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RatkoVarda

2020-21 Off season

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4 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I bet some fans thought the pitchers were too good in 1968 and that nothing could be done to stop them,  Small changes in the ball and also height/location of mound can make a big difference.  I think there are ways to alter the ball to cut down spin rates.  

Both the surface roughness of the cover and the height of the stitching change how much break a given amount of the spin will produce. So the the available break on the ball can be tweaked.

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23 minutes ago, Charles Liston said:

Analytics isn't killing the game.  The juiced ball is killing the game.

exactly. The superficial analyst says the shifting is bad and the shifting is because of analytics.  But teams have shifted since Ted Williams when it was obvious it worked. The difference is in the hitters the game is producing, and the hitters hit in a way that maximizes runs (and contract payouts).  This why statements like Epstein's are problematic. Is he only after symptoms (ban shifting) or causes (actually fix the game play).

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31 minutes ago, Charles Liston said:

Analytics isn't killing the game.  The juiced ball is killing the game.

Yes, that is more accurate.  Analytics has played in role in getting players to react to the juiced ball most effectively, but the juiced ball is the culprit.  

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I think it has more to do with the stitching of the ball than the ball being "juiced" per se.  Cause if you look at statcast numbers from before the ball was supposedly juiced to now the exit velocities haven't really jumped up to support the claim of the ball being juiced.  But the stitching on the ball is more flush now(I know there were pictures floating around the internet which compared balls from a few years ago to now and you can see the difference) which creates less drag and that's something that wouldn't show up in statcast numbers.  

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16 minutes ago, Buddha said:

How do we know the ball is juiced?

There was a big spike in home runs after the All Star break in 2015 and it has stayed high ever since.  It seems odd that all the players would suddenly start hitting home runs at the same time without a juiced ball.  If it was because of launch angle,  I think it would have happened more gradually.  I think the juiced ball has a lot to do with the home run explosion

Strikeouts had already been on the increase for a long time before that. That probably has to do with pitching talent as Randy suggested.  Either way, I think there are ways to cut back on both home runs and strikeouts.    

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6 hours ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Both the surface roughness of the cover and the height of the stitching change how much break a given amount of the spin will produce. So the the available break on the ball can be tweaked.

I have a question at this point.

Presumably a ball that gets dirty and/or damaged is different to throw - I assume pitchers consider it harder to throw? That must be why they insist on changing it all the time, yes?

I know that in the distant past they played with the same ball for much longer. is there any mileage in moving more towards that?

I'd also allow the pitcher to pitch pretty much straight after the batter is first in the box though, so what do I know.

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50 minutes ago, Blue Square Thing said:

I have a question at this point.

Presumably a ball that gets dirty and/or damaged is different to throw - I assume pitchers consider it harder to throw? That must be why they insist on changing it all the time, yes?

 

according to John Smoltz, for most pitchers it's the opposite. The pitcher wants a scuffed up ball. Pitchers believe the more roughened/marred the ball, the more grip/break they can get. Pitchers have been trying to cheat by 'cutting' balls since forever. Bits of sand paper or razor blade shards embedded in gloves were a known trick back in the day.

And it could also be true that the very fact that they change the ball so much now also contributes to HRs, though probably marginally compared to the properties of the ball itself. But it is true that every time a ball is hit, the windings get knocked a little loser and it loses some of its elasticity/COR  'coefficient of restitution' as they call it). So constantly putting new balls is play is an aid to the batter, but is also partly something that was done for the fans (beginning after one of the labor strikes IIRC). For instance, I believe players today are instructed to throw third out balls to a fan instead of bringing them back to the mound.

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12 hours ago, tiger337 said:

This is the best thing an MLB exec has said in a long time.  In my opinion, lack of balls in play and lack of action on the field is what should be addressed most of all if they want to make the game better.

Completely agree.  Get the ball in play.

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7 hours ago, RandyMarsh said:

I think it has more to do with the stitching of the ball than the ball being "juiced" per se.  Cause if you look at statcast numbers from before the ball was supposedly juiced to now the exit velocities haven't really jumped up to support the claim of the ball being juiced.  But the stitching on the ball is more flush now(I know there were pictures floating around the internet which compared balls from a few years ago to now and you can see the difference) which creates less drag and that's something that wouldn't show up in statcast numbers.  

Yes, I think I recall hearing this before.  I'm pretty sure Verlander was one of the pitchers that commented specifically about the stitching being different.

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2 hours ago, Casimir said:

Yes, I think I recall hearing this before.  I'm pretty sure Verlander was one of the pitchers that commented specifically about the stitching being different.

the stitching and surface both can have three different effects - the most obvious being that pitchers like high seams and a rough ball for grip on all pitches. Closely related to that is that high stitches (and rougher surface - but to a lesser degree) affect how much the ball breaks given a particular spin rate on a breaking ball - the higher the stitches the more the ball will break. So those two effects are in the pitcher's favor. But the third effect is that the stitches and roughness have an effect on the flight of a batted ball, with high stitches increasing drag and so slowing it down and reducing travel for a given exit velocity.  The effect will also depend on how much spin is on the ball coming off the bat, which varies a lot.

So before you can make informed change, the relative size of all those effects from the particular change you are going to malde have to go into the mix.

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Nice conversation, thanks Lee and G2.

Seems like JV may have been on to something with the stitches.  If the theory is correct, raising the stitches again would:

- increase drag and improve pitch movement; pitchers are better than they used to be, so this will "tilt" things towards the pitchers a bit vs. before 2015

- decrease HRs

- increase balls in play

I would like these results.

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6 minutes ago, sabretooth said:

Nice conversation, thanks Lee and G2.

Seems like JV may have been on to something with the stitches.  If the theory is correct, raising the stitches again would:

- increase drag and improve pitch movement; pitchers are better than they used to be, so this will "tilt" things towards the pitchers a bit vs. before 2015

- decrease HRs

- increase balls in play

I would like these results.

How again would making pitchers better cause more balls to be put in play? Wouldn't k-rates just increase? 

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1 minute ago, Yoda said:

How again would making pitchers better cause more balls to be put in play? Wouldn't k-rates just increase? 

I guess I am lost on that as well.

The drag on a ball in flight makes sense to me.  But if the pitcher is better with higher stitches, it would seem under the current "grip it and rip" offensive philosophy, there would be more swing and miss before home runs not quite reaching the seats.

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Eliminate the shift. Two fielders on either side of second and all on the dirt. Let the runners take out the catcher at home and infielder on the double play and reduce instant replay to one call per game. It"s the new rules and shifting that are taking action out of the game. Let the managers argue with the umps. Need some edginess to the sport. It's a  bloody softball game now with rovers and managers holding their hand up to check every play. Maybe increase the ball park size for bigger outfields for more doubles and triples. 

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12 hours ago, RandyMarsh said:

I think it has more to do with the stitching of the ball than the ball being "juiced" per se.  Cause if you look at statcast numbers from before the ball was supposedly juiced to now the exit velocities haven't really jumped up to support the claim of the ball being juiced.  But the stitching on the ball is more flush now(I know there were pictures floating around the internet which compared balls from a few years ago to now and you can see the difference) which creates less drag and that's something that wouldn't show up in statcast numbers.  

Verlander tweeted something like a year ago, basically a graph showing the exit velocity and launch angle of every ball hit. Balls were traveling further then they were in previous seasons with the same exit velocity and launch angle.

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7 hours ago, Gehringer_2 said:

according to John Smoltz, for most pitchers it's the opposite. The pitcher wants a scuffed up ball. Pitchers believe the more roughened/marred the ball, the more grip/break they can get. Pitchers have been trying to cheat by 'cutting' balls since forever. Bits of sand paper or razor blade shards embedded in gloves were a known trick back in the day.

And it could also be true that the very fact that they change the ball so much now also contributes to HRs, though probably marginally compared to the properties of the ball itself. But it is true that every time a ball is hit, the windings get knocked a little loser and it loses some of its elasticity/COR  'coefficient of restitution' as they call it). So constantly putting new balls is play is an aid to the batter, but is also partly something that was done for the fans (beginning after one of the labor strikes IIRC). For instance, I believe players today are instructed to throw third out balls to a fan instead of bringing them back to the mound.

Thanks. I can understand throwing it to fans on the third out or not getting it back if it goes into the stands, but why on earth do they simply change it every time it goes in the dirt?

The same sort of thing is sort of true in cricket, which did make me wonder what was going on. A worn side to the ball is a signficiant advantage and all sorts of stuff goes on to manipulate the ball - some of it legal, some not. One chap got a ban for putting hand sanitiser on the ball this summer...

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25 minutes ago, socaltiger said:

Eliminate the shift. Two fielders on either side of second and all on the dirt. Let the runners take out the catcher at home and infielder on the double play and reduce instant replay to one call per game. It"s the new rules and shifting that are taking action out of the game. Let the managers argue with the umps. Need some edginess to the sport. It's a  bloody softball game now with rovers and managers holding their hand up to check every play. Maybe increase the ball park size for bigger outfields for more doubles and triples. 

Instant replay is a drag.  It has made the end of football games almost unwatchable now and it's getting bad in baseball too.   

I would be in favor of playing fields getting larger, but I know that has no chance of happening.  

Take out slides were fun to watch, but they also cause injuries including some serious ones, so I can do without them.

I have mixed feelings on the shift.  I like that it's strategic, but it's not aesthetic.  I can take it or leave it.  

 

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3 minutes ago, Shelton said:

Lol, as if Lee watches football. 

I usually watch football if I go someplace for Thanksgiving or Christmas and there is a game on which won't be happening this year.  My nephews love football and they go nuts when a game is on.  I'll be sitting there irritated because every other play at the end of a game is reviewed.  I did watch the end of one game this year:  Clemson versus Notre Dame.  It would have been a great game except for the replays.  That is probably enough for the year.  

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i broke down and got the nfl package this year.  its been a great investment.  the only way to watch football is with 4-8 other games on at the same time to avoid all the replays and time outs and endless commercials.

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