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General Questions About Baseball

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As a newcomer to the game, I don't always get what particular phrases mean. Whilst I'm approaching this thread from the perspective of a novice, it might also be useful as a thread where veteran fans can ask about and discuss technical aspects of the game. (I wasn't sure whether to put this in Pale Hose Talk or The Diamond Club). Hopefully I won't be too irritating for you all with my beginner's line in questioning.

 

So, yesterday, after a long break, I once more opened Bernard A. Weisberger's excellent 'When Chicago Ruled Baseball'. In it, at one point, he makes a comment regarding the 'dead-ball era'. What did the 'dead-ball era entail, as opposed to whatever era it is that we are in now?

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QUOTE (Joxer_Daly @ Jan 8, 2013 -> 02:38 PM)
As a newcomer to the game, I don't always get what particular phrases mean. Whilst I'm approaching this thread from the perspective of a novice, it might also be useful as a thread where veteran fans can ask about and discuss technical aspects of the game. (I wasn't sure whether to put this in Pale Hose Talk or The Diamond Club). Hopefully I won't be too irritating for you all with my beginner's line in questioning.

 

So, yesterday, after a long break, I once more opened Bernard A. Weisberger's excellent 'When Chicago Ruled Baseball'. In it, at one point, he makes a comment regarding the 'dead-ball era'. What did the 'dead-ball era entail, as opposed to whatever era it is that we are in now?

 

It is the era generally pre-1920. It is pretty well aligned with the arrival of Babe Ruth and the big change in home run totals.

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It also literally regards the actual baseball that was used. Somewhere in the 1910's they introduced the cork centered baseball which was able to be hit farther and harder. This combined with the arrival of Ruth completely changed the way the game was played. Instead of relying on speed and strategy, teams starting looking for sluggers who could hit the ball over the fence.

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QUOTE (lasttriptotulsa @ Jan 8, 2013 -> 08:51 PM)
It also literally regards the actual baseball that was used. Somewhere in the 1910's they introduced the cork centered baseball which was able to be hit farther and harder. This combined with the arrival of Ruth completely changed the way the game was played. Instead of relying on speed and strategy, teams starting looking for sluggers who could hit the ball over the fence.

Ok. That makes sense. I was wondering what the fundamental change in the game was from that era to those that followed. Thanks.

 

Thank you ss2k5, also.

 

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QUOTE (Joxer_Daly @ Jan 8, 2013 -> 03:03 PM)
Ok. That makes sense. I was wondering what the fundamental change in the game was from that era to those that followed. Thanks.

 

Thank you ss2k5, also.

 

There is also a belief among some that the change from a hand winded baseball to a machine doing the winding was part of the surge in homers in the 80's before the steroid era really got booming. Supposedly they bounced significantly better than their hand-wound counterparts.

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QUOTE (knightni @ Jan 8, 2013 -> 09:09 PM)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead-ball_era

 

Massive ballparks combined with a crappy baseball made for more line drives, more extra base hits, and less home runs.

Wikipedia, eh? Hmmmm, I suppose i could have googled it instead of starting a thread... Are you trying to call me a lazy b@st@rd? :D :D

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Interesting stuff, though, all the same; the evolution of aspects of the game.

 

What would the feeling on here be - does more homers equate to a more interesting spectacle? I find myself attracted to the idea of the focus being on skill and strategy.

 

Maybe that's just because I'm reading about the victorious Hitless Wonders of 1906 at the moment.

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As a tangent to your question, it's also interesting top note that they lowered the pitching mound in 1969 to help spur some offense. There was some seriously dominant pitching going on at that point.

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QUOTE (Joxer_Daly @ Jan 8, 2013 -> 03:56 PM)
Interesting stuff, though, all the same; the evolution of aspects of the game.

 

What would the feeling on here be - does more homers equate to a more interesting spectacle? I find myself attracted to the idea of the focus being on skill and strategy.

 

Maybe that's just because I'm reading about the victorious Hitless Wonders of 1906 at the moment.

 

Generally speaking, it seems that the average baseball fan is brought in by the big boppers. Folks don't necessarily like blowouts or what would be the equivalent of two American football teams running up the scores on each other, but the more home runs the merrier. During the steroid era when home run records were being routinely threatened, baseball was getting much more scrutiny and interest from people that don't necessarily consider baseball an important sport to follow than it does now (at least IMO).

 

A common critique of the sport from people that are not fans or not big fans is that "nothing happens." It moves slow, scoring is often not frequent, etc. Nothing breaks up that inaction better than a home run. In general, folks don't appreciate a well pitched at bat or even a strikeout unless they actually like baseball unconditionally. You can see how soccer isn't big in the USA -- it has the two things Americans don't like: very low scoring and ties. Hockey only barely survives because people like big hits and fights.

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So, another beginners question; media related this time:

 

Listening to 670 The Score - are there particular time slots or presenters set aside to focus on baseball/the Sox?

 

On the online schedule, I see there's a White Sox Weekly hour on Saturdays, but during the week it's just the presenters that are listed for each slot. Are there particular times or presenters given over to particular sports/teams during the week, or is it just a mish-mash of sports with it being the luck of the draw if you happen to hear something baseball related on weekdays?

 

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QUOTE (Joxer_Daly @ Jan 9, 2013 -> 11:23 AM)
So, another beginners question; media related this time:

 

Listening to 670 The Score - are there particular time slots or presenters set aside to focus on baseball/the Sox?

 

On the online schedule, I see there's a White Sox Weekly hour on Saturdays, but during the week it's just the presenters that are listed for each slot. Are there particular times or presenters given over to particular sports/teams during the week, or is it just a mish-mash of sports with it being the luck of the draw if you happen to hear something baseball related on weekdays?

 

During the week it mostly depends on the sports news. Baseball talk during the off-season usually revolves around transactions (trades signings etc) or around Soxfest. During the winter sports talk is usually centered around Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, then Cubs and Sox.

 

ESPN1000 also does a general baseball show on the weekends that is OK.

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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Jan 9, 2013 -> 05:26 PM)
During the week it mostly depends on the sports news. Baseball talk during the off-season usually revolves around transactions (trades signings etc) or around Soxfest. During the winter sports talk is usually centered around Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, then Cubs and Sox.

 

ESPN1000 also does a general baseball show on the weekends that is OK.

 

 

Yeah, I didn't expect too much today, given the time of year. Just wondered if there were particular slots set aside other than the Saturday one.

 

Thanks mate.

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Ok, here's another. Apologies if these questions are irritating for some of you.

 

I'm just wondering about the various positions in the infield and outfield - can anyone point me in the direction of an article that can give me a good understanding of what are the various attributes required for each position? Prior to taking an interest in baseball, I would have just assumed that the skills would be fairly universal across the board; basically catching and throwing. However, particular players are assigned to particular positions and I read discussions about such-and-such a player being suited to such-and-such a position, 3B, 1B, LF, etc. I searched, but most breakdowns that I read were little more than just fairly basic explanations of where each position was. Why would someone be suited to one base over another, etc.

 

This brings me on to the post below from the Youth Movement thread:

 

QUOTE (floridafan @ Jan 11, 2013 -> 02:22 AM)
How many homers do they need to put up for you to feel that you are happy with your 3rd baseman?

 

It is odd how 2B has become a power position, but I still expect power out of 3rd. Is 20HR a substantive enough figure, with a BA of around .300?

 

Why would a players defensive position have a bearing on how they should perform in offense? Why would a 3B be expected to hit more or less homers than someone playing another defensive position?

 

 

Again, apologies if my line of questioning is of a basic level and annoying for some of you.

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Doing this from mobile so sorry if some of these are incomplete

 

 

C- Most unique position. Durability coveted. Sitting behind plate for 120 games takes its toll. Need a strong arm to throw out base stealers as well. Often the most intelligent players because, as they are seeing everything and may be calling what pitches are coming. That's why they make for the best managers later.

 

1B- Probably least important position. Need fast reactions for line drives. Lots of teams try to hide a defender here or use a player that fails at playing another position.

 

2B/SS- Need to be right handed. Need to be very quick as they are covering a lot of ground on fast groundballs. Throwing arm for 2B isn't important. It is for SS since they are making a much longer throw to 1B. SS gets a lot more plays than 2B because there are more Right handed hitters.

 

3B- Does not need to be as athletic as 2B/SS as they aren't covering nearly as much ground playing near the foul line, but they are getting more plays than 1Bmen. Arm is important since you're throwing across the infield. Do need the ability to quickly charge down the line and cover bunts. Look at Miguel Cabrera for someone who has no such ability, and teams do try and take advantage of this.

 

RF- Arm is the most important thing here. Need to prevent a runner coming from first from taking an extra base to third.

 

CF- Usually very athletic and fast. They cover the most ground of anyone in the field.

 

LF- Arm isn't as important since no way are you throwing out anyone at 1B.

 

 

If you watch baseball, you'll often hear about defense up the middle. This refers to 2B/SS/CF as they are considered the hardest to play and most important.

 

 

As for your second question, yes, offensive performance expectations are often formed based on defensive positions. Look at it this way, a team is not very likely to have a SS or 2B who can hit a lot of home runs. They are usually smaller, quicker players. But the make up of a good offense still needs the power to come from somewhere. That's why if you play at the corner positions, you are expected to hit for power.

Edited by Buehrle>Wood

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QUOTE (Buehrle>Wood @ Jan 11, 2013 -> 07:44 PM)
Doing this from mobile so sorry if some of these are incomplete

 

 

C- Most unique position. Durability coveted. Sitting behind plate for 120 games takes its toll. Need a strong arm to throw out base stealers as well. Often the most intelligent players because, as they are seeing everything and may be calling what pitches are coming. That's why they make for the best managers later.

 

1B- Probably least important position. Need fast reactions for line drives. Lots of teams try to hide a defender here or use a player that fails at playing another position.

 

2B/SS- Need to be right handed. Need to be very quick as they are covering a lot of ground on fast groundballs. Throwing arm for 2B isn't important. It is for SS since they are making a much longer throw to 1B. SS gets a lot more plays than 2B because there are more Right handed hitters.

 

3B- Does not need to be as athletic as 2B/SS as they aren't covering nearly as much ground playing near the foul line, but they are getting more plays than 1Bmen. Arm is important since you're throwing across the infield. Do need the ability to quickly charge down the line and cover bunts. Look at Miguel Cabrera for someone who has no such ability, and teams do try and take advantage of this.

 

RF- Arm is the most important thing here. Need to prevent a runner coming from first from taking an extra base to third.

 

CF- Usually very athletic and fast. They cover the most ground of anyone in the field.

 

LF- Arm isn't as important since no way are you throwing out anyone at 1B.

 

 

If you watch baseball, you'll often hear about defense up the middle. This refers to 2B/SS/CF as they are considered the hardest to play and most important.

 

 

As for your second question, yes, offensive performance expectations are often formed based on defensive positions. Look at it this way, a team is not very likely to have a SS or 2B who can hit a lot of home runs. They are usually smaller, quicker players. But the make up of a good offense still needs the power to come from somewhere. That's why if you play at the corner positions, you are expected to hit for power.

Really appreciate the lengthy reply. Thanks.

 

That helps me a lot.

 

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QUOTE (Buehrle>Wood @ Jan 11, 2013 -> 04:44 PM)
Doing this from mobile so sorry if some of these are incomplete

 

 

C- Most unique position. Durability coveted. Sitting behind plate for 120 games takes its toll. Need a strong arm to throw out base stealers as well. Often the most intelligent players because, as they are seeing everything and may be calling what pitches are coming. That's why they make for the best managers later.

 

1B- Probably least important position. Need fast reactions for line drives. Lots of teams try to hide a defender here or use a player that fails at playing another position.

 

2B/SS- Need to be right handed. Need to be very quick as they are covering a lot of ground on fast groundballs. Throwing arm for 2B isn't important. It is for SS since they are making a much longer throw to 1B. SS gets a lot more plays than 2B because there are more Right handed hitters.

 

3B- Does not need to be as athletic as 2B/SS as they aren't covering nearly as much ground playing near the foul line, but they are getting more plays than 1Bmen. Arm is important since you're throwing across the infield. Do need the ability to quickly charge down the line and cover bunts. Look at Miguel Cabrera for someone who has no such ability, and teams do try and take advantage of this.

 

RF- Arm is the most important thing here. Need to prevent a runner coming from first from taking an extra base to third.

 

CF- Usually very athletic and fast. They cover the most ground of anyone in the field.

 

LF- Arm isn't as important since no way are you throwing out anyone at 1B.

 

 

If you watch baseball, you'll often hear about defense up the middle. This refers to 2B/SS/CF as they are considered the hardest to play and most important.

 

 

As for your second question, yes, offensive performance expectations are often formed based on defensive positions. Look at it this way, a team is not very likely to have a SS or 2B who can hit a lot of home runs. They are usually smaller, quicker players. But the make up of a good offense still needs the power to come from somewhere. That's why if you play at the corner positions, you are expected to hit for power.

Nice synopsis!

 

I'd say that the difference between the defensive requirements of RF and LF is based on distance to 3B, not 1B, though. Neither one is going to throw anyone out at 1B, they're theoretically equidistant from 2B and home plate, but you do need someone capable of gunning a runner out as they try and take 3rd base. From left field, it's pretty easy because you're right next to it, so you don't need someone with a strong arm. From right field, that's a pretty long distance, so you need someone with a strong arm to make runners think twice about taking third base.

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QUOTE (ScottyDo @ Jan 11, 2013 -> 02:57 PM)
Nice synopsis!

 

I'd say that the difference between the defensive requirements of RF and LF is based on distance to 3B, not 1B, though. Neither one is going to throw anyone out at 1B, they're theoretically equidistant from 2B and home plate, but you do need someone capable of gunning a runner out as they try and take 3rd base. From left field, it's pretty easy because you're right next to it, so you don't need someone with a strong arm. From right field, that's a pretty long distance, so you need someone with a strong arm to make runners think twice about taking third base.

 

I think thats the point he was making. The throw from left to first would be the same distance as right to third. Because you are never making throws to first, the left fielder does not need an equally as strong arm as a right fielder because they typically have shorter throws.

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QUOTE (Joxer_Daly @ Jan 11, 2013 -> 01:25 PM)
Ok, here's another. Apologies if these questions are irritating for some of you.

 

I'm just wondering about the various positions in the infield and outfield - can anyone point me in the direction of an article that can give me a good understanding of what are the various attributes required for each position? Prior to taking an interest in baseball, I would have just assumed that the skills would be fairly universal across the board; basically catching and throwing. However, particular players are assigned to particular positions and I read discussions about such-and-such a player being suited to such-and-such a position, 3B, 1B, LF, etc. I searched, but most breakdowns that I read were little more than just fairly basic explanations of where each position was. Why would someone be suited to one base over another, etc.

 

This brings me on to the post below from the Youth Movement thread:

 

 

 

Why would a players defensive position have a bearing on how they should perform in offense? Why would a 3B be expected to hit more or less homers than someone playing another defensive position?

 

 

Again, apologies if my line of questioning is of a basic level and annoying for some of you.

 

 

I can only definitively speak for myself here, but I'd guess there are lot of Soxtalkers that would agree with me. Your questions are in no way an annoyance. While your questions may be basic, they are intelligent questions from someone that is trying to learn the game. We've had the benefit of being baseball fans from some point in our childhood on into adulthood. You have not had that opportunity which so many of us take for granted. As far as I am concerned, ask any question you want to ask. Someone will give you a good answer within a short amount of time, I'm certain. That said, I hope you enjoy learning the game and being a Sox fan more and more as time passes.

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QUOTE (Buehrle>Wood @ Jan 11, 2013 -> 01:44 PM)
Doing this from mobile so sorry if some of these are incomplete

 

 

C- Most unique position. Durability coveted. Sitting behind plate for 120 games takes its toll. Need a strong arm to throw out base stealers as well. Often the most intelligent players because, as they are seeing everything and may be calling what pitches are coming. That's why they make for the best managers later.

 

1B- Probably least important position. Need fast reactions for line drives. Lots of teams try to hide a defender here or use a player that fails at playing another position.

 

2B/SS- Need to be right handed. Need to be very quick as they are covering a lot of ground on fast groundballs. Throwing arm for 2B isn't important. It is for SS since they are making a much longer throw to 1B. SS gets a lot more plays than 2B because there are more Right handed hitters.

 

3B- Does not need to be as athletic as 2B/SS as they aren't covering nearly as much ground playing near the foul line, but they are getting more plays than 1Bmen. Arm is important since you're throwing across the infield. Do need the ability to quickly charge down the line and cover bunts. Look at Miguel Cabrera for someone who has no such ability, and teams do try and take advantage of this.

 

RF- Arm is the most important thing here. Need to prevent a runner coming from first from taking an extra base to third.

 

CF- Usually very athletic and fast. They cover the most ground of anyone in the field.

 

LF- Arm isn't as important since no way are you throwing out anyone at 1B.

 

 

If you watch baseball, you'll often hear about defense up the middle. This refers to 2B/SS/CF as they are considered the hardest to play and most important.

 

 

As for your second question, yes, offensive performance expectations are often formed based on defensive positions. Look at it this way, a team is not very likely to have a SS or 2B who can hit a lot of home runs. They are usually smaller, quicker players. But the make up of a good offense still needs the power to come from somewhere. That's why if you play at the corner positions, you are expected to hit for power.

 

Good job! But let me expand on it a bit.

 

C - Field General. At a glance can make sure position players positioned correctly and alert. If not, he can ask for time and chat with the pitcher. Also usually relays defensive play signals to the fielders.

 

1B - Ability to scoop bad throws out of the dirt is important. Also, a tall, left handed player is preferable. Height make for a bigger target and longer stretch. Lefties apply tags a hair quicker on pickoff attempts.

 

2B/SS - Well said.

 

3B - Reflexes are crucial here, defensively. A quick reacting 3B can save several doubles down the line per season. To make my point, I give Brooks Robinson. He made the HOF basically because of his glove. No slouch with bat but was a GREAT 3B.

 

LF - Generally a place to hide your lumbering ox with a good bat, along with 1B. Most good defensive corner OF's seem to end up in RF for some reason, and it goes beyond arm strength. To make the point, Rios is better defensively in RF than Viciedo, but does not have the better arm.

 

CF - Calls for any ball he can get to. He's the general of the outfield. Usually the best all around defensive outfielder of the three starters.

 

RF - See my comments on LF.

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QUOTE (YASNY @ Jan 12, 2013 -> 07:51 AM)
I can only definitively speak for myself here, but I'd guess there are lot of Soxtalkers that would agree with me. Your questions are in no way an annoyance. While your questions may be basic, they are intelligent questions from someone that is trying to learn the game. We've had the benefit of being baseball fans from some point in our childhood on into adulthood. You have not had that opportunity which so many of us take for granted. As far as I am concerned, ask any question you want to ask. Someone will give you a good answer within a short amount of time, I'm certain. That said, I hope you enjoy learning the game and being a Sox fan more and more as time passes.

 

:cheers I'm enjoying it greatly already.

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QUOTE (YASNY @ Jan 12, 2013 -> 08:42 AM)
Good job! But let me expand on it a bit.

 

C - Field General. At a glance can make sure position players positioned correctly and alert. If not, he can ask for time and chat with the pitcher. Also usually relays defensive play signals to the fielders.

 

1B - Ability to scoop bad throws out of the dirt is important. Also, a tall, left handed player is preferable. Height make for a bigger target and longer stretch. Lefties apply tags a hair quicker on pickoff attempts.

 

2B/SS - Well said.

 

3B - Reflexes are crucial here, defensively. A quick reacting 3B can save several doubles down the line per season. To make my point, I give Brooks Robinson. He made the HOF basically because of his glove. No slouch with bat but was a GREAT 3B.

 

LF - Generally a place to hide your lumbering ox with a good bat, along with 1B. Most good defensive corner OF's seem to end up in RF for some reason, and it goes beyond arm strength. To make the point, Rios is better defensively in RF than Viciedo, but does not have the better arm.

 

CF - Calls for any ball he can get to. He's the general of the outfield. Usually the best all around defensive outfielder of the three starters.

 

RF - See my comments on LF.

 

Thanks for the added detail.

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QUOTE (YASNY @ Jan 12, 2013 -> 01:51 AM)
I can only definitively speak for myself here, but I'd guess there are lot of Soxtalkers that would agree with me. Your questions are in no way an annoyance. While your questions may be basic, they are intelligent questions from someone that is trying to learn the game. We've had the benefit of being baseball fans from some point in our childhood on into adulthood. You have not had that opportunity which so many of us take for granted. As far as I am concerned, ask any question you want to ask. Someone will give you a good answer within a short amount of time, I'm certain. That said, I hope you enjoy learning the game and being a Sox fan more and more as time passes.

 

I'm quite sure I would sound the same way at a Soccer Match.

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