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Motor City Sonics

How can we speed up these games?

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35 minutes ago, Casimir said:

Shut the post game clubhouse spread down at 3 1/2 hours after 1st pitch.

Best idea yet.

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Reserve the fields for MLB use until 10:30pm only. After that it reverts to being a regular public park in which the city's residents can come down from the stands and walk their dogs, engage in make-out sessions, transact drug deals, and set off firecrackers.

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On 10/23/2017 at 3:32 PM, Motor City Sonics said:

These major league playoff games take entirely too long and often games end at Midnight or later, even in 9 innings.    I think this is very bad for the game.   My dad was stretching it to let me stay up till 10 to watch games in the 1970s.     That's where my love of baseball was developed - the 1975 World Series............epic series.............The Yankees-Dodgers battles,  Reggie's 3 home runs,  Chris Chambliss beating the Royals and having to knock down fans so he could run the bases.       How many kids are missing out on this?    Baseball already struggles with it's natural pacing and I don't want to see anything too radical.     I think the intentional walk thing was silly and I don't know if there is a stat to see how much time it saves.    I think a lot has to do with relief pitching and it's much more prominent role but it's also the broadcasts.  

What are some of your suggestions - What could be done reasonably to speed things up without radically changing the game?   

 

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In all seriousness, my ideas are about more than just speeding up the game. It's also about getting more balls into play. Beginning with last season more than one-third of all plate appearances resulted in the batter jogging (to a base, or around the bases) or walking (to a dugout). Baseball needs to get that down, a bunch, preferably under one-quarter (where it was throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s), and maybe even down to one-fifth (where it was before WWII). Baseball is more exciting when balls are put into play and batter-runners are actually running and fielders are actually fielding.

So, these are my three ideas for speeding up the game and getting more balls into play, without having to adopt unenforceable, problematic rules changes that fundamentally alter the strategy of the game:

  • Lower the seams on the ball. Lower seams, ball doesn't break so much, hitters true up ball better, fewer strikeouts, more balls in play.
  • Deaden the ball, by a lot. Ten percent, 15, 20, whatever it takes. This will counteract the lowering of the seams. We wouldn't want home run leaders to hit 100 in a season. Homers will become doubles or triples or outs, but the important thing is that batters will be running out of the box and not jogging.
  • Robot umpires. When a pitch is certain to be called a ball or strike consistently, and not subject to pitchers working umpires to expand the zone, then pitchers will have to come into the zone for strikes. More balls in the zone, fewer walks, more balls in play. When I started suggesting this one it seemed the least likely; now, based on recent events, this one seems the most likely.

This isn't one of those "This, this or that, pick two" things. These three are a package deal. Of course it would have to be tested in the minors first, but I promise you, implement all three of these, and you will have your faster, more exciting game.

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I think it's well-known that Moneyball thinking has produced smarter baseball, but it's impacts (including shift defenses which have made groundball hitting a total no-no for pull hitters) have magnified the changes and have made offenses look more and more like beer-leagues.

It may take a re-think regarding baseballs themselves as Chas suggested to bring back some athletic balance in the future. 

Or maybe squishy nerf bats.

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Just some quick thoughts.

1. Enforce the batter in the box clock.

2. Strict pitch clock of 20 seconds. 

3. The third throw over to hold the runner is a ball. 

4. Limit of one pitcher change per inning. 

5. Deaden the ball. 

And there a lot of other things that could be done and I think they're fairly obvious. You can't say you're serious about pace of game stuff if you're not going to implement them. You might think you're serious about it, but you're not. 

 

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6 minutes ago, CMRivdog said:

BTW last nights game was 2:38.

Kershaw and Kuechel start all the games.

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9 hours ago, cruzer1 said:

Meh mcs thread. Don't speed it up.  I love baseball just the way it is.

I will say I'm not fan of the 8pm starts, but I am up early during the week.

Having said that, since we are dealing with teams outside of the eastern time zone, the home fan bases aren't impacted as much by the 8pm EDT starts, so it seems to be less of a concern this season.

These damn NCAA Monday night title games that start at 8:30 (FB) or 9:20 (BB) are just ridiculous.  Those need to be started earlier.

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Pitch clock and pitching change reform. Do that and the games will speed up. 

I am not sure about reducing the strike zone to reduce strikeouts and increase balls in play. It could also result in batters being more patient. 

Going back to the previous version of the ball to reduce home runs would help a bit. 

I don’t think anything needs to be done about catcher mound visits. Do it within 20 seconds. You don’t need to go through signs after that so the pitcher should be able to deliver the pitch quickly. 

Eliminate mound visits from coaching staff. 

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1 hour ago, Shelton said:

Pitch clock and pitching change reform. Do that and the games will speed up. 

I am not sure about reducing the strike zone to reduce strikeouts and increase balls in play. It could also result in batters being more patient. 

Going back to the previous version of the ball to reduce home runs would help a bit. 

I don’t think anything needs to be done about catcher mound visits. Do it within 20 seconds. You don’t need to go through signs after that so the pitcher should be able to deliver the pitch quickly. 

Eliminate mound visits from coaching staff. 

I disagree.  Sometimes pitchers need a breather during a long inning.  Sometimes a manager needs to get a coaching point across during an inning.  Leave baseball alone!

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9 hours ago, Walewander said:

Just some quick thoughts.

1. Enforce the batter in the box clock.

2. Strict pitch clock of 20 seconds. 

3. The third throw over to hold the runner is a ball. 

4. Limit of one pitcher change per inning. 

5. Deaden the ball. 

And there a lot of other things that could be done and I think they're fairly obvious. You can't say you're serious about pace of game stuff if you're not going to implement them. You might think you're serious about it, but you're not. 

 

Do not deaden the ball.  That is stupid.

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13 minutes ago, cruzer1 said:

I disagree.  Sometimes pitchers need a breather during a long inning.  Sometimes a manager needs to get a coaching point across during an inning.  Leave baseball alone!

If they left baseball alone, we would still be having two hour games.  

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13 minutes ago, cruzer1 said:

I disagree.  Sometimes pitchers need a breather during a long inning.  Sometimes a manager needs to get a coaching point across during an inning.  Leave baseball alone!

Don’t tell me that, tell MLB. I don’t personally see much need at all in speeding up the game. But I think MLB does. 

That said, I don’t think pitchers need a break. Pitch better.  

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14 minutes ago, cruzer1 said:

Do not deaden the ball.  That is stupid.

They need to deaden the balls back to what they were before they juiced them up in the middle of 2016.  The number of home runs being hit since then is ridiculous.  

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14 minutes ago, cruzer1 said:

Do not deaden the ball.  That is stupid.

Making balls the way they did 3 or 4 years ago is fine. 

The data seems to indicate something has been done to the ball in past few years. Were you arguing to juice the ball a few years ago?

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Are we sure that it's the ball being juiced or the fact that hitters have altered their swings and approaches?

With the increase emphasis on launch Angle and spin rates maybe players have found the right recipe to produce the optimal hr swing. 

The trade off in doing so though is adding a hole to your swing because of the angle which explains the increased whiff rate.

I just think if the ball was juiced we would see a drastic change in batted ball speeds and from what I could gather that hasn't been the case.

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1 hour ago, RandyMarsh said:

Are we sure that it's the ball being juiced or the fact that hitters have altered their swings and approaches?

With the increase emphasis on launch Angle and spin rates maybe players have found the right recipe to produce the optimal hr swing. 

The trade off in doing so though is adding a hole to your swing because of the angle which explains the increased whiff rate.

I just think if the ball was juiced we would see a drastic change in batted ball speeds and from what I could gather that hasn't been the case.

The ball is different. Doesn’t mean it is “juiced” or if the manufacturer is doing something different on their own and it is still within spec. Either way, it’s not just hitters focusing on launch angle. I don’t think that is as big of a deal as advertised. It’s not like a guy who hits a lot of fly balls can do anything to optimize his launch angle. 

Some guys that had swings tailored to skew more downward in the past may have made some changes. 

 

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There was a pretty abrupt shift in home run rate right around the all star break last year.  I don't think all of the sudden hitters altered their swings at the same time.  It has got to be the balls and there has been some research backing up the theory.  

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Thanks for the links, the drag of the baseball is something that I didn't think account for, I was just focusing on exit velocity and distance and looking at those numbers I don't see a difference in them the past 3 years, in fact most of the top guys had higher EVs 3 seasons ago than they did this one.

I do think the change in swing has more of an effect than some are giving credit for though.  Being an avid golfer and golf fan I can say that my game benefited greatly with the use of trackman and that most of the PGA tour players did as well.  It allowed us to keep using trial and error to hone in on the perfect descent angle(or ascent when it comes to the driver) to produce the best results. 

Since MLB players now have access to that same system I could see them in the cage with a coach altering their swings just to find the angle that produces the best result.  Its more than just "swinging up" on the ball or swinging level, just a change of a few degrees could make a huge difference.  So after doing trial and error and finding that right loft they can just keep repeating it in the cage until they get the muscle memory for it and second nature to them. 

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20 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

Thanks for the links, the drag of the baseball is something that I didn't think account for, I was just focusing on exit velocity and distance and looking at those numbers I don't see a difference in them the past 3 years, in fact most of the top guys had higher EVs 3 seasons ago than they did this one.

I do think the change in swing has more of an effect than some are giving credit for though.  Being an avid golfer and golf fan I can say that my game benefited greatly with the use of trackman and that most of the PGA tour players did as well.  It allowed us to keep using trial and error to hone in on the perfect descent angle(or ascent when it comes to the driver) to produce the best results. 

Since MLB players now have access to that same system I could see them in the cage with a coach altering their swings just to find the angle that produces the best result.  Its more than just "swinging up" on the ball or swinging level, just a change of a few degrees could make a huge difference.  So after doing trial and error and finding that right loft they can just keep repeating it in the cage until they get the muscle memory for it and second nature to them. 

Absolutely. I don’t doubt that a lot of hitters are looking to optimize their swings to create the best launch angle for their abilities. 

But from what I understand the main factor is the ball. 

Its also worth noting that baseball and golf aren’t exactly the same. Obviously the difference between a moving ball and a static ball is pretty big. If you don’t know where the ball is going to be and you have a split second to decide when and where to swing, it’s hard to rely on some muscle memory swing to ensure you get the optimum lift.

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