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  1. Like
    shimrod reacted to Dave Overlund in Please Stop Telling Me How To Be A Fan   
    Thanks for making my point. "Uninformed fan" is exactly the kind of comment I was talking about in my post, and you led off with it. Well played. 
  2. Like
    shimrod got a reaction from Squirrel in Is Waiting Really a Good Thing for Twins?   
    What's more likely to elevate their games...forcing them to step up and carry a mediocre roster or surrounding them with talent that allows them to relax and play? That's the question. There's money available to bolster the lineup. Do it. 
  3. Like
    shimrod got a reaction from Winston Smith in Is Waiting Really a Good Thing for Twins?   
    What's more likely to elevate their games...forcing them to step up and carry a mediocre roster or surrounding them with talent that allows them to relax and play? That's the question. There's money available to bolster the lineup. Do it. 
  4. Like
    shimrod reacted to diehardtwinsfan in Is Waiting Really a Good Thing for Twins?   
    Given that the core is good enough right now to win games (the team as contructed will probably top 80 games) one would think it makes sense to shore up weak spots in some capacity. 
    I'm not liking this standing pat thing. If Sano and Buxton turn into those guys, at the end of the year we will be wishing we had gotten a couple more players.
  5. Like
    shimrod reacted to jjswol in Twins Continue to Go Big on Joe   
    Absolutely agree. The Twins are desperate to keep their fan base and will do anything it takes to hype Twins baseball because they have nothing else right now. It will take a good season from the current Twins team to finally get Joe's shadow behind them.
  6. Like
    shimrod reacted to by jiminy in Bert Blyleven's 23-inch-wide strike zone is ruining baseball   
    I totally agree. A consistent strike zone would allow (disciplined) batters to lay off bad pitches and swing only at good pitches. I think that would ideed increase meaningful contact, at least for players with good plate discipline, and greatly improve the game.
    I hate seeing batters punished for having a good eye. It's pernicious and destructive. And it's not just one pitch -- a single pitch can ruin an entire at bat. How often have you seen this:
    The count is 2-1. The pitcher drops a curveball two inches off the plate, trying to get the hitter to bite. The batter resists.  It's 3-1.  It was a good try, but now the pitcher is in trouble.  He has to come over the plate now, and the batter knows it.  The batter's plate discipline has been rewarded -- if he can make the most of it.... 
    But no!  The umpire called it a strike! 
    Suddenly it's 2-2, not 3-1.  The pitcher is no dummy -- he throws another pitch, in the same spot, or even another inch outside.  The batter has no choice but to swing.  The umpire has already shown he's expanded the zone, so you can't expect him to change now.  But swinging is futile, of course.  The ball darts three or more inches low and away,  the batter strikes out or hits a weak grounder, and the at-bat is over.  And all because of one bad call!  That single missed call changed a 3-1 hitter's count to an out.  And if there are men on base, it can change the course of the entire inning. Instead of first and second with one out, it's a man on first with two out.  The next batter flies out, and the inning is over, and you're left to grumble about what might have been.  How many times have you seen this happen?
    It was completely unfair, but there was literally nothing the batter could do.  He had no choice but to swing at the next pitch, because even if the umpire knew he made a mistake, he now is going to dig in and defend the consistency of his strike zone.
    The pitcher knows this, the batter knows this, and the viewer knows this. And they just have to watch it play out.
    They also know that if the batter was unwise enough to express any disgust or disappointment at the bad call, he will be considered to have shown up the umpire, who can now be expected to call any ball within four inches of the plate a strike, lest he be seen as caving to criticism. Personally I could do without this human element. Just call a fair game, and let the best team win. Anything else is depressing and unfair.
    Now and then there is some gallows humor in watching a veteran pitcher mercilessly exploit the expanded strike zone.  I would think that must become humiliating to the umpire. If consistency is such a point of honor, more so than accuracy or fairness, and they become unable to correct their mistake, how must it feel to have a pitcher force you to repeat it over and over? I don't blame the pitcher for doing this, mind you.  I blame the umpire for being too proud to fix it. But is that what anyone really wants? Really?
    To me, there is no charm in this at all, only disgust. Open unfairness makes the entire contest meaningless. And a pretty big part of the fun of the game is the tension of real competition. I stopped being able to take baseball seriously as a fair competition  when Livan Hernandez had his famous 15 strikeout game in the 1997 NLCS.  Check out these gifs:
    There was no way anyone could miss what was happening -- that huge strike zone was all the announcers talked about. But Gregg dug in out of pride, insisting it was fair because he was consistent. And Hernandez did what he was supposed to do -- make a fool of him.  But it sure wasn't funny to the lefty-heavy Braves.  It probably cost them a shot at the World Series.
    So yes, bring on the electronic strike zone!  And if the umpire wants to remain proud and in control, give him a buzzer in his pocket that only he can hear, and let him announce to the world what only he knows. That just might work.
    Maybe he could even overrule the buzzer if he thinks the machines got it wrong (or he wants to prolong an at-bat instead of ending it with a fourth ball or a third strike, which statistics show umpires already routinely do). If umpires want to apply a higher standard to calls that  end an at-bat, maybe that's even okay.  If nothing else, for those who love controversy, it could be debated at nauseum whether to adopt this as official policy. 
    Personally I'd go with accuracy, though.  Once batters and pitchers know they won't get the call just because of their reputation, or deferential attitude, batters will defend the plate, and pitchers won't nibble quite so much.  If everyone knows the consequences in advance, they will take the firm strike zone into account and play accordingly.  Allowing umpires to overrule the machine will only create confusion, and force hitters to swing at bad pitches again, at least if there are three balls, and allow pitchers to toy with batters off the plate because there are two strikes and the batter can't trust the umpire to make an accurate call.  I think a consistent strike zone might reward good hitters with more opportunities to make good contact.  And isn't that what we all want? 
    Except for Gregg Maddux, the Yankees, and the Red Sox, of course.  Okay, apologies to anyone who considers that a cheap shot, maybe it is. And maybe not. I'm a small-market fan, and I'm strongly convinced that big name players, and big name teams, get more calls from umpires, just like stars  in basketball. Do you really think an umpire is as willing to ring up Derek Jeter or Big Papi on a borderline third strike as he is if the batter is some nobody? Of course not! You're not going to bench the biggest TV draw unless the call gives you no choice.  Michael Jordan knew who was bringing in the fans, so everyone knew he would get the calls. If you disagree this happens in baseball and think I'm just a whiner, call my bluff: make the strike zone indisputably fair. 
  7. Like
    shimrod reacted to wagwan in Will Congress Screw Minor League Players Today?   
    Guess what we get to do today Brooks.... we get to play baseball"  - The Rookie
    It's not a job.  It's baseball. They are young men in their 20's living their dream.  "Career minor league" guys stop at 30. Then they move on. Should there be more money?  I guess. But I'm a teacher. Should I get more money? Sure. But I know that there isn't more money to be had. Nobody is getting rich running a minor league team. If more people paid to watch minor league baseball the players would get more money. Most sports are that way. I wrestled in college. Nobody pays to watch amateur wrestling. When I was 21 I would have loved to spend the summer playing ball. These guys get a uniform, having fans in the stand and enough money for a kid. Sounds like paradise to me.
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