View Single Post
Old 08-28-2019, 08:58 AM
RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 41,810
Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
I saw a pitchout a couple days ago. Pretty rare sight, along with hit and run plays. The days of Billyball were a heck of a lot more fun to watch than todays snoozefest of waiting for someone to hit a homer. Perhaps modern managers have found a way to maximize wins but at the same time minimize the entertainment value of the game.
Stolen bases are at historically average levels right now. There were certainly more in the 1970s and 1980s but that era was really unusual. Last year the MLB stolen base leader was Whit Merrifield with 45. In 1949, the season so wonderful David Halberstam wrote a book about it, the average TEAM stole 46. And that's only because Brooklyn pushed the average up.

There is no avoiding the fact that stealing bases is only a good idea if you're successful the vast majority of the time (and the BillyBall A's were, in stolen base terms, basically just Rickey Henderson; aside from him, they were middle of the road at best in terms of stealing.)

A manager's job is to win games, not appease Goose Gossage or whatever old goat doesn't like baseball now compared to the way they played in back in the olden days. If you want to change the game to make it more exciting, you need to change the rules (which in principle I am totally fine with) and rules meant to increase base stealing, while certainly quite possible (limiting pickoff throws, for instance) are probably not the first things you'd want to change. Pace of play and too many strikeouts are the biggest current problems, in my opinion.

I found this on SI:

"The average game in 1988 took two hours, 45 minutes and gave you 57 balls in play and 11 strikeouts. The average game today takes 19 minutes longer and gives you 49 balls in play and 17 strikeouts."

So we are being asked to spend more time watching less action. Strikeouts are generally very boring. It used to be cool if the home pitcher was really racking up a huge K total, but today it's just routine for that to happen. Gerrit Cole, a very fine pitcher but maybe not yet on anyone's Hall of Fame shortlist, already has 14 10-K games this year; he strikes out at least ten men in more than half his starts, and this is a guy who doesn't have any complete games. Bob Gibson in his amazing 1968 season had just ten 10K games. Steve Carlton in his historic 1972 season had nine.

All those strikeouts are not only dull, but they reduce the value of defensive players; if you have fewer balls in play, the skill of the fielders has less impact on the game. (More home runs exacerbates that problem, too.)
Providing useless posts since 1999!

Last edited by RickJay; 08-28-2019 at 09:09 AM.