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Old 03-31-2020, 06:57 PM
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MLB Pandemic Interlude 2020


Spring Training should be over, so we might as well have a new thread for the Uncertain Period.

MLB salaries for the first 60 day stoppage

$5000 a day sounds really sweet, but it's such a tiny percentage of what guys like Trout and Cole would be pulling down in a normal year. Teach your kids to spin the ball, friends and neighbors.

I'm really starting to believe the next time we see major league baseball will be in 2021.

In other news, Dr. Andrews temporarily suspends TJ surgeries and, should the season happen, five ways to squeeze in more games.

And, for shits and giggles, Aaron Boone's pennant clinching home run in 2003 in a side-by-side HD/SD comparison. It's a amazing how fuzzy tv used to be and we thought it was pretty great.
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:07 PM
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Mlb.tv


I heard from MLB.TV today.

They are refunding annual payments and cancelling further monthly payments.
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:51 PM
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In the absence of MLB games, I'm making do with baseball trivia.

Saluting the memory of Double Duty Radcliffe, a Negro Leagues player who would pitch one game of a doubleheader and catch the second. He wasn't a huge star, but was a competent pitcher and good defensive catcher and clutch hitter.

Radcliffe reportedly had a Wilt Chamberlainesque penchant for women (of which he was proud) and appears to have been the oldest man to appear in a professional baseball game (at age 96, throwing one pitch for the Schaumberg Flyers of the Northern League).
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Old 03-31-2020, 11:15 PM
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I heard from MLB.TV today.

They are refunding annual payments and cancelling further monthly payments.
Interesting that NHL TV still billed me for April. I guess Iíll have to call them
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:20 AM
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Interesting that NHL TV still billed me for April. I guess Iíll have to call them
It worked for me.

I saw my current cc statement, and there was the MLB.TV charge. I emailed them and asked if they were planning an adjustment for the 2020 season? Or should I tell the cc folks to deny the charge?

They responded the same day.
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:51 PM
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In the absence of MLB games, I'm making do with baseball trivia.

Saluting the memory of Double Duty Radcliffe, a Negro Leagues player who would pitch one game of a doubleheader and catch the second.
I like comparing Negro League layers to their MLB equivalents to get a sense of what they were like, but Radcliffe didn't have one. There's never been anyone else like him.

The greatest Negro League player with a really close MLB equivalent was Pop Lloyd, who was just like Honus Wagner, and I do mean JUST LIKE. They were, aside from one guy being black and the other white, the same player. They were contemporaries, more or less; Lloyd was a few years older. They were both shortstops, righthanded hitters, and all-around exceptional players, both frightening at the plate and amazing defensively; basically everyone in baseball, black or white, agreed that you could have either guy at shortstop and would be just as well off, which is saying a lot about Lloyd because Wagner was the best shortstop ever. Wagner found the comparison flattering. They were the same height and both were very, very strong, and both men were unusually attentive to physical fitness by the standard of the time. Both were also, by the standards of that very rough time, unusually kind, sportsmanlike, and generous with teammates. They even kind of looked like, aside from the amount of melanin.

On another trivia note, Lloyd played for a lot of teams - typical of Negro League players, who were not subject a reserve clause and so would sign where the money was - and more than half of them were called the "Giants." Negro League teams loved calling themselves the Giants. There were the Chicago American Giants, and the St. Louis Giants, and the Baltimore Giants. You had the Birmingham Giants, the Chicago Giants (not the same team as the Chicago American Giants) and the Leland Giants. There were the Cuban Giants and a spinoff team, the Cuban X-Giants, who despite the name had nothing to do with Cuba; the name was just meant to sound cool. You also had the Lincoln Giants, who played in New York, the Bacharch Giants, who played in Philadelphia, and the Cleveland Giants, who unfortunately did play in Cleveland. And way more. I've no idea why there was such a lack of imagination in nicknames.
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Old 04-01-2020, 03:50 PM
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Double Duty Ohtani has a nice ring to it.
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Old 04-01-2020, 10:23 PM
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RickJay - have you been enjoying Joe Posnanski's Top 100 series on The Athletic? He's put out an article each day, counting down the top 100 baseball players in history. I think he's done an exceptional job including players from the Negro Leagues, and providing a level of information about them to justify their individual rankings. Certainly more information than I've been exposed to. Many of the articles are incredibly well written, and it's a shame it was derailed by the delay to the start of the season - Joe had originally planned for the #1 player to be revealed on Opening Day. It has been a real passion project for him, and it shows.

Last edited by Munch; 04-01-2020 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 04-02-2020, 10:35 AM
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Ex Astros manager and GM bans will cover this year even if no games are played , they can work again in 2021

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/...eason-canceled

Sidd Finch SI story was 35 years ago April 1st. I admit I totally bought it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidd_Finch
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Old 04-02-2020, 11:47 AM
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The suspensions can't be retroactively changed. It adds to the ongoing fact the Astros totally got away with it, but whaddya gonna do.
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Old 04-02-2020, 12:34 PM
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The suspensions can't be retroactively changed. It adds to the ongoing fact the Astros totally got away with it, but whaddya gonna do.
The same is mostly true for suspended players, like Domingo German. In the event of a shortened season, he'll still miss 63 games. If the entire season is wiped out, so is his suspension and he can play all of 2021. That doesn't feel quite right, but thems the breaks.
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:01 PM
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I hope that in the event of a canceled season, the Nationals get to raise their World Series banner at the start of the 2021 season.
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Old 04-05-2020, 10:44 PM
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Why wouldn't they? It's not a thing they "Get" to do, they can do it whenever they see fit.
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Old 04-06-2020, 03:18 PM
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Unfortunately Tiger legend Al Kaline has died.

https://www.wxyz.com/sports/detroit-...-the-age-of-85

I don't see a cause listed yet anywhere. But he was a great player and as classy and nice of a man as you could ever meet.
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:20 PM
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Good old Al - your basic Detroit Tiger.
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:26 PM
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Al Kaline, 1953 to 1974: All 22 years a Tiger. I only remember the end of his career, glad he got his 3000 hits out of the way.
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:17 PM
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Unfortunately Tiger legend Al Kaline has died.

https://www.wxyz.com/sports/detroit-...-the-age-of-85

I don't see a cause listed yet anywhere. But he was a great player and as classy and nice of a man as you could ever meet.
The Detroit News has a lengthy story/obituary for Kaline; in it, they note:

Quote:
A family friend said Kaline had recently suffered a stroke.
Which, of course, may not have been the cause of his death, but perhaps a contributing factor.
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:41 PM
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C'mon guys, Hall of Famer Al Kaline. I don't remember him playing, but I remember being intrigued as a kid by someone named alkaline. Some parents just can't resist.

399 home runs. 498 doubles. .297 BA. Thank God he didn't wind up with 2996 hits.
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:48 PM
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C'mon guys, Hall of Famer Al Kaline. I don't remember him playing, but I remember being intrigued as a kid by someone named alkaline. Some parents just can't resist.
I've been a baseball fan for 45 years, and I never put that together until now.
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:54 PM
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What has your local radio or TV station been putting on to replace games? The Mariners home station (KIRO Seattle) has been putting vintage games going back to 1990. This week, they're doing the complete 1995 ALDS between the Yankees and Mariners.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:09 PM
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Korean baseball league hoping to start up April 21. I wonder if any US network will show those games on tape , maybe some diehards will watch.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:21 PM
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What has your local radio or TV station been putting on to replace games? The Mariners home station (KIRO Seattle) has been putting vintage games going back to 1990. This week, they're doing the complete 1995 ALDS between the Yankees and Mariners.
One of our cable sports channels has been showing the games of the 1992 and 1993 World Series, when the Toronto Blue Jays won each series. They're not showing complete games; they've condensed each game down to 60 to 90 minutes of highlights, but plays and scoring are shown in the order they occurred. As a Jays fan, I'm having fun rewatching those Series.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:31 PM
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On the radio here in Chicago, they've been running replays of every Cubs playoff game from 2016, one per night.

On the NBC Sports Chicago cable channel, tonight's lineup features a 2005 White Sox game, and a 1996 Bulls playoff game.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:45 PM
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What has your local radio or TV station been putting on to replace games? The Mariners home station (KIRO Seattle) has been putting vintage games going back to 1990. This week, they're doing the complete 1995 ALDS between the Yankees and Mariners.
Yesterday the Cleveland Indians' local cable TV station replayed 1995 ALCS Indians v. Mariners game 6 when the Tribe won their first pennant in forever. It was especially interesting because they had the Mariners' broadcast team calling the action. The must not have been able to find or get the rights to the Cleveland broadcast. :-)
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:17 PM
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Yes, Al Kaline.

My little league bat had his name stamped on it.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:24 PM
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This rebroadcast of the 1995 Yankees\Mariners series is one of the best things I've heard in years. Names you'd totally forgotten about like Steve Howe and Vince Coleman. The shock of hearing how loud crowds were in both cities--I think the increasing cost of major league games has driven out the hardcore fans. How Yankee fans were so crazed they drove the Mariners off the field by throwing stuff on to the field. And best of all, hearing tons of legendary broadcaster Dave Niehaus is best of all. Wouldn't it be great if stations swapped each others broadcasts. Hearing guys like Harry Carey, Vin Scully, and Ernie Harwell again would be the comfort food we need now.
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:13 AM
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Growing up in Michigan during Kaline's heyday meant he was very special to me. Great hitter and terrific fielder, he always seemed to glide to where he had to be. Terrific broadcaster, the Kaline-Kell pairing was one of the best teams ever. I still think of him whenever I put those AlKaline batteries in anything.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:24 AM
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Baseball looking at a plan to play all games around Phoenix using 10 spring training sites and Chase field. No fans would be allowed and players would be isolated in hotels. Might include doubleheaders of 7 inning games. Seems like a bad idea to me.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:24 AM
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The shock of hearing how loud crowds were in both cities
I think that's just a function of using entirely different microphones. Modern stadiums are still tremendously loud in big games, but directional microphones are able to filter so much of that out so that the broadcast doesn't sound like a mess.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:31 AM
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Baseball looking at a plan to play all games around Phoenix using 10 spring training sites and Chase field. No fans would be allowed and players would be isolated in hotels. Might include doubleheaders of 7 inning games. Seems like a bad idea to me.
Better than no baseball. Still, I'd think this is an option of last resort. There is still likely time to wait the crisis out and play half a season.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:32 AM
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This rebroadcast of the 1995 Yankees\Mariners series is one of the best things I've heard in years. Names you'd totally forgotten about like Steve Howe and Vince Coleman. The shock of hearing how loud crowds were in both cities--I think the increasing cost of major league games has driven out the hardcore fans.
This just isn't true. Crowds are as loud as they've ever been.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:52 AM
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This just isn't true. Crowds are as loud as they've ever been.
The Kingdome was a louder arena, acoustically at least.

Old Yankee Stadium sat more people and really was louder than the new one. I speak from experience. The new stadium really seats about 6000 less people. It just isn't as loud as the old one. Probably just numbers but maybe a bit of a changed fan base.

The old stadium crowd was also a lot more in your face and obnoxious. The fan base has gotten tamer when the Yanks became the hottest ticket in town so more people were going for the experience rather than being die-hard fans. Also the seats closest to the field have really changed. You look and they are often a third empty. These are extremely expensive seats and have radically changed from as recently as the mid-90s fanbase.
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Old 04-08-2020, 09:30 AM
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The suspensions can't be retroactively changed. It adds to the ongoing fact the Astros totally got away with it, but whaddya gonna do.

Quote:
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According to the wording from commissioner Rob Manfred's decision, both punishments end "following the completion of the 2020 World Series."
So if there is no 2020 World Series, then they cannot ever come back right?
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:27 AM
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Joe Posnanski is finally done #2 on his top 100 ballpalyers list, and it's Babe Ruth. That means Willie Mays is his #1.

He's wrong - so wrong I cannot help but think he did it just to be controversial. Babe Ruth is the greatest player in the sports' history. It's not a particularly close call.
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:32 AM
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Joe Posnanski is finally done #2 on his top 100 ballpalyers list, and it's Babe Ruth. That means Willie Mays is his #1.

He's wrong - so wrong I cannot help but think he did it just to be controversial. Babe Ruth is the greatest player in the sports' history. It's not a particularly close call.
I'm a Mays fan so I am fine with him #1. Do you put Ruth at #1 because he was also a very good pitcher?
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:37 AM
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Joe Posnanski is finally done #2 on his top 100 ballplayers list, and it's Babe Ruth. That means Willie Mays is his #1.

He's wrong - so wrong I cannot help but think he did it just to be controversial. Babe Ruth is the greatest player in the sports' history. It's not a particularly close call.
I agree, but at least he's picking Mays who I do think should be #2.
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:53 AM
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Noticed Ruth batted a career .342 so I think that makes him better than Mays. Did not know his average was that high. Also his WAR is 182 vs. 150 for Mays.
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Old 04-10-2020, 11:38 AM
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I'm a Mays fan so I am fine with him #1. Do you put Ruth at #1 because he was also a very good pitcher?
Gosh, that's one reason.

Ruth was the single most valuable player who ever played the game by any analytical measure. He was a terrific pitcher and a ridiculously great hitter.

He was one of the greatest World Series performers of all time; in 41 World Series games he batted .326 with 15 home runs, and he started three games and won them all, allowing 3 runs in 31 innings. He was a member of seven World Series winners; had they had a World Series MVP back then he would likely have won it at least two or three times.

Ruth was the most IMPORTANT ballplayer ever. He change the way baseball was played, changed the way baseball exists as a business. He turned around the fortunes of an entire franchise in the most important baseball market. He ushered in a new style of playing. He was a media sensation to an extent and in a manner never before seen and, to be honest, in the case of baseball, never seen since. He was analogous to Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky in their sports but he is actually more important; while Jordan and Gretzky hiked interest in their sports and were stupidly great players, they did not herald a change in the way their sports were played.

I mean, Willie Mays was a ludicrously awesome player and is a perfectly good #2 choice. He did not change the sport.

The only argument in favor of Mays - the only one - is timeline, that baseball in the 1950s and 1960s was a harder, more talented sport than in the 1920s. That's literally true, but it's useless as an argument. Baseball talent HAS gotten better over time, but that process has not stopped; it's better now than it was in the 1960s, so it's hard to see how Posnanski can use that to justify Mays over Ruth, but then turn around and conclude Mays is better than Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., or Randy Johnson.

It's also inconsistent with his own list. If you go purely by how a guy was at the time without any adjustment, it's true Ruth was playing against weaker competition than Mays. (I totally think that were he to be stuck in a time machine and brought to modern times Ruth would adapt in a few weeks and be a the best hitter in the game, but whatever) but okay; if we do that, why is Ruth #2? Why is he ahead of Hank Aaron? Surely he'd be behind Aaron and Bonds and a bunch of others? For that matter, why is Kid Nichols on the list at all? Pop Lloyd? Grover Cleveland Alexander? If you do not compare them to their peers those guys aren't top 100 players; they certainly are if you DO compare them with their peers, so I think they're fairly on the list.

I just don't think any argument can be consistently applied that places Mays above Ruth. Granted, that's just MHO.
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Old 04-10-2020, 12:26 PM
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Guys like Willie Mays, Barry Bonds or even Mark McGwire would have hit a 1000 home runs in the watered down, segregated, extremely limited competition of the 1920s. Half the pitchers were throwing 80 mph meatballs. There's a reason we don't have outliers like Ruth anymore: a skill level across the league that was unimaginable 100 years ago. Ruth wasn't any where near the greatest player ever.
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Old 04-10-2020, 02:05 PM
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Baseball might divide teams this season by spring training locations , AZ and FL. I'm sure some people head's will explode if this happens

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...on/5128935002/
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:38 PM
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Baseball might divide teams this season by spring training locations , AZ and FL. I'm sure some people head's will explode if this happens

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...on/5128935002/
Nats in the same division as the Cheatstro's... that could be fun.
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:44 PM
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Baseball might divide teams this season by spring training locations , AZ and FL. I'm sure some people head's will explode if this happens
It's quite a clever idea A World Series between the Grapefruit League and Cactus League champ!
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:42 PM
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It's quite a clever idea A World Series between the Grapefruit League and Cactus League champ!
"DODGERS AND BRAVES PLAY TO WORLD SERIES GAME 7 TIE lN 12 INNINGS"
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Old 04-13-2020, 08:52 AM
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C'mon guys, Hall of Famer Al Kaline. I don't remember him playing, but I remember being intrigued as a kid by someone named alkaline. Some parents just can't resist.
Nothing funny there on the part of his parents - "Albert William Kaline" was born in 1934, and "alkaline batteries" were invented in 1957 (when the patent was filed); patent was granted in 1960 to Union Carbide, and they were introduced for consumer use some time in the late 1960s, by which time Al was already a star player for over 10 years.

True, the chemical term "alkaline" predates the batteries, of course, but with Al's parents being described as "poor" and "never finished high school", they probably didn't have it on their minds back in 1934.

It's just too bad he never played at catcher, to truly form part of a "battery".
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Old 04-13-2020, 09:00 AM
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It's quite a clever idea A World Series between the Grapefruit League and Cactus League champ!
Yeah, aside from the distinct "exhibition games" feel to such a season and Grapefruit/Cactus League Champions meeting in the World Series (and it'd be just my luck that my Mets would win their first World Series in my fandom tenure with no home games, no fans in attendance, in ST leagues... Or losing in a one-and-done Grapefruit League Wild Card game, LOL), there's another logistical problem to that proposal:

There are 15 teams in each league, Cactus and Grapefruit, the idea being to separate teams geographically by region to minimize travel, right? And I assume the DH is in effect everywhere, as during ST?

Well, the only way MLB can schedule games with 15 teams each in the AL and NL is to have an interleague series every day. So... Interleague Cactus/Grapefruit League games will still be on the schedule? Sounds bad.

Or... Wait for it... I propose a new three-way round robin baseball game format! As long as 2020 is the Wacky Season, let's go all out!

Every day there are up to 5 matches of Team A vs. B. vs C, for 54 outs (just like a normal baseball game would go, 27x2), but it goes like this:

Team A pitching to Team B (for 9 outs - Team B pitches later)
Team A pitching to Team C (for 9 outs)
Team B pitching to Team C (for 9 outs)
Team B pitching to Team A (for 9 outs)
"Seventh Inning Stretch"
Team C pitching to Team A (for 9 outs)
Team C pitching to team B (for 9 outs)

Tally the total runs for A, B, and C, regardless of opponent, and do head to head comparisons for the W/L tallies.

Let's say A = 5 runs (doesn't matter if it was 5 vs. B and 0 vs. C or 3-2); B = 4, C = 3. Then Team A gets 2 wins, B gets 1 win, C gets 0 wins. No extra innings, either - ties are equivalent to 0.5 wins.

Days off for the players would come for 3 teams as a time, effectively to sit out a phantom 3-way.

Bullpen use would change dramatically - suspend the whole "3 batter minimum" thing for 2020.
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Old 04-13-2020, 09:05 AM
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Following up on my brilliant (yes, BRILLIANT) idea of how to do Mexican Standoff Baseball, I suppose it'd be worth preserving the "3 outs to end the inning" nature of the game, in terms of intentionally walking guys and so on, as getting 9 straight outs instead of 3 feels like it will result in long, long times at bat.

Instead of:
Team A pitching to Team B (for 3 outs)
Team A pitching to Team C (for 3 outs)

It'd be:
Team A pitching to Team B (for 3 outs)
Team A pitching to Team C (for 3 outs)
Team A pitching to Team B (for 3 outs)
Team A pitching to Team C (for 3 outs)
Team A pitching to Team B (for 3 outs)
Team A pitching to Team C (for 3 outs)


And so on.

The idea is still to have all the team's pitching done in a row, to allow for "starting pitchers" to go deep, otherwise the game would devolve into "everybody is a 3-out or 6-out relief pitcher".
  #47  
Old 04-13-2020, 09:13 AM
LoneRhino is offline
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Originally Posted by Blank Slate View Post
Guys like Willie Mays, Barry Bonds or even Mark McGwire would have hit a 1000 home runs in the watered down, segregated, extremely limited competition of the 1920s. Half the pitchers were throwing 80 mph meatballs. There's a reason we don't have outliers like Ruth anymore: a skill level across the league that was unimaginable 100 years ago. Ruth wasn't any where near the greatest player ever.
This is true of every sport. You could take any athlete from today and they would dominate if you threw them back 50+ years. As to the players you mentioned, segregation aside, they would have to deal with all day games, frequent doubleheaders, long train rides, poor diet, primitive training facilities, etc... Mays probably had to deal with a lot of this but once you get into the free agency period I think a lot of modern players would struggle to adjust.
  #48  
Old 04-13-2020, 09:43 AM
RickJay is offline
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Originally Posted by robardin View Post
Yeah, aside from the distinct "exhibition games" feel to such a season and Grapefruit/Cactus League Champions meeting in the World Series (and it'd be just my luck that my Mets would win their first World Series in my fandom tenure with no home games, no fans in attendance, in ST leagues... Or losing in a one-and-done Grapefruit League Wild Card game, LOL), there's another logistical problem to that proposal...
Of course all those things are true. But you know what's worse? No baseball.

Quote:
There are 15 teams in each league, Cactus and Grapefruit, the idea being to separate teams geographically by region to minimize travel, right? And I assume the DH is in effect everywhere, as during ST?
I'm not sure how to fix this, aside from just having somoene taking off day every day, even during the weekend. It's not ideal, but you know what? Beats no baseball!
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  #49  
Old 04-13-2020, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
Of course all those things are true. But you know what's worse? No baseball.


I'm not sure how to fix this, aside from just having somoene taking off day every day, even during the weekend. It's not ideal, but you know what? Beats no baseball!
Just make one league 14 and the other 16. We did that for a while anyway.

But if they're doing this might as well put all 30 in the Phoenix area, the short rides were a good idea. The 3 east coast teams in Florida are pretty long rides. Tampa to Roger Dean Chevy Stadium is over 3 hours with no traffic. (Jupiter, FL)
  #50  
Old 04-13-2020, 10:28 AM
robardin is offline
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
Just make one league 14 and the other 16. We did that for a while anyway.
Or, add one amateur team to each League to make it 2x16 for 2020, not from an MLB affiliated minor league, and give them the MLB minimum salary

Something like the LI Ducks and the Sonoma Stompers, the respective 2019 champions of independent leagues in the East and the West
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