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greg775

Baseball in Trouble per USA Today

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To all you new wavers ... what say you about this article? Baseball is in deep trouble. No action cause of all the Ks. Why all the Ks? All the new wavers like many of you celebrate one walk in four at bats. Did you read in this article how little action there is in new-wave baseball?

Attendance is way way down. Cities that are embracing the tank may lose their fans forever. Suddenly ol Greg doesn't seem so trolllish does he? I've been pointing out how unhealthy this stat-enduced new wave baseball is right now. Comment on these cold hard facts, folks. Whether you believe it or not, some of these new idioms are boring and unhealthy and taking is simply awful. Can baseball survive?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2018/06/20/mlb-bad-baseball-attendance-strikeouts/718162002/

Edited by greg775
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I think it is baseless speculation to assume the strikeouts have some major negative effect. At any rate, there's growing evidence that the growth in Ks league-wide has much more to do with the strike zone expanding (because it is now being called by the rulebook) and pitchers getting really, really good.

I do think the tanking issue is much more likely the explanation for the attendance drop. It's a tricky issue, but I suspect the best way to deter tanking is to reduce the value of young talent by doing something like reducing the service time required to reach free agency.

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Good post Jake. Excellent take. I do disagree on the strike zone however. The games I've seen they still won't call the belt high fastball a strike. My take is that's been the umps way of rebelling against baseball for the last many years. The umps think they are treated poorly and they wink, wink, won't call the rulebook correctly hence no high strike.

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Overall revenues and franchise values are soaring due to MLBAM.  Gambling will allow the analytics side of risk assessors t make hundreds of bets that are impossible in any other sport, driving up a viewing interest that wasn’t there before.

Baseball is becoming more and more international (although losing the star power of Ohtani sucks) and will probably return to Canada and also add a team in Mexico.

Cubs, Red Sox, Yankees, Astros with mega teams.  Dodgers could get there too by the end of the season.

The NFL is losing both fans (politics) and potential players (mom’s/concussions and CTE). 

Cincy, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Detroit...those markets are really struggling (or will struggle due to rebuilding/talent/ownership) issues.  Then there’s the A’s and Rays and their stadium issues, Jeter’s PR problems in Miami, but the tanking issue for NBA is far worse and there are 8-10 teams that can win it all in baseball, not just 2-3.  

You can also add the overshifting to your list of complaints, Greg.

Edited by caulfield12

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50 minutes ago, caulfield12 said:

Overall revenues and franchise values are soaring due to MLBAM.  Gambling will allow the analytics side of risk assessors t make hundreds of bets that are impossible in any other sport, driving up a viewing interest that wasn’t there before.

Baseball is becoming more and more international (although losing the star power of Ohtani sucks) and will probably return to Canada and also add a team in Mexico.

Cubs, Red Sox, Yankees, Astros with mega teams.  Dodgers could get there too by the end of the season.

The NFL is losing both fans (politics) and potential players (mom’s/concussions and CTE). 

Cincy, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Detroit...those markets are really struggling (or will struggle due to rebuilding/talent/ownership) issues.  Then there’s the A’s and Rays and their stadium issues, Jeter’s PR problems in Miami, but the tanking issue for NBA is far worse and there are 8-10 teams that can win it all in baseball, not just 2-3.  

You can also add the overshifting to your list of complaints, Greg.

The fact baseball in its current element (millenials hate it, almost every hitter Ks too much, incessant stepping out of batters box and adjusting glove, etc), managers overmanaging starting in the sixth inning) is making a ton of money for the owners means one thing: the commissioner or whoever is responsible for the TV deals and MLB advanced media, etc., should be Time Magazine's person of the year. How the hell baseball in this current tank era is THIS lucrative is insane. Is it the commish? Somebody deserves a raise here. Read Nightengale folks! He makes some good points.

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That article is trash.  Every single thing talked about in there is happening in every other professional sport.  The NFL is quite literally 20 minutes of actual play in 3.5 hours. Has that stopped them? Should we talk about their ratings this year?

The NBA finals was set three years ago. Did that stop people from watching the playoffs?  How about how many shots are missed with the three pointer? How about the 50 tv breaks during a game?

Seriously this was a complete waste of time. 

 

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22 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

That article is trash.  Every single thing talked about in there is happening in every other professional sport.  The NFL is quite literally 20 minutes of actual play in 3.5 hours. Has that stopped them? Should we talk about their ratings this year?

The NBA finals was set three years ago. Did that stop people from watching the playoffs?  How about how many shots are missed with the three pointer? How about the 50 tv breaks during a game?

Seriously this was a complete waste of time. 

 

I always thought NFL games were closer to 3-4 actual minutes of action/plays...20 seems too high.

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LMFAO! Bob's article isn't worth the recycled paper it was printed on. I couldn't finish reading it due tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. I think the hot sun has cooked Bob's bald head. 

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I didn't think it was a terrible article however the idea that there is a stats-wave trend vs. old traditional style is really stupid to me.

All the extra analytics has opened up baseball to more strategy based gameplay. Unfortunately, the outcome might not be greeted in favor by the fans, but that's not the stats fault. The stats are what they are and if it means pitchers will get more K's due to advanced scouting reports/going to bullpens earlier/using more arms, then there will have to be a change in the hitters approach.

So far, it seems the hitters have decided to go for the all or nothing approach. Thus, more home runs, less overall hits... a more boring experience for the fan.

The one thing that can change the experience a bit is eliminating the tanking teams. However, that will take a longer cycle of time to do. I think a playoff expansion scenario (as discussed in the other thread) would help a bit....and there has to be other ways of damaging tanking... but money rules over everything so not much hope there.

 

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14 hours ago, iWiN4PreP said:

I didn't think it was a terrible article however the idea that there is a stats-wave trend vs. old traditional style is really stupid to me.

All the extra analytics has opened up baseball to more strategy based gameplay. Unfortunately, the outcome might not be greeted in favor by the fans, but that's not the stats fault. The stats are what they are and if it means pitchers will get more K's due to advanced scouting reports/going to bullpens earlier/using more arms, then there will have to be a change in the hitters approach.

So far, it seems the hitters have decided to go for the all or nothing approach. Thus, more home runs, less overall hits... a more boring experience for the fan.

The one thing that can change the experience a bit is eliminating the tanking teams. However, that will take a longer cycle of time to do. I think a playoff expansion scenario (as discussed in the other thread) would help a bit....and there has to be other ways of damaging tanking... but money rules over everything so not much hope there.

 

What's actually ironic is that the last playoff expansion may darn well have led to the increase in tanking. Yes there are more teams in the playoffs, but at the same time they made the advantage for winning your division bigger, and now teams that could win 85 games are asking if it's worth sacrificing the next year to go for that 2nd wild card where they'll likely get eliminated quickly and then have little to show for it in the end. If you bring the playoffs up to 12 teams, but the bottom 8 are even more convinced that they're going to get eliminated, then that doesn't solve the problem.

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I've said it many times on this site, but it is absolutely true. The lack of action in baseball will ultimately be the death of it (not really the death but will send it into a major downhill spiral).  People can argue me all they want but it is 100% factual.  I don't want to watch a game where everything is going to be a walk, strikeout, or homerun. Yes, I'm exaggerating but my enjoyment of baseball has declined over the past 5-7 years (and it isn't because the White Sox stink). The lack of action is a major problem.  

For those of you using football as an analogy...it would be as if football you either had a 3 and out or a long touchdown and like 85% of the time it was just a 3 and out with minimal action.  

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Just now, Chisoxfn said:

I've said it many times on this site, but it is absolutely true. The lack of action in baseball will ultimately be the death of it (not really the death but will send it into a major downhill spiral).  People can argue me all they want but it is 100% factual.  I don't want to watch a game where everything is going to be a walk, strikeout, or homerun. Yes, I'm exaggerating but my enjoyment of baseball has declined over the past 5-7 years (and it isn't because the White Sox stink). The lack of action is a major problem.  

For those of you using football as an analogy...it would be as if football you either had a 3 and out or a long touchdown and like 85% of the time it was just a 3 and out with minimal action.  

If the game was a whole lot of HR and strikeouts, but the games finished in 2:30, I'd be ok with that.

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1 minute ago, Balta1701 said:

What's actually ironic is that the last playoff expansion may darn well have led to the increase in tanking. Yes there are more teams in the playoffs, but at the same time they made the advantage for winning your division bigger, and now teams that could win 85 games are asking if it's worth sacrificing the next year to go for that 2nd wild card where they'll likely get eliminated quickly and then have little to show for it in the end. If you bring the playoffs up to 12 teams, but the bottom 8 are even more convinced that they're going to get eliminated, then that doesn't solve the problem.

I really don't think "tanking" exists in baseball. It is called rebuilding and it has existed in the sport forever.  The only difference is right now we are in an era where there are a lot more teams rebuilding at the same time. However, tanking is literally purposefully stinking to acquire top draft picks...I really don't think that is what is happening in baseball. Teams are retooling and moving guys and loading up on as much prospects as possible, however, the value of a #1 pick vs. a #8 pick is not near the disparity that exists in basketball (for example).  

I think I should ban the word "tanking" on this site cause its just a crappy use. Tanking is losing on purpose and literally trying to "lose".  I don't view the White Sox plan as doing that. Yes, they were going to be bad, but it was because they are in a talent accumulation phase and stripping the major league roster of more talent to get more "future" talent given our time horizon.  That said, they aren't doing it for the purpose of losing or getting the #1 overall pick, they are doing it to fill their pipeline because they didn't have a forseeable plan to win in the near term.  

The Cubs/Astros made "tanking" a more cliche term but in the next few years, we will see some teams fail horribly at it (kind of like the Pirates and Royals did for like 30 years (i.e., their inability to rebuild).  

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3 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

If the game was a whole lot of HR and strikeouts, but the games finished in 2:30, I'd be ok with that.

I wouldn't be okay with that. I think the time length of a game is one thing...but the lack of action during the game is another.  So much stuff ends with zero fielders having to do anything, no bat on ball contact, etc. Its just lousy.  Baseball will need to implement rules to fix it. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if at some point the shift is banned (or limited) as a way to spur more balls in play.  

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4 minutes ago, Chisoxfn said:

I really don't think "tanking" exists in baseball. It is called rebuilding and it has existed in the sport forever.  The only difference is right now we are in an era where there are a lot more teams rebuilding at the same time. However, tanking is literally purposefully stinking to acquire top draft picks...I really don't think that is what is happening in baseball. Teams are retooling and moving guys and loading up on as much prospects as possible, however, the value of a #1 pick vs. a #8 pick is not near the disparity that exists in basketball (for example).  

I think I should ban the word "tanking" on this site cause its just a crappy use. Tanking is losing on purpose and literally trying to "lose".  I don't view the White Sox plan as doing that. Yes, they were going to be bad, but it was because they are in a talent accumulation phase and stripping the major league roster of more talent to get more "future" talent given our time horizon.  That said, they aren't doing it for the purpose of losing or getting the #1 overall pick, they are doing it to fill their pipeline because they didn't have a forseeable plan to win in the near term.  

The Cubs/Astros made "tanking" a more cliche term but in the next few years, we will see some teams fail horribly at it (kind of like the Pirates and Royals did for like 30 years (i.e., their inability to rebuild).  

If your whole argument is that tanking is the wrong term, fine, but it seems like there are way too many teams right now who are "Rebuilding" on the grounds that they look up at the Red Sox and Yankees and the couple teams that completed successful rebuilds and say "we have no chance at them even if we make the 2nd Wild Card, so why should we put all this effort into winning this year?"

And the problem is, they're right to ask that question.

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12 minutes ago, Chisoxfn said:

I wouldn't be okay with that. I think the time length of a game is one thing...but the lack of action during the game is another.  So much stuff ends with zero fielders having to do anything, no bat on ball contact, etc. Its just lousy.  Baseball will need to implement rules to fix it. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if at some point the shift is banned (or limited) as a way to spur more balls in play.  

In a 3 hour football game there is 11 minutes of actual play.

https://qz.com/150577/an-average-nfl-game-more-than-100-commercials-and-just-11-minutes-of-play/

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10 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

In a 3 hour football game there is 11 minutes of actual play.

https://qz.com/150577/an-average-nfl-game-more-than-100-commercials-and-just-11-minutes-of-play/

I recognize football has lots of downtime. I'm not arguing baseball vs. football. I'm looking at how baseball has evolved (as its own sport) over the years for the bad.  Flat out the quality of a baseball game has declined over the past 10 years.  I'm not at all even getting into a "stats" debate, but flat out the level of 

And if I were going to argue baseball vs. football, I'd lose, the ratings, etc back up everything about larger masses of people watching football vs. baseball. Footballs problem isn't the "lack of action" its the longer-term impacts of the injuries and how they are having to change the game to try and minimize injuries (and with it, minimizing the big hits, etc, that the sport was known for).  I also don't believe that football (over the past 10 years) shifted from a sport that had 30 minutes of "actual" play to a sport with "10 minutes" of actual play. Baseball has seen a significant decline in the "action" as evidenced by the stark reduction in balls in play / hits.  

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21 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

If your whole argument is that tanking is the wrong term, fine, but it seems like there are way too many teams right now who are "Rebuilding" on the grounds that they look up at the Red Sox and Yankees and the couple teams that completed successful rebuilds and say "we have no chance at them even if we make the 2nd Wild Card, so why should we put all this effort into winning this year?"

And the problem is, they're right to ask that question.

I don't disagree with teams deciding they should rebuild (and whether the Sox succeed at their rebuild or don't, I agree with their move).  I just don't like the use of the word "tank". In basketball there is "rebuilding" and "tanking".  I don't see baseball teams intentionally sitting their best players so they can "lose" for a higher draft pick.  When they get to that point, than I'll start to call it "tanking".  What happens in the NBA is pathetic (we all know my views here) and I'm very consistent in those views (I don't blame franchises for doing it, but basketball needs to fix it...literally you have teams intentionally losing (not just putting bad rosters out their...putting out bad lineups, etc...that is awful for sports).  

Technically the 2nd wild card makes more teams competitive (and in the race), but the fact that fewer teams can get a "bye" into the actual playoffs actually downplays the impact of being a "wildcard" team and investing in it.  I think (and have long said) that baseball needs to expand the playoffs. Better quality / races. That said,the wild-card play-in games make for fantastic TV, so I have a hard time arguing against the impact it makes on those individual games (such drama, etc).  

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Baseball only suffers from a "lack of action" if the viewer has no idea how much goes into each and every pitch.

If that's not interesting, I don't know, go play video games or something.

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11 minutes ago, Chisoxfn said:

I recognize football has lots of downtime. I'm not arguing baseball vs. football. I'm looking at how baseball has evolved (as its own sport) over the years for the bad.  Flat out the quality of a baseball game has declined over the past 10 years.  I'm not at all even getting into a "stats" debate, but flat out the level of 

And if I were going to argue baseball vs. football, I'd lose, the ratings, etc back up everything about larger masses of people watching football vs. baseball. Footballs problem isn't the "lack of action" its the longer-term impacts of the injuries and how they are having to change the game to try and minimize injuries (and with it, minimizing the big hits, etc, that the sport was known for).  I also don't believe that football (over the past 10 years) shifted from a sport that had 30 minutes of "actual" play to a sport with "10 minutes" of actual play. Baseball has seen a significant decline in the "action" as evidenced by the stark reduction in balls in play / hits.  

That is my point though, why is 11 minutes of action OK for football, but with lack of action in baseball, it is suddenly a dealbreaker?  It means that isn't the real problem here.

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3 minutes ago, Eminor3rd said:

Baseball only suffers from a "lack of action" if the viewer has no idea how much goes into each and every pitch.

If that's not interesting, I don't know, go play video games or something.

Then continue to cut down the amount of time I'm waiting for each pitch.

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1 minute ago, Eminor3rd said:

Baseball only suffers from a "lack of action" if the viewer has no idea how much goes into each and every pitch.

If that's not interesting, I don't know, go play video games or something.

This argument to just bash those who don't appreciate it is just pure nonsense.  Don't even get me started on this.  Okay, so it is realistic to expect the majority of fans watching a game to be in awe because strikeouts are up because statistical analysis indicates that it is worth the risk of striking out more to increase a HR ratio by X%. Or that a pitcher has identified through statistical data that this is the exact perfect way to pitch the batter and thus his probability of striking out is up 5%.  

10 years ago a lot went to each and every pitch as well.  The actual action into the game has declined materially and the trend is negative. This is coming from someone who played the game for a long time and who at one point had an offer to be a major league scout and who deals with statistics and financial information on a daily basis as part of his career.  Not someone who has on idea as to what goes into the game or no inclination to math/stats.  

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1 minute ago, Chisoxfn said:

This argument to just bash those who don't appreciate it is just pure nonsense.  Don't even get me started on this.  Okay, so it is realistic to expect the majority of fans watching a game to be in awe because strikeouts are up because statistical analysis indicates that it is worth the risk of striking out more to increase a HR ratio by X%. Or that a pitcher has identified through statistical data that this is the exact perfect way to pitch the batter and thus his probability of striking out is up 5%.  

10 years ago a lot went to each and every pitch as well.  The actual action into the game has declined materially and the trend is negative. This is coming from someone who played the game for a long time and who at one point had an offer to be a major league scout and who deals with statistics and financial information on a daily basis as part of his career.  Not someone who has on idea as to what goes into the game or no inclination to math/stats.  

That's a lot of words being put in my mouth that I did not say.

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2 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

That is my point though, why is 11 minutes of action OK for football, but with lack of action in baseball, it is suddenly a dealbreaker?  It means that isn't the real problem here.

It is a data point, but it is not relevant to baseballs argument.  Everything is relative. If a football game spiraled to a 3hr and 30 minute game with 40 plays (vs. 100 plays), I think they'd have their own issue.  They don't need to look at it relative to baseball to figure out they have an issue.  

There is a cost-benefit to all things. I won't even argue all of the differences that exist, but a major one is the fact that football is a once a week sport, not a daily sport. So amount of "action" might matter less in football because you are watching it on a per week basis for your team). You might argue that the "quality" of action is better in a football game vs. a baseball game (i.e., far more players involved in each individual play of football vs. a typical play in baseball).  A football game might have just more subjective action in the eye of a fan. 

Either way, while baseball should consider other sports, it needs to isolate its time of game / lack of action issue in an isolated basis and if Rob Manfred doesn't find a way to adjust rules to address "pace of play" and "amount of action", than we will continue to see ratings and attendance declines, imo. 

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7 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

Then continue to cut down the amount of time I'm waiting for each pitch.

Brian - Do you think there is an issue with the pace / lack of action currently?  From the tone of your posts, I think you do, but I'm curious.  I say this because we are fans (maybe we are in the minority on this site) who obviously are invested in the sport and passionate about the sport (we've spent how much time commenting on it over a 15 year horizon) yet see this type of decline and recognize it.

By no means am I saying I hate the game of baseball, I still absolutely enjoy the game...I just enjoy the game less than I did in the past. 

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