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2020 MLB Draft

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2 hours ago, Casimir said:

Sounds like the NCAA is going to grant spring athletes another year of eligibility.  Might make next year's draft slightly deeper?

If they stick with 5 rounds, it will be much deeper.

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12 hours ago, Buddha said:

like i said, the teams and players will adapt.  they'll throw 4 innings a start.  or 3 innings.  the strategy of the game may change, but the overall product will be more aesthetically pleasing.

and pitchers may adapt to throwing different pitches and not having 99 mph fastballs on every other pitch.

i refuse to believe - and am not convinced - that today's style of game is somehow inevitable and we just have to sit back and suffer endless walks and strikeouts because "well gosh they'll hit home runs if i throw a 88 mph curveball."

the players will adapt as they always have to every rule change.

Isn't that really what's already happening? Teams adapting to the need to give 100% on every single pitch by limiting starters innings? And over 80% of relievers pitch one inning or less, so that would mean a minimum of six pitchers every team throws out there every game. Speaking only for myself, I don't find that aesthetically pleasing.

Because literally every position player can jack a 400 foot bomb on pitches thrown into the zone--and a few hitting pitchers can, too--today's pitchers have to do everything they can to induce swing and miss when they go there, because they can't throw every pitch out of the zone. So either they have to run it up there at 99 and overpower just about everyone, or else they need to violently tork their shoulders and elbows to put such spin on the ball that batters simply can't square it up. What they can't do is just heave it up there and let hitters just hit it, hoping they'll make out, because every hitter can make them pay at any time. There are no Juan Pierres or Cesar Izturises or Rey Ordonezes anymore.

I don't believe merely adapting by throwing six or seven or eight pitchers a game at the other team every day is not the answer, because that's not sustainable.

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2 hours ago, Longgone said:

If they stick with 5 rounds, it will be much deeper.

I don't know much about the MLB draft.  Can guys (non college seniors) declare for the draft, go undrafted, and then go back to school?

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13 minutes ago, chasfh said:

I don't believe merely adapting by throwing six or seven or eight pitchers a game at the other team every day is not the answer, because that's not sustainable.

Not to mention it will be a crappy game to watch. It will either continue to be too many K's like we see today or else scoring will go up, and in baseball, games need to be close to be interesting and they will be close less often if scoring averages go up much because that is just how the numbers will work.

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26 minutes ago, Casimir said:

I don't know much about the MLB draft.  Can guys (non college seniors) declare for the draft, go undrafted, and then go back to school?

Yes, even if they are drafted. And seniors were granted another year of eligibility.

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I'm with Buddha on this argument.  Adhere to the rules and the game (players) will adapt or be replaced with those who can adapt.

If deadening the ball leads to fewer HR, but a more exciting game -> more viewership,  then they will deaden the ball.  

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8 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I'm with Buddha on this argument.  Adhere to the rules and the game (players) will adapt or be replaced with those who can adapt.

I think there is more than one argument. "just follow the rules" is fine with respect to the original discussion about pace of play, but the game  has issues beyond just time between pitches.

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Bill James wrote an essay 20 years ago on this very topic, and his suggestions are pretty much exactly the same ones being made here.

a. Don't let batters leave the box (i.e. don't grant time) unless there is a good reason.

b. Umpires should stay on pitchers to move the game along.  This used to be part of the umpire's job back when the game had to get in before dusk.  He hypothesized those umpires, and the umpires they personally trained, were working up through the 1970s.  Now that skill (if it can be called that) isn't (apparently) taught or applied anymore.

c. Deaden the ball enough to create the incentive to be a line drive hitter for all but say upper 20% of hitters in terms of power.  Ancillary benefit: makes defense and base running a little more important, both of which lead to more exciting play.

d. move the batters box gradually back away from the plate over a number of years (like a 1/4" once every 2 or 3 years) until the box is a distance sufficient to keep guys from hanging over the plate.  He estimated 2" total.

e. Limit pitching changes inside of innings (unlimited between innings).

f. Reduce commercial length between innings by 30 seconds.

g. Limit throws to a base to hold a runner (not as critical now as it was before).  Ancillary benefit: it may increase steal attempts a little, which is ok because steals are exciting.

 

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7 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Reduce commercial length between innings by 30 seconds.

They do a decent job of keeping inning breaks to 2:00 though there is a little creep even on this one  because they re-groom the in-field twice per game now instead of just once.

But it just goes back to the argument that those that own the game seem to understand it the least.

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31 minutes ago, Longgone said:

Yes, even if they are drafted. And seniors were granted another year of eligibility.

Jeez, of course.  That's why some guys are drafted multiple times.

Didn't that extra year of eligibility go to all current college spring sport athletes?

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12 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Bill James wrote an essay 20 years ago on this very topic....

a.

....

g.

That is off the top of my head.  There probably were a few more.  But you get the idea.  Make a number of small incremental changes and readjust the odds to gradually favor the style of play (and player) that attracts the most fans.  There will be ebbs and flows, the league should just be looking to smooth out sudden changes.

As Buddha suggests, hockey and basketball did exactly that.  Heck, basketball may need to adjust more because of current 3-point shooting strategy.  But that is ok.  A good entertainment enterprise is always appraising where it is at and how it can improve its appeal.

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2 minutes ago, Casimir said:

Jeez, of course.  That's why some guys are drafted multiple times.

Didn't that extra year of eligibility go to all current college spring sport athletes?

Yup

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Wait I just realized something, let's say we do a draft this year and we take Tork. 

Then let's say teh season is washed out because of the 'roni. We would have the top pick in 2021 by default? 

So Tork and Rocker to go with Mize, Manning, Skubal and Greene?

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1 minute ago, Keepleyland2 said:

Wait I just realized something, let's say we do a draft this year and we take Tork. 

Then let's say teh season is washed out because of the 'roni. We would have the top pick in 2021 by default? 

So Tork and Rocker to go with Mize, Manning, Skubal and Greene?

Way too much to hope for. They would probably do ping pong balls.

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Yeah they'll have a league wide lottery and the Tigers will end up finishing with a pick in the bottom 3rd instead of a likely top 5 pick if the season played out.    

That would be awesome though if they didn't and just used 2019 standings.  

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25 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Way too much to hope for. They would probably do ping pong balls.

 

19 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

Yeah they'll have a league wide lottery and the Tigers will end up finishing with a pick in the bottom 3rd instead of a likely top 5 pick if the season played out.    

That would be awesome though if they didn't and just used 2019 standings.  

I'm not sure the ping pong balls is the best/most fair way. Why should someone like the Yankees be rewarded with a really good pick just because a virus took out the season? That would make them good for longer and the bad teams bad for longer (theoretically). Maybe do some type of 3 year composite standing? 

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I'd be cool that or just having a lottery with say the worst 5-10 teams from last year and go with the same order with the rest of the teams.   

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Just now, RandyMarsh said:

I'd be cool that or just having a lottery with say the worst 5-10 teams from last year and go with the same order with the rest of the teams.   

This is anecdotal, but I once heard that the commissioner would be in charge of the selection order.

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2 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

I'd be cool that or just having a lottery with say the worst 5-10 teams from last year and go with the same order with the rest of the teams.   

something like that would be OK too. I just don't think a 30 team free for all is the best idea. Personally I like the 2019 record idea. 

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I would think something like a lottery for the bottom 10 from 2019, a lottery for the middle 3rd for picks 11-20, and finally a lottery for the rest for the remaining picks. But I think there will be some form of shortened season. Too much money at stake 

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13 hours ago, Keepleyland2 said:

 

I'm not sure the ping pong balls is the best/most fair way. Why should someone like the Yankees be rewarded with a really good pick just because a virus took out the season? That would make them good for longer and the bad teams bad for longer (theoretically). Maybe do some type of 3 year composite standing? 

No use complaining about how good the the Yankees are going to be way into the future because even if they don't have a first round pick in the draft, that ship has sailed.

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On 3/31/2020 at 11:22 AM, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Bill James wrote an essay 20 years ago on this very topic, and his suggestions are pretty much exactly the same ones being made here.

a. Don't let batters leave the box (i.e. don't grant time) unless there is a good reason.

b. Umpires should stay on pitchers to move the game along.  This used to be part of the umpire's job back when the game had to get in before dusk.  He hypothesized those umpires, and the umpires they personally trained, were working up through the 1970s.  Now that skill (if it can be called that) isn't (apparently) taught or applied anymore.

c. Deaden the ball enough to create the incentive to be a line drive hitter for all but say upper 20% of hitters in terms of power.  Ancillary benefit: makes defense and base running a little more important, both of which lead to more exciting play.

d. move the batters box gradually back away from the plate over a number of years (like a 1/4" once every 2 or 3 years) until the box is a distance sufficient to keep guys from hanging over the plate.  He estimated 2" total.

e. Limit pitching changes inside of innings (unlimited between innings).

f. Reduce commercial length between innings by 30 seconds.

g. Limit throws to a base to hold a runner (not as critical now as it was before).  Ancillary benefit: it may increase steal attempts a little, which is ok because steals are exciting.

I have heard Bill James write about number g, and I have never understood his fascination with making this happen. Is there a groundswell of support for this? Have there been multiple columnists advocating for it? If there is, I've completed missed it. Absent that, I think of this in the same vein as the automatic intentional walk: it's a solution in search of a problem. At no point have I ever seen so many throws to first that I thought, this is a major problem in the game and it really ought to be changed.

Beyond that, how is this going to work, logistically? Say they implement this rule and a pitcher has reached his limit of throws to first. What now? Can the runner now take as much of a leadoff as he wants, 15 feet, 20 feet, however long he desires, secure that the pitcher cannot throw over anymore and must deliver a pitch? Might they not as well just award him the automatic base at the point? What am I missing about that scenario?

 

 

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Throws to first were a problem in the early 90s.  It wasn't uncommon for there to be 5+ throws over when say Ricky Henderson was on first in close games.  Fans would begin booing.  It was boring (I know you know this - I added the last for those reading who didn't begin following the game until say 2000 or later).

I don't think it is a problem now.

As I recall, he recommended pitchers get 3 throws to a base in an inning before subsequent throws would cost the pitcher a ball in the count to the batter.  Anytime there was a successful pick-off (run downs would count as a successful pick off even if the runner ends up not being put out), it would not count against the pitcher in his allotment.

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I remember booing opposing pitchers when they threw multiple times over to keep my guy on base, but I don't remember it being an actual game-wide problem precipitating lengthy discussions about a limiting solution. I just remember Bill James strongly opining about it and that's basically it.

I suppose if they were ever to deaden the ball enough to bring stealing back into vogue we'd see more throws over to first and maybe it comes up then.

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