tech savvy? The advantage is neutralized and talent takes over. Basically a metrically adept team with good players will beat a metrically adept team with poorer players, usually. This leaves you with a basically unwatchable game of fly balls, strikeouts, 3-2 count walks, 4 pitchers aside, and a couple solo home runs. Did I mention 3:30 minutes of your life's expectancy washed away? Fly balls are usually boring. Almost any idiot can catch a fly ball, walks are numbing. Ground balls handled by athletic IF's are action, and strikeouts in clutch situations against non flail and flail hitters are impressive. But watching launch angle driven hitters strike out is really is not. Since the strikeouts far exceed the HR's, there really isn't much drama. But I digress. The game is in trouble. It's becoming unwatchable. At least with TiVo you can FF the beginning of each AB to a 2-2 count, not much happens before then. :(
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#17 Tomj14

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 02:16 PM

 

For years I've said "LEAVE BASEBALL ALONE" - pitch clock, mound visits, leaving the batter's box...I never really had a problem with any of it.

 

But I've started to change my tune. The amount of strikeouts is almost unbearable. More strikeouts than hits this year, if I remember correctly. It's become an all-or-nothing game....with "nothing" seemingly being the most frequent outcome.

 

The Twins are a good example of a team that's become really hard to watch. Not just for Twins fans, but for anyone. The first 4 innings typically feature a walk, no hits, and about 7 strikeouts from the offense. At that point it's just time to turn off the tube.

Don't disagree with what you are saying, but with pitch counts these days it is bad baseball to not try to run up the pitch count on the starter. Having the starter pitcher out of the game as soon as possible can change the whole series not just the game.

 

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#18 ashburyjohn

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 05:17 PM

Don't disagree with what you are saying, but with pitch counts these days it is bad baseball to not try to run up the pitch count on the starter. Having the starter pitcher out of the game as soon as possible can change the whole series not just the game.

Against a mediocre starter, or against a team with a shutdown bullpen that's well rested, I'd like to see the opposite tactic. Go right after the starter and don't work the count, but instead take a cut at the first good strike you see - his manager is motivated to leave him in there for 4 or 5 innings if you let him. At least, with the top half of your batting order. Haven't seen that happen much. The optimal tactic on average is sometimes incorrect in specific situations.

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#19 Platoon

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 05:20 AM

Against a mediocre starter, or against a team with a shutdown bullpen that's well rested, I'd like to see the opposite tactic. Go right after the starter and don't work the count, but instead take a cut at the first good strike you see - his manager is motivated to leave him in there for 4 or 5 innings if you let him. At least, with the top half of your batting order. Haven't seen that happen much. The optimal tactic on average is sometimes incorrect in specific situations.

Yes. Several times. Yes!
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#20 Tomj14

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 06:51 AM

 

Against a mediocre starter, or against a team with a shutdown bullpen that's well rested, I'd like to see the opposite tactic. Go right after the starter and don't work the count, but instead take a cut at the first good strike you see - his manager is motivated to leave him in there for 4 or 5 innings if you let him. At least, with the top half of your batting order. Haven't seen that happen much. The optimal tactic on average is sometimes incorrect in specific situations.

If we can all agree that Colon is a mediocre starter, it didn't work too well with him. I know this is just one case and easy to point out because it was Sunday and it was the last game of a series.

But I will say it general running up the starter pitch count is optimal to winning baseball.

It got Price and Sale out of the game and gave the Twins a better chance of winning (and got them the win against Sale)

So unless baseball can figure out how to stretch starting pitchers back out to 120 pitches, sadly this boring type of baseball will continue.

Out of curiosity anybody seen an studies that 100 or so pitches have helped keep starters healthy?