MLB Content: What’s Up With Lower Batting Averages?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Stringbanger, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    188
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Middle of Nowhere
    This has been discussed to death by the sportswriter crowd and I don't have anything novel
    to say. Analytics convincing demonstrated the effectiveness of the walk and the home run; the shift combined with the hitters focusing on pulling for power and flamethrowing bullpens that coaches are eager to use reduces baserunners and raises strikeouts. Players being told to swing for the fences every pitch gets the lion's share of attention, but I think this last one is just as important. Having to deal with a bullpen full of two-pitch monsters ready to go 100 percent for three batters has removed the soft underbelly that teams used to thrive on late in games.

    But if I'm being honest the change that bugs me the most is the speed of play, or rather, lack thereof.

    I've actually become a big cricket fan over the last four years and I've wondered whether this stuff is a major reason why (cricket world cup going on right now--final is on Sunday Go Black Caps!). I'm a lifelong baseball fan and I like the slower pace of the game but watching four hour games with thirty strikeouts and not even finding it surprising is just too much for me. And it's obviously unhealthy for baseball.

    Any thoughts on the proposed changes to fix these things? The most interesting suggestions I've heard or read about:

    1) using a pitch clock to increase pace of play (I'm a big fan of this one. Four hour games are so common now and it's terrible for the fans).
    2) banning or placing significant restrictions on the shift. (I'm ambivalent on this one. General argument is that this would "encourage contact." Personally, I don't buy that--it's the home runs and extra base hits they're after, not singles--but it would increase the batting averages of pull hitters and therefore create more baserunners. But the freedom to set a field is a key part of baseball and I don't like the idea of changing that.)
    3) Placing significant restrictions on how teams can use relief pitching. The idea is to make teams designate a smaller number of pitchers for each game. So you get a starter, a long reliever, maybe two other relievers, and a closer. Restrictions are lifted if the game goes into extras. (This is a bridge too far for me, at least at the moment, but it would reduce the number of pitching changes and I would like that).
     
  2. Rasmuth

    Rasmuth Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,461
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Location:
    Churchville, NY
    All the sports I loved from my youth, have evolved into unwatchable drivel, mere shadows of what they once were....MLB, NFL and Nascar are the most egregious offenders. I never would have thought 30 years ago that I just wouldn't care about them anymore, but that is the fact now.
     
  3. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,544
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Location:
    Up around the bend
    My fandom is definitely waning. I mostly keep up with it now to have more to talk about with my dad.
     
  4. MDent77

    MDent77 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,238
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    Location:
    New England
    My sons can't stand baseball anymore. Too slow for them. Draftkings keeps me somewhat interested. Yet prefer football and hockey. Legal wagering rocks! NH just passed sports wagering bill so not just fantasy lineups on draftkings soon!
     
    Manual Slim likes this.
  5. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,544
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Location:
    Up around the bend
    It’s not the speed. Games have been a slog as long as I’ve been paying attention. I’ll always appreciate the game being pitch-by-pitch. It’s essentially a reset every time and I find that philosophically beautiful. I’m just not as into caring anymore.
     
  6. MDent77

    MDent77 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,238
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    Location:
    New England

    The trend in length of games has certainly been increasing (Baseball Reference). It may seem slight yet the slow pace can be brutal, at times. It was always a "thinking man's game" now I joke it's a "sleeping man's game" - since I fall asleep in front of TV by the 7th inning, when I watch any game. Though I do typically wake up when a closer finally makes an appearance. The pitch clock could be of help...
     
  7. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,544
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Location:
    Up around the bend
    I suppose that would help, sure.
     
  8. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,055
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Big D
    As a die hard Cardinal's fan I can't agree more that Carp's problems with the shift seem like a no brainer, just hit to the open side bone head!!

    But as an ex pitcher (albeit not at the major league level) I did have some control on where the batter would hit the ball. And if I knew the shift was on all he is going to get is pitches on the inside part of the plate where he has to pull it toward the shift.

    Take a look at that bunt double...

    https://www.foxsports.com/midwest/v...utm_content=return_visit&utm_source=share_url

    92 MPH fastball (which is about average or just a tick below for a starting pitcher) in the dead middle of the plate. If that pitch is on the inside half of the plate he pops that up or hits a weak grounder back to the pitcher. The pitcher made a mistake and Carp got a hit out of it.

    But as a whole MLB doesn't pay for batting averages anymore. They either pay for pitching (the top three money earners in MLB this year are pitchers (six of the top 10) or are guys who can hit the HR. Launch angles, hitting the ball hard and hitting the long ball are all in demand over guys who hit for average.
     
  9. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,139
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    FL
    You can make all the rule changes you want regarding pace of play and it won't even come close to what could be achieved by cutting the between innings commercials down to two minutes.
     
  10. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,544
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Location:
    Up around the bend
    Yeah, but something has to pay for it. This isn’t schoolyard pickup ball.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.