Thread: MLB News

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NEW DECADE BRINGS NEW CHALLENGES says Joe Sheehan in his column at the end of the most recent issue of Baseball America.

As much as we'd like to say it ain't so, here are the facts.

In 2009, 18.1 percent of plate appearances ended in a strikeout.

In 2019: 23.1 percent.

Add home runs and walks to the calculus and...

35 percent of plate appearances ended without a fielding play in 2019, compared to 29 percent ten years earlier.

Again last year: more strikeouts than hits.

The fewest stolen bases in a non-strike season since 1973.

"Baseball... is being reduced to schoolyard stickball games in which all you have are pitchers and batters."

So that's the first challenge: "putting more baseball back into baseball games."

The second?

Competitive balance. "The idea that every team should compete in every season is silly, but when a third of the league in most years isn't trying to win at all -- and able to do so while still turning a profit -- the model is broken."

And the third? "Over the next ten years, baseball has to... integrate legal gambling into its ecosystem." 

Huh.

Alex Patton Alex
Jan 13

Merry Christmas to the members of this group. 

van wilhoite LVW
Dec 25 '19

One of my last posts before we turned the page...

The conclusion of Robert Arthur's article posted yesterday at Baseball Prospectus:

After four years of wandering home run rates, two commission reports, a bizarre postseason that looked like a whole other brand of baseball and having been decried as a conspiracy theorist about a thousand times, it’s clear that there is still much more to the story than we know. But what the committee makes perfectly clear is what MLB ought to do next: monitor the baseball.

We’ve known since their last report that the baseball’s air resistance affects the home run rate. MLB should have installed procedures to test the drag and seam height on baseballs coming out of its factories so that they would at least know if a problem or major change in aerodynamics was underway before it completely altered the league. But for whatever reason (perhaps expense), MLB hasn’t taken commonsense steps that would allow them to keep an eye on the baseball.

It’s possible that this report will shake them up enough to do so. If they don’t, we’re liable for another repeat of the last few seasons, with its roller-coaster ride of longball rates, abrupt changes from month to month, and epidemics of pitcher blisters. As the commission learns more about the baseball, it has become painfully obvious that the league probably ought to have known more about how its central object was built and what can happen if the production goes awry.

In fact Arthur's has never been a conspiracy theorist; he's been consistently fair, always allowing for the possibility that the whole thing is an accident.

Unlike me.

Alex Patton Alex
Dec 16 '19