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MLB .. to be suspended indefinitely due to Co-Vid19

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1 minute ago, chasfh said:

Regardless of whether it's technically easy to deaden the ball, it would be a political landmine for them to do so.

I'd be surprised if they did anything that might detract from fan interest, given that they won't have fans in the stands.  

Chicks still dig the long ball.

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2 minutes ago, Tenacious D said:

I'd be surprised if they did anything that might detract from fan interest, given that they won't have fans in the stands.  

Chicks still dig the long ball.

Whether home runs are the main thing fans are interested in is up for fair debate.

What's not up for debate is that Major League Baseball's marketing department digs the long ball.

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3 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Whether home runs are the main thing fans are interested in is up for fair debate.

What's not up for debate is that Major League Baseball's marketing department digs the long ball.

are you seriously debating that chicks dig the long ball?  

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3 minutes ago, Tenacious D said:

are you seriously debating that chicks dig the long ball?  

I'm too old to know anymore what chicks dig. :grin:

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33 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Regardless of whether it's technically easy to deaden the ball, it would be a political landmine for them to do so.

Deaden it very gradually over a number of years (like 10 or 15) and it is not going to be noticeable until after the fact and will not put anybody's career in crisis, the latter being (IMO) a valid consideration/concern that rarely is brought up.

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37 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Deaden the ball enough and the pace of play will quicken naturally.

It would quicken some, but I think most of the slow pace is due to pitchers and batters taking too long to get ready.  That is the biggest difference I notice when I see videos of old games.  

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Seriously, follow 90%+ of the Bill James' plan from 20 years ago, let the teams know at a minimum so they can start to adjust their player development and draft strategies moving forward. Personally, I'd advise letting everyone (including fans), explaining the rationale so it doesn't have the appearance that baseball is trying to hide anything because it will get out anyway.  ****, engage fans in the discussion.  Have focus groups, have them offer ideas, etc.

Focus on gradual minor changes and let the game re-discover a more entertaining form on its own.  Everyone wins in that circumstance.

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9 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Deaden it very gradually over a number of years (like 10 or 15) and it is not going to be noticeable until after the fact and will not put anybody's career in crisis, the latter being (IMO) a valid consideration/concern that rarely is brought up.

This would probably be the only way they could consider undertaking a strategy of under-the-radar ball deadening. I would wonder whether, if they do it too gradually, natural variations in ball resiliency might cloud the data when assessing the results.

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I heard talk of MLB playing the season in Florida and Arizona. I've been saying for years that if MLB wants to start so early and play into November, they should build a complex where early season games are played and post season baseball can be played. Yes, it would suck for the many die hard fans, not to be able to go to the games and root your team on. But really,  watching a player with scarves and hoodies on isn't really my idea of baseball. And it's not how most of the games are played during the season. I know some stats show there's not more injuries in the cold weather, but with some players now making such huge money, do franchises really want to risk serious injuries to them by playing during inhospitable weather? Go ahead, play until December, in a warm and neutral site.

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8 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

It would quicken some, but I think most of the slow pace is due to pitchers and batters taking too long to get ready.  That is the biggest difference I notice when I see videos of old games.  

I think one of the reasons pitchers take longer between pitches is that they're putting max effort on every pitch to keep bats off the ball so they can keep the ball in the ballpark. Deaden the ball, make it hard for everyone except legit sluggers to put it out, and pitchers won't feel to need to have to pace themselves so much. Their fielders would appreciate the snappier pace, too.

As for hitters, it's those damn batting gloves.

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38 minutes ago, chasfh said:

I'm too old to know anymore what chicks dig. :grin:

⚘⚘?? and $$$.

Or...so I'm told. ??

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16 minutes ago, chasfh said:

This would probably be the only way they could consider undertaking a strategy of under-the-radar ball deadening. I would wonder whether, if they do it too gradually, natural variations in ball resiliency might cloud the data when assessing the results.

I suspect there are enough data points over enough samples to get a good idea of the effect, year to year.

But (pulling random numbers out of my hindquarters) assuming you wanted to deaden the ball 5%.  Reduce a flat 0.5% off every season from the season prior, and maybe you find that years 4-6 (you would have taken 2-3% off at this point) are right where you want to be.  Just stop there and settle on a net 2.5% reduction from today.

Or maybe you get to year 10 and you just quite aren't there yet, and really the number wants to be a 7% reduction instead of 5%.  Just keep taking moderate amounts off until you get the desired amount.

The key is not to change the game overnight because hitters and pitchers need that type of time to adjust and teams need to develop players for the evolving game.  We don't want players to lose their career overnight or teams to have developed a bunch of players that become ineffective while washing out guys that could have had a productive career.

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Also, it stands to reason the league is going to need to keep deadening the ball over time as players get stronger through improved training / nutrition regimens and bat improvements.

Another alternative to deadening the ball is to thicken the bat handle to reduce bat whip.  Ancillary benefit is fewer broken bats.

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3 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Also, it stands to reason the league is going to need to keep deadening the ball over time as players get stronger through improved training / nutrition regimens and bat improvements.

Another alternative to deadening the ball is to thicken the bat handle to reduce bat whip.  Ancillary benefit is fewer broken bats.

Brian Kenny has been a big proponent of changing the bats. I think his thing might have been to change the weight requirement? I can't exactly remember.

I'm not sure changing the bats would be as effective as changing the ball because the league supplies the ball, while batters supply their own bats. It would be harder to police new bat requirements on an every player basis.

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I would think heavier bats would reduce HR because heavier bats reduce bat velocity and bat velocity drives HR.  Thickening the handle would reduce whip, which reduces effective bat speed.

Correct on policing bats v. balls.

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33 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I would think heavier bats would reduce HR because heavier bats reduce bat velocity and bat velocity drives HR.  Thickening the handle would reduce whip, which reduces effective bat speed.

Correct on policing bats v. balls.

Newton says heavier bats result in balls hit harder and farther, bat speed being constant. The $64 question would be, does the extra weight do more to slow down the bat than it does to impart increased energy on contact, resulting in the desired net loss of exit velocity? I'm not math enough to calculate that out.

I'm not even sure what policing bats would look like.

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The extra weight does more to slow down the rotational velocity of the bat.  There is no upper bound on bat weight now, if I am not mistaken.  There were guys playing with 40 oz bats 100 years ago

Ted Williams is usually credited with creating the shift to lighter, whippier bats.

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2 hours ago, chasfh said:

I'm too old to know anymore what chicks dig. :grin:

Isn't "dig" an old fashioned slang term from the '70s?  Who says "dig" anymore?  

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2 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I would think heavier bats would reduce HR because heavier bats reduce bat velocity and bat velocity drives HR.  Thickening the handle would reduce whip, which reduces effective bat speed.

Correct on policing bats v. balls.

Probably just banning the maple bat would get you part of that back, though I guess the availability of good ash might be a real issue now given the prevalence of ash borer damage.

Working on the ball is easy. They have accurate COR test rigs developed that can tell them the average value and std deviation of the balls going to the ball park. It would be no problem to publish a schedule that said "this is what the ball will be from 2020 - 2030 - subject to the right of league to modify for the good of game" 

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1 hour ago, chasfh said:

Newton says heavier bats result in balls hit harder and farther, bat speed being constant. The $64 question would be, does the extra weight do more to slow down the bat than it does to impart increased energy on contact, resulting in the desired net loss of exit velocity? I'm not math enough to calculate that out.

I'm not even sure what policing bats would look like.

Bigger bats need bigger players to get to the same swing velocity. Assuming it will remain impossible for a Frank Howard or Miguel Cabrera to play a tenable shortstop, anything that forces the game back to bigger bats would cut down on the number of positions you could expect to see HR production from. Or IOW - it would be more like pre 1970's baseball.

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16 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Bigger bats need bigger players to get to the same swing velocity. Assuming it will remain impossible for a Frank Howard or Miguel Cabrera to play a tenable shortstop, anything that forces the game back to bigger bats would cut down on the number of positions you could expect to see HR production from. Or IOW - it would be more like pre 1970's baseball.

If we’re going back too 40+ ounce bats, it would probably be more like 1910s baseball. ?

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22 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Probably just banning the maple bat would get you part of that back, though I guess the availability of good ash might be a real issue now given the prevalence of ash borer damage.

Working on the ball is easy. They have accurate COR test rigs developed that can tell them the average value and std deviation of the balls going to the ball park. It would be no problem to publish a schedule that said "this is what the ball will be from 2020 - 2030 - subject to the right of league to modify for the good of game" 

They changed the regulations for cricket bats last year - they were getting thicker and heavier and it was skewing things in the batsman's favour a bit too much. The umpires carry a plastic frame and the bat has to fit, width wise, through the frame. Takes about two seconds to do each time a new batsman comes to the crease.

Not sure if that would work to check a baseball bat though? In terms of time it could be done at the same time as the batter adjusts their gloves.

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25 minutes ago, Blue Square Thing said:

They changed the regulations for cricket bats last year - they were getting thicker and heavier and it was skewing things in the batsman's favour a bit too much. The umpires carry a plastic frame and the bat has to fit, width wise, through the frame. Takes about two seconds to do each time a new batsman comes to the crease.

Not sure if that would work to check a baseball bat though? In terms of time it could be done at the same time as the batter adjusts their gloves.

In baseball the balls are supposed to be certified at the factory. Likewise the suppliers know the bat and glove regulations and sell the product as league approved, so requiring equipment checks in game has never been much of an issue in baseball. If a team suspects the other team is using illegal equipment they can request the umpires check, but it is incredibly rare that it ever happens. I can remember cases of outfielders being caught with gloves that were slightly too long and certainly players have been known to doctor bats - but even those bats were legal as they came from the factory - the players had to make the changes themselves (traditionally cork). In general bat and glove requirements are so simple they are easy to enforce on the spot if needed. The ball is the dicey part. Weight and diameter are easy enough. COR (coefficient of restitution) is not  measurable at the ball park (though there is no reason it could be not be at acceptable cost) but it's not even clear there are accepted metrics for the surface finish and stitching properties - which are both vital to pitchers and flight.

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Baseball is back ... in Taiwan. Opening Day of the Chinese Professional Baseball League this past weekend.  No fans allowed, but mannequins, cutouts and robots. Plus real live cheerleaders.

I've been to a few games in Taipei over the years. A lot of interest in baseball on that island, but the pro game has really been damaged by a couple of gambling scandals. 

cpbl - 1.png

cpbl-2.jpg

  • Haha 1

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