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How can we speed up these games?

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This year's scoring, 4.65 runs per game, is actually pretty close to the historical average of MLB, so we are not exactly in a "beer-league era" (as we were pretty much from 1995-2005). The problem is not too many runs being scored.

The problem is it is taking a longer time to score those runs. The greater emphasis on driving up pitch counts has driven up walks, strikeouts, home runs, and pitching changes, and driven down most of everything else -- singles, doubles, SB attempts, etc etc.

 

So to me the idea is to tighten up on the in-between stuff by creating incentives for both batters and pitchers to speed up at-bats (put limits on the number of times they can call time out), and provide a disincentive for managers to make situational one-batter pitching changes, which my bet is add an average of probably 5-7 minutes per game.

Don't make the disincentive disastrously huge -- if your pitcher is really getting torched, you'll still yank him anyway -- but giving a 2-0 count to the batter on mid-inning pitching changes will induce the managers not to do it simply to get the platoon edge on one guy.

Plus it would mean that when you did make mid-inning pitching changes, the pitcher will be absolutely ****-bent to throw that first pitch right down the pipe, which could make for some big drama.

 

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Seems nobody minds a 4:20 game if there are tons of dramatic plays.

:o:o

 

Although the Dodgers did pull a couple of the mid-inning pitching changes I rant about above, and it might have bit them in the butt in the 10th-11th when they might have wished they hadn't burned up Watson and Stripling and gotten 7 pitches total out of the two of them.

A long time ago in one of his "Abstracts," Bill James wrote a piece about how Whitey Herzog (I think) hated using four, five or more pitchers in a game because "with each additional pitcher you bring in, the higher the chance you find the one who doesn't have his stuff that day, and then, boom, that's all for tonight." Which is pretty much what happened.

 

 

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I think swings have been altered, which has caused the home runs.  I don't believe the balls are juiced.  Pitchers are throwing more strikes, players are striking out more and hitting more home runs.  It's cyclical.  The game changes all the time.  I don't think it favors pitchers or hitters.  It does favor pitchers who throw strikes, and hitters who hit home runs.

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10 hours ago, cruzer1 said:

I think swings have been altered, which has caused the home runs.  I don't believe the balls are juiced.  Pitchers are throwing more strikes, players are striking out more and hitting more home runs.  It's cyclical.  The game changes all the time.  I don't think it favors pitchers or hitters.  It does favor pitchers who throw strikes, and hitters who hit home runs.

While the fly ball revolution plays a part, the balls are definitely juiced.

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4 hours ago, TigerNation said:

While the fly ball revolution plays a part, the balls are definitely juiced.

Yes, this. 

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On 10/26/2017 at 3:20 AM, cruzer1 said:

I think swings have been altered, which has caused the home runs.  I don't believe the balls are juiced.  Pitchers are throwing more strikes, players are striking out more and hitting more home runs.  It's cyclical.  The game changes all the time.  I don't think it favors pitchers or hitters.  It does favor pitchers who throw strikes, and hitters who hit home runs.

Was there a zeitgeist shift in altered swings beginning at the All-Star Break of 2015? That's not impossible, I guess, although I don't know how to find that in the data.

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On ‎2017‎-‎10‎-‎23 at 8:55 PM, gzbach said:

I earnestly suggest my approach, which is the ultimate perfect solution to this dilemma:

Don't watch the games.

I haven't watched a baseball game on TV since the '90s, and any unhappiness I currently experience is for altogether different reasons.

 

 

 

I'm pretty much there, for hockey and football too.  I can't give up 3 hours for any of them, it's too boring.  They all used to be 2 and a half hours, and now they are all 3.  Ripping out my cable helped a lot too.

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19 hours ago, chasfh said:

Was there a zeitgeist shift in altered swings beginning at the All-Star Break of 2015? That's not impossible, I guess, although I don't know how to find that in the data.

Right, it was the 2015 all-star break.  I mistakenly said 2016 before.  It was a pretty dramatic shift to be attributed to just altered swings.  

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18 minutes ago, Charles Liston said:

I'm pretty much there, for hockey and football too.  I can't give up 3 hours for any of them, it's too boring.  They all used to be 2 and a half hours, and now they are all 3.  Ripping out my cable helped a lot too.

I am headed in that direction.  I listened to more games on the radio last year than any year in a long time.  TV games used to be more fun when it was something special that you could only do occasionally.  It became a drag to sit there and watch for 3 1/2 hours every night though.  I like listening on the radio as I do other stuff.  

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4 hours ago, tiger337 said:

Right, it was the 2015 all-star break.  I mistakenly said 2016 before.  It was a pretty dramatic shift to be attributed to just altered swings.  

I imagine Manfred and the powers that be - owners, et cetera - having a clandestine meeting at a fancy hotel in Cincinnati on the evening of July 13. 2015, in which they voted on releasing the new balls into the supply. 2014 had scared them all so much that they spent the first half of the new  year perfecting the new rabbit ball - first trying it out during the home run derby - before finally deciding to unleash their ******* creation. 

That all seems much more plausible then everyone just deciding to do what J.D. was doing. 

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5 hours ago, tiger337 said:

I am headed in that direction.  I listened to more games on the radio last year than any year in a long time.  TV games used to be more fun when it was something special that you could only do occasionally.  It became a drag to sit there and watch for 3 1/2 hours every night though.  I like listening on the radio as I do other stuff.  

I like having the TV game on in the background when I cook dinner or do something with the kids.  

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5 hours ago, tiger337 said:

I am headed in that direction.  I listened to more games on the radio last year than any year in a long time.  TV games used to be more fun when it was something special that you could only do occasionally.  It became a drag to sit there and watch for 3 1/2 hours every night though.  I like listening on the radio as I do other stuff.  

Of the games that I watch on TV, more and more I am doing so with the DVR so that I can skip through commercials to save time.  Flip the game on around an hour in and start it from the beginning.

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This thread....good gracious. Some of these ideas are so ******* atrocious I don’t know where to begin.

I am so confused as to why any baseball fan would want the changes I’ve seen proposed here that dramatically alter the game play itself. 

Real fans of the game should be clamoring first and foremost for less commercials and games that start 15 minutes earlier.  That would bring games right at 3 hours in and of itself. If you’re not ok with 3 hour games, then go watch college basketball.

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56 minutes ago, thefunk said:

This thread....good gracious. Some of these ideas are so ******* atrocious I don’t know where to begin.

I am so confused as to why any baseball fan would want the changes I’ve seen proposed here that dramatically alter the game play itself. 

Real fans of the game should be clamoring first and foremost for less commercials and games that start 15 minutes earlier.  That would bring games right at 3 hours in and of itself. If you’re not ok with 3 hour games, then go watch college basketball.

I want to agree with you, but I just saw your post predicting that the Tigers will win the 2nd wildcard next season.  That association worries me.

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1 hour ago, thefunk said:

This thread....good gracious. Some of these ideas are so ******* atrocious I don’t know where to begin.

I am so confused as to why any baseball fan would want the changes I’ve seen proposed here that dramatically alter the game play itself. 

Real fans of the game should be clamoring first and foremost for less commercials and games that start 15 minutes earlier.  That would bring games right at 3 hours in and of itself. If you’re not ok with 3 hour games, then go watch college basketball.

Changing the start time doesn't impact the length of the game.

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1 hour ago, Casimir said:

I want to agree with you, but I just saw your post predicting that the Tigers will win the 2nd wildcard next season.  That association worries me.

Heheh

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1 hour ago, TigerNation said:

Changing the start time doesn't impact the length of the game.

I know. I don’t give a hoot about game time. But no commercials PLUS earlier start times gets more people seeing the most dramatic parts of close games. 

If people miss the first pitches but kids and tag alongs are still awake for walk offs, everybody wins.

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2 hours ago, thefunk said:

Real fans of the game should be clamoring first and foremost for less commercials and games that start 15 minutes earlier.  That would bring games right at 3 hours in and of itself. If you’re not ok with 3 hour games, then go watch college basketball.

I will devote an hour an evening to a sporting event. With the benefit of living on the West Coast, even the longest games still finish before my bedtime. If the game drags, I just get selective as to which innings I watch. I'll keep track on my phone so that I can jump in front of the TV or flick the radio on at particularly critical moments in the game.

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Well. Baseball is baseball. You can’t really shorten it without destroying the game. 

MLB is gonna do whatever it wants, but I think they’ll end up losing more fans than they will create new ones.

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3 hours ago, thefunk said:

This thread....good gracious. Some of these ideas are so ******* atrocious I don’t know where to begin.

I am so confused as to why any baseball fan would want the changes I’ve seen proposed here that dramatically alter the game play itself. 

Real fans of the game should be clamoring first and foremost for less commercials and games that start 15 minutes earlier.  That would bring games right at 3 hours in and of itself. If you’re not ok with 3 hour games, then go watch college basketball.

It's not so much the length of games, but the amount of dead time during games.  Commercials are the biggest problem, but batters take longer to bat and pitchers take longer to pitch than they did 30 years ago.  There are also too many balls and strikes in today's game.  Changes to the ball and/or strike zone could help there.  The number of pitching changes slows the game down too and that is only going to get worse.  I am not sure what do about that but as specialization increases that is getting to be a drag on the game. 

And when games get to be routinely 3 1/2 hours in length like in these playoffs, the length actually does become a problem.  I haven't been able to stay up to the end of any of these games.  When I was a kid, the average length of games was 2 1/2 hours.  

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But you have to admit most of the ideas presented in our thread are hot rotten garbage that destroys the spirit of baseball.

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8 minutes ago, thefunk said:

But you have to admit most of the ideas presented in our thread are hot rotten garbage that destroys the spirit of baseball.

Some, but not most.  Which ones in particular did you not like?

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7th inning, it's 11:41 - kids have school tomorrow.     And this is a great World Series.     This is the problem.   Couldn't start this game at 6 on a Sunday?      You know, like the NFL starting the Super Bowl at 6 instead of 8 ?

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