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Should we eliminate divisions?


RedRamage
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Sort of on-topic with the off-topic we're having, this is a great article.

Why baseball player development is on the decline, and why very few realize it – Baseball Toolshed

I've thought it has more to do with reps. LL kills reps compared to 'disorganized' play - more reps and at a younger age when the brain/eye system is still more plastic and can respond by actually making more wiring - Moving your body through space to get your hands or a bat to where a moving ball is going to be in a maybe less than a second is something a brain has to be organized internally to do well, and the older a brain the more difficult to reorganize.

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This feels too much like a name hire and we know how that usually goes.

This is what I think it is. I mean, its the Marlins. Any move like this has to be taken with a grain (or gallon) of salt, right?

That's not to say that Bonds doesn't have something to offer as a hitting coach. Maybe he does have the teaching chops that a lot of uberskilled players aren't known for.

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What happened was the media was all over McGwire and pretty much ignored Sosa during the big record chase because McGwire was the great white hope. They knew McGwire was juicing but they didn't care because it was a great story. Bonds got pissed and wanted to prove that he could do the same thing. So, he took his juicing to a new level and obliterated McGwire's record. He's probably still racist, but it's not like he goes around saying stupid stuff all the time. He's been pretty low key since he got blackballed from the game. He was one of the greatest players in the history of the game and supposedly knows a lot about hitting. I think he deserves a chance to get back into baseball.

There was also the disdain for the difference of attention that he and Andy Van Slyke received in Pittsburgh. He referred to Van Slyke as "The Great White Hope" and because Bonds was often criticized while Van Slyke was much more revered.

I'm not saying he was a racist. I don't know enough to know that. His above response may have just been a flippant response to a bad situation.

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Sort of on-topic with the off-topic we're having, this is a great article.

Why baseball player development is on the decline, and why very few realize it – Baseball Toolshed

I agree no coaching is better than bad coaching. I'll further agree there is no shortage of bad coaches in youth athletics.

By that, I mean guys are well intentioned but their collective egos get too tied up in wins and losses rather than developing skills, and what you end up with coaches instructing players to do things that would never be done at later ages, such as asking OF to run the ball into the IF, guys being asked to bunt in every AB, one guy pitch 95% of the innings. That is great for the one guy, lousy for the rest and has an ancillary benefit of driving players away from the game. My experience is the practice to game ratio in LL is completely out of whack as well.

Something that has changed as well is the proportion of LL games to playing on your own has completely flip flopped. I estimate as a boy, 90% of my baseball playing was 'sandlot' style - no adults, maybe 5 kids on a team, and 10% organized LL. Now almost all play is organized LL play with at most 10% of the time child-only pick-up. I personally think more skills are developed in that sort of dis-organized environment where kids can experiment and not have an adult yelling at them.

Something that is better now is there are a number of camps and trainers out there that can give personalized training. It is crazy how much improvement one can see in young players after a week of quality instruction.

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There was also the disdain for the difference of attention that he and Andy Van Slyke received in Pittsburgh. He referred to Van Slyke as "The Great White Hope" and because Bonds was often criticized while Van Slyke was much more revered.

I'm not saying he was a racist. I don't know enough to know that. His above response may have just been a flippant response to a bad situation.

I used to love his flip remarks.

After beating Mark McGwire in the home run derby one year: "I can't believe I beat the great Mark McGwire".

On his pursuit of McGwire's home run record: "I don't expect to break the record. I'm not big and strong like Mark McGwire"

After losing to Shawn Green in the home run derby:"Good for him. He's a nice kid"

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Put a team in Montreal for the National League. Put a team in Charlotte in the American League.

Go to four divisionis

AL East - Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, NY Yankees, Tampa Bay, Toronto

AL West - Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, LA Angels, Minnesota, Oakland, Seattle, Texas

NL East - Atlanta, Cincinnati, Miami, Montreal, NY Mets, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

NL West - Arizona, Chicago, Colorado, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco

Play the 7 teams in your division 12 times. (84 games) Play the 8 teams in the other league 8 times. (64 games)

Play only 14 Interleague games. 8 games against a set geographical river..........6 against other interleague teams.

The "buddy" teams would be..... and they play a Home and Home series on consecutive weekends........4 games in each city. Have Rivalry Weekends all at the same time. Make it a really big deal.

Baltimore v Washington

Boston v Philadelphia

Charlotte v Atlanta

Cleveland v Cincinnati

Detroit v Pittsburgh

NY Yankees v NY Mets

Tampa Bay v Miami

Toronto v Montreal

White Sox v Cubs

Houston v Arizona

Kansas City v St. Louis

LA Angels v LA Dodgers

Minnesota v Milwaukee

Oakland v San Francisco

Seattle v San Diego

Texas v Colorado

The playoffs would be as so. First place goes to the playoffs and gets a first round bye. 2nd and 3rd place are the Wild Cards. The winner of the 2nd vs. 3rd place team would play the 1st place team in a 5 game series. Make winning the division as special as it used to be. Wild Card would be 3 games. The only problem is the first place team would have an automatic 4 or 5 day layoff and as we remember from the 2006 and 2012 Tigers, that might not be an advantage.

Edited by Motor City Sonics
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Good call. I found a '73 card of Stargell's with the same side burn cut.

I do love the sideburns. Those were de rigueur in '73 (de rigueur means tumescent). We were still a year or so away from universal moustaches although they were definitely taking hold.

My issue with Pete is that stupid frickin comb-forward bowl cut. It's like he saw a picture of Paul McCartney in '64 and didn't look closely enough.

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I do love the sideburns. Those were de rigueur in '73 (de rigueur means tumescent). We were still a year or so away from universal moustaches although they were definitely taking hold.

My issue with Pete is that stupid frickin comb-forward bowl cut. It's like he saw a picture of Paul McCartney in '64 and didn't look closely enough.

I had decent sideburns in those days - when I cut them to bottom of my ear lobe they just had a nice amount of serif at the bottom. But by a couple of years later I couldn't decide how to trim them anymore so I've had what amounts to a lazy man's beard mostly since then. :silly:

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There's just more to it than that. If they show up for ST for the first time and he spends the first hour talking about bunting and catching the ball with two hands, he's going to lose a lot of them, regardless of the fact that he used to be good at playing. What if they feel there's a younger coach that sucked as a baseball player, but they better relate to that coach and feel like he explains himself better and is therefore a better coach? Should they just ignore that coach because he didn't used to be great?

All I'm saying is simply being great at one time doesn't by default make you a respectable coach, IMO. And simply having a wealth of knowledge (I don't believe being great makes you more knowledgable anyhow) doesn't mean you're going to be good at teaching said knowledge.

I agree with that but it sounded like you thought they shouldn't listen to him because he was played so long ago. None of therm ever saw Jim Leyland play, but they respected him a lot. Also, there could be some young guy who they relate to but is a poor teacher.

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The thing I like as a fan about divisionless baseball is that the team with the second best record will be guaranteed to avoid the play in game.

Getting a bye by winning a geographic based group seems wrong to me.

I agree. I think the one-game play-in is moronic, but if we eliminate divisions, it at least starts to make some sense.

There's no reason the Pirates, the second-best team in all of baseball, were only guaranteed 1 playoff game this year. They got royally screwed. That really exposed this current system for the joke that it is.

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I

I agree. I think the one-game play-in is moronic, but if we eliminate divisions, it at least starts to make some sense.

There's no reason the Pirates, the second-best team in all of baseball, were only guaranteed 1 playoff game this year. They got royally screwed. That really exposed this current system for the joke that it is.

Yup. Not only that, but they played in the division with the 3 best records in their league. The Cubs had 97 wins, the Dodgers had 92, the Mets had 90. Almost a week better than the next best team.

If they keep divisions and the current playoff quantity of teams, seed them accordingly and have the two worst records play the nine innings of sudden death.

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  • 2 weeks later...
As unpalatable as it would be to give up two division races, as well as trying to sell tickets to a seventh or eighth place team late in a season—and take a look at some of those late season attendance figures for second division teams during the eight-team era to see what I mean—it might make more sense to do eight-team divisions, give a bye to the division winners, and let the next four teams slug it out in a one-and-done. One side effect might be that division titles will feel that much more special than they do now.

One more problem I see with four four-team divisions—and apologies if someone has pointed this out already, but I couldn't find it here—is that sooner or later, a sub-.500 team would inevitably win a division and make the playoffs. Technically, under that setup, it's possible that the thirteenth best team in the league could win its division. We've already seen the eighth best team in the National League go all the way to the NLCS in 2008, and another team perilously close to .500 makes the playoffs before getting mercifully crushed in the 2005 NLDS. If Baseball goes to four divisions and a sub-.500 team wins its division, they would never hear the end of it.

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One more problem I see with four four-team divisions—and apologies if someone has pointed this out already, but I couldn't find it here—is that sooner or later, a sub-.500 team would inevitably win a division and make the playoffs. Technically, under that setup, it's possible that the thirteenth best team in the league could win its division. We've already seen the eighth best team in the National League go all the way to the NLCS in 2008, and another team perilously close to .500 makes the playoffs before getting mercifully crushed in the 2005 NLDS. If Baseball goes to four divisions and a sub-.500 team wins its division, they would never hear the end of it.

That already happened in the NFL last year and it could happen in two divisions this year. I don't follow the NFL very much, so I don't know if it's viewed as a problem. Nobody here cares about anything outside the Patriots. I like NCAA football where the regular season is really important and I hope it stays that way.

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One more problem I see with four four-team divisions—and apologies if someone has pointed this out already, but I couldn't find it here—is that sooner or later, a sub-.500 team would inevitably win a division and make the playoffs. Technically, under that setup, it's possible that the thirteenth best team in the league could win its division. We've already seen the eighth best team in the National League go all the way to the NLCS in 2008, and another team perilously close to .500 makes the playoffs before getting mercifully crushed in the 2005 NLDS. If Baseball goes to four divisions and a sub-.500 team wins its division, they would never hear the end of it.

This is my biggest issue with 4 team divisions. If/When MLB expands (really not sure if we will see it to be honest), 4 divisions of 8 would be best. Division winners with wild cards for the playoffs.

I also prefer if they immediately went to playoff seeding according to record, rather than defaulting the wild cards to the play in game. We're going to see an 86 win division winner and a 94 win wild card some day. Winning the geographical lottery should not amount to anything.

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