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  #201  
Old 04-22-2019, 08:03 AM
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Poor Matt Shoemaker. He got off to an amazing start this year, and then while playing a rundown his ACL blew out and he'll miss the season. He's suffered one flukey injury after another.
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  #202  
Old 04-22-2019, 08:25 AM
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I think the NL East will come down to who can beat the Nats and the Marlins the most between the Mets, Braves and Phillies.
  #203  
Old 04-23-2019, 07:55 AM
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Yes the Yankees have injury issues. But I see it as an opportunity. There are quite a few guys from AAA getting some serious MLB playing time and will be all the better for it. And so on down the line, AA players getting to face AAA pitchers and so on. Urshela can play defense 1000x better than Andujar. Frazier and Tauchman are looking more comfortable every day. All good things come to an end, Sanchez will be back this week passing balls and making bad throws.
  #204  
Old 04-23-2019, 09:27 AM
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Sanchez doesn't have any passed balls this year. Hopefully we'll be able to carry him and his .732 slugging percentage.
  #205  
Old 04-23-2019, 10:01 AM
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Sanchez doesn't have any passed balls this year. Hopefully we'll be able to carry him and his .732 slugging percentage.
It will be tough.
  #206  
Old 04-23-2019, 10:59 AM
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With all the Kate Smith controversy, hopefully some ball clubs will use it as a convenient way to finally dump God Bless America for good! Babies born on 9-11 will be able to vote, it’s really time to drop the phony patriotism.
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  #207  
Old 04-23-2019, 03:57 PM
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With all the Kate Smith controversy, hopefully some ball clubs will use it as a convenient way to finally dump God Bless America for good! Babies born on 9-11 will be able to vote, itís really time to drop the phony patriotism.
It's not phony, just out of place.

I can do without ritual ballpark reminders that I'm in America* and that there are still a considerable number of religious people.

*I think it was Robert Klein who had a gag about being at a MLB game and temporarily forgetting what country he was in, then having a moment when someone began singing The Star-Spangled Banner.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:41 PM
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Of course it's phony and not an expression of patriotism. It's 50,000 people forced into a meaningless ritual because they happen to like baseball. The only song that should be played during the seventh inning stretch is Take me out to the ballgame.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:19 AM
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Of course it's phony and not an expression of patriotism. It's 50,000 people forced into a meaningless ritual because they happen to like baseball. The only song that should be played during the seventh inning stretch is Take me out to the ballgame.
I agree. One thing I hate about the super-duper hyperpatriotic celebration of perpetual victimhood 7th inning stretches is that it alters the pace of the game. The visiting pitcher has been sitting in the dugout for the top of the 7th and now has to wait a couple more minutes before starting his warmup until the phony patriotic bullshit is over.
  #210  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:34 AM
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Honestly, they can drop the anthem(s) at the start of the game, too. I'm there to watch a goddamn baseball game.
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  #211  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:41 AM
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I agree with that- why do we play the anthem for sporting events anyway? Why not plays, movies, concerts, etc? It's a tradition that needs to die. But at least the opening anthem doesn't kill the flow of a game in progress.
  #212  
Old 04-24-2019, 09:29 AM
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When George Steinbrenner first imposed the hideous sound of Kate Smith singing God Bless America on his paying customers, he had the ushers rope off the exits until it was over. Need the bathroom or just want something from the concessions? Tough shit, go be patriotic. This is one of those minor annoyances that make me irrationally angry.
  #213  
Old 04-24-2019, 09:48 AM
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Honestly, they can drop the anthem(s) at the start of the game, too. I'm there to watch a goddamn baseball game.
Poor guy, you have to put up with two of them at every game.
  #214  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:23 AM
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And since I’m living in fantasy land, can we also end the endless military and first responder tributes? What’s next, teacher tributes?
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  #215  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:21 PM
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They don't wear uniforms. Fascism is big on uniforms.

I should point out anthems don't slow the game down, since, of course, they are scheduled to happen before the game takes place. So please get rid of 7th-inning nonsense first. But we really don't need them, I'd rather see a few more minutes of guys working out or funny contests or something, and it promotes the wrong kind of patriotism, IMHO.

We don't stand for the anthem at rock concerts, movies, or Ribfest. We can do without it at the game.
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  #216  
Old 04-24-2019, 01:42 PM
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The Cards are having a good series against Milwaukee. And look at that! First place!

I just saw this clip from last night (I think). Yadier Molina, not known for his speed around the basepaths, managed to steal third. He benefited from a poor throw, but still. He got third base and seemed to have surprised even himself doing it.
  #217  
Old 04-24-2019, 10:56 PM
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Cubs pitcher Pedro Strop had a busy day. His car was stolen and he had to leave the police station just in case he had to pitch today! He got the save.
https://twitter.com/espnchicubs/stat...298184193?s=21
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  #218  
Old 04-25-2019, 01:46 AM
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the divisions are nuts this year 2 teams on top and everyone else in the sewer......
  #219  
Old 04-25-2019, 01:47 AM
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Cubs pitcher Pedro Strop had a busy day. His car was stolen and he had to leave the police station just in case he had to pitch today! He got the save.
https://twitter.com/espnchicubs/stat...298184193?s=21
well he was lucky there was a 3 run homer ........
  #220  
Old 04-25-2019, 05:39 AM
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Yanks just won their 6th straight while still missing half the team. This is a nice little run.
But of course as we got Sanchez back, someone had to replace him. Clint Frazier went on the IL with a small tear in the left ankle.
  #221  
Old 04-25-2019, 08:20 AM
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the divisions are nuts this year 2 teams on top and everyone else in the sewer......
Three teams are 1.5 games apart in the AL Central right now. Three teams are 2.5 games apart in the AL West. Three teams are half a game apart in the NL East. Four teams are 3 games apart in the NL Central. Three teams are half a game apart in the NL West.

The only division that meets your description is the AL East and I do not think there is any chance in hell the Red Sox are actually this bad. Their record is a fluke, they'll come back big time. No one goes from being one of the best teams of all time to being this shitty in one offseason.
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  #222  
Old 04-25-2019, 08:26 AM
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Cubs pitcher Pedro Strop had a busy day. His car was stolen and he had to leave the police station just in case he had to pitch today! He got the save.
https://twitter.com/espnchicubs/stat...298184193?s=21
Speaking of the Cubs game, I cannot freakin believe that the Dodgers intentionally walked Willson Contreras when Jason Hayward was the next batter.

Have they not, like, been paying attention to Hayward this year? He's been kind of a dead spot in the line-up the last few years, but THIS year? Have they been looking at how he's been doing this year? His on-base-plus-slugging is over a thousand. He's been more than earning his enormous salary. He got his swing right in the off-season. He's been dipping his bat in kerosene and striking a match before walking to the plate. I realize that Contreras's OPS is over 1.100 -- Cubs hitting in general is damn good -- and I also realize that LA pitcher Scotty A. is a lefty, and Hayward is also a lefty, and so Hayward's slugging would be down from his average against righties.

Even so.

That intentional walk quite probably cost the Dodgers the ballgame. Which I'm totally fine with. I just don't understand it. The Cubs won by one run. That one run was the intentional walk, after Hayward jacked the ball over the fence.

They gave away the game with that free pass.
  #223  
Old 04-25-2019, 08:28 AM
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The schedule has been kind to the Yanks so far but I'm enjoying the hell out of this ragtag team. Actual small-ball. Bunts, sac flies, stolen bases, singles and doubles. Some guy who wandered in from a local softball league playing first. Players so green that they fall for the hidden ball trick. Ironically, there was some concern that the team was too right-handed. Not a current problem.

Also, I came across this savage tweet somewhere:

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Thairo Estrada was fucking shot and spent less time on the IL than Jacoby Ellsbury
  #224  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:40 PM
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This one is for Manny Machado


This is Dodger's baseball!! https://www.mlb.com/dodgers/video/co...o-chris-taylor
  #225  
Old 04-25-2019, 04:36 PM
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Q. What's the quickest way to squander $7 million?

A. Sign Trevor Rosenthal.
  #226  
Old 04-25-2019, 06:48 PM
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About time...

Vladimir Guerrero will finally suit up as a Blue Jay in tomorrow's game in Toronto against the As. Tickets have been going fast, and went up over 50% on the secondary market, for one of the top two? three? prospects in baseball.
  #227  
Old 04-25-2019, 07:23 PM
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Hitting wise, absolutely the best prospect in baseball. The most talented young hitter in the history of the franchise; not even Carlos Delgado was this advanced (at this age Delgado was still in high A ball.) His minor league numbers are not a fluke; just sensational. He is way, way past his age in his skill, approach, everything. He might end up being a better hitter than his Dad, which is saying something.

Overall I think there is more reason to like the long term value of Fernando Tatis Jr., because

1. Tatis is a skilled defensive shortstop; VGJ is a poor third baseman, and
2. Tatis is in great shape; VGJ is worryingly overweight for a young man.

I don't know anyone who seriously thinks VGJ has a long term future at third; he'll end up at first base or DH, which is fine.
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  #228  
Old 04-25-2019, 07:37 PM
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Vladimir Guerrero will finally suit up as a Blue Jay
I seem to have forgotten about all that Dunedin stuff.

Yeah, Tatis is hitting around .290, and Padres management is also impressed with the even-keeled temperament for such a young player - yet another good sign, down the road.

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  #229  
Old 04-25-2019, 09:15 PM
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You know what's weird? With the massive increase in strikeouts and players hitting into shifts, shouldn't we be seeing more no-hitters? I know the complete game is a thing of the past, but shouldn't we be having more no-hitters by committee or at least 6 or 7 inning hitless outings by starters?
  #230  
Old 04-26-2019, 09:16 AM
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He's got great hussle but I think that slide into first had more to do with him hitting .163 then anything else.
  #231  
Old 04-26-2019, 01:49 PM
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You know what's weird? With the massive increase in strikeouts and players hitting into shifts, shouldn't we be seeing more no-hitters? I know the complete game is a thing of the past, but shouldn't we be having more no-hitters by committee or at least 6 or 7 inning hitless outings by starters?
The MLB batting average isn't that low, though. Strikeouts don't matter if they're just replacing flyouts and groundouts. The overall average is down a bit - I think it was .248 last year - but it's not ludicrously low.

The distribution of no hitters is very random, and the number in one season, or over a few seasons, can be unexpectedly high or low just by chance.
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  #232  
Old 04-26-2019, 04:24 PM
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Nats put Trevor Rosenthal on the IL to the shock of no one.
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  #233  
Old 04-26-2019, 07:31 PM
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Max Scherzer just surpassed Christy Mathewsen on the all-time strikeout list.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:53 AM
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The annual cry "The ball is juiced!" is upon us once again, and not just because the Orioles suck.

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Entering Friday, teams had combined to hit a record 979 homers — an average of 1.32 per team-game. That’s 116 more than teams hit in April 2017, a season that would yield a record 6,105 homers.

In other words, the 2019 home run rate is 5 percent higher than the highest rate in history (1.26 per team-game in 2017) and up 15 percent from last year, when the leaguewide rate dipped to 1.15.

...

It is worth pointing out that all games in Class AAA this season are being played with MLB-issued baseballs, a change from previous years when a different, minor league ball was used across all levels. Has that made a difference? You be the judge. Across Class AAA entering Friday, batters were averaging 1.28 homers per team-game. And at Class AA — just one level down, but using the minor league ball — batters were averaging 0.73 homers per team-game.

You can probably see where this is going. That’s right — here we go with the juiced balls again.
  #235  
Old 04-27-2019, 10:55 AM
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Across Class AAA entering Friday, batters were averaging 1.28 homers per team-game. And at Class AA ó just one level down, but using the minor league ball ó batters were averaging 0.73 homers per team-game.
Would it have killed the reporter to find out the AA and AAA home run averages from previous years? It's a meaningless stat without that context. Maybe there are always fewer home runs in AA.
  #236  
Old 04-27-2019, 07:43 PM
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I know you never panic in April but the Washington Nationals are seriously underperforming and it’s almost May. This team needs a shake up and I’m not sure if a manager change is what’s needed. This team seriously underperformed last year and the NL East has only gotten more competitive.
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  #237  
Old 04-28-2019, 12:28 PM
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I know you never panic in April but the Washington Nationals are seriously underperforming and itís almost May. This team needs a shake up and Iím not sure if a manager change is whatís needed. This team seriously underperformed last year and the NL East has only gotten more competitive.
Well their bullpen flat out sucks. Doolittle is the only reliable arm out there. It must be very demoralizing to the starters and the hitters to have the pen constantly blowing leads.
  #238  
Old 04-28-2019, 01:13 PM
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The annual cry "The ball is juiced!" is upon us once again, and not just because the Orioles suck.
i said theyd say that bck in wk1 when all the double digit games happened never mind theres no way to juice a ball......
  #239  
Old 04-29-2019, 07:27 AM
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The MLB batting average isn't that low, though. Strikeouts don't matter if they're just replacing flyouts and groundouts. The overall average is down a bit - I think it was .248 last year - but it's not ludicrously low.

The distribution of no hitters is very random, and the number in one season, or over a few seasons, can be unexpectedly high or low just by chance.
What I find odd is that there just aren't that many .300 hitters any more. Currently, mlb.com shows 32 players above .300, barely 1 per team. It used to be that most lineups had at least 3-4 .300 hitters. Nowadays, batting .240 is acceptable as long as you get your homers. The game was a lot more fun to watch in the days of Billyball. Stolen bases, hit and runs, sacrifices, pinch hitting are all becoming lost arts. Now it's swing for the fences every time.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:05 AM
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What I find odd is that there just aren't that many .300 hitters any more. Currently, mlb.com shows 32 players above .300, barely 1 per team. It used to be that most lineups had at least 3-4 .300 hitters. ....
You going back to 1930 or something?

I checked a few years:

1970, 24 teams, 27 players over .300
1980, 26 teams, 29 (and four more at .300)
1990, 26 teams, 22 players
2000, 30 teams, 53 players
2010, 30 teams, 23 players

Looks like about one per team has been pretty standard for a while, with a bump around 2000 up to about two per team. 32 players at or above .300 looks like it's actually a little above the norm for the last 50 years. (Of course, it's early yet)
  #241  
Old 04-29-2019, 08:13 AM
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What I find odd is that there just aren't that many .300 hitters any more. Currently, mlb.com shows 32 players above .300, barely 1 per team. It used to be that most lineups had at least 3-4 .300 hitters.
When was that? 1930? Pick a year in the good old days of BillyBall - let's say 1985. There were just 18 batters in the major leagues who batted .300 and qualified for the batting title. In 1978 there were just 16. In 1982 there were 16. It's not normal to have very many .300 hitters. It started going up when the home run era started, actually; in 1999 it was 53. "Three or four a team" though has never been true, except maybe in the ludicrous hitting era of 1928-1930.

In 2018 it was 16; in 2017, 25; in 2016, 25. So recently it's been as high as it was in the BillyBall era.

Quote:
Nowadays, batting .240 is acceptable as long as you get your homers. The game was a lot more fun to watch in the days of Billyball. Stolen bases, hit and runs, sacrifices, pinch hitting are all becoming lost arts. Now it's swing for the fences every time.
I agree the baseball of the 1970s and 1980s was better, more strategically balanced baseball, with many different approaches to winning. Some teams homered their way to victory, and some played Whitey Herzog baseball. I would be all for MLB taking some moves to increase stolen bases, and I suspect slash-and-sprint hitters will come back on their own.

Some strategies, however, are not coming back. Sacrifice bunts are usually stupid, and it's not like that's a new concept; Earl Weaver was a hell of a lot of ballgames and he bunted less than anyone else in the majors if Mark Belanger wasn't up.
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  #242  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:24 AM
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Just to note it. The current WAR leader (Bellinger) has 5 stolen bases and more walks then strikeouts so it's not like getting on base and moving around is a dead art. We'll see if he sustains it but OPS is the most important stat currently so there is still interesting baseball being played.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:35 AM
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I can't comment knowledgeably on whether the game was more balanced in the 80s, but man I miss Whiteyball. Stealing bases might not be the statistically best move, but it was just so much fun watching games when you're always watching for the double steal. Cobbling together a couple runs out of infield singles, bunts, and stolen bases, and counting on your acrobatic defense to protect a two run lead. That's baseball!

Last edited by Defensive Indifference; 04-29-2019 at 11:36 AM.
  #244  
Old 04-29-2019, 12:38 PM
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Just to note it. The current WAR leader (Bellinger) has 5 stolen bases and more walks then strikeouts so it's not like getting on base and moving around is a dead art. We'll see if he sustains it but OPS is the most important stat currently so there is still interesting baseball being played.
It is certainly never the case that getting on base will be a lost art, because getting on base is absolutely, positively the most important thing you can do to score runs and win games. It's more important than hitting home runs.

Whitey Herzog put some great offenses on the field because he knew the value of getting on base. The 1982 Cardinals only hit 67 homers but they had a good offense because they got on base a lot. In 1985 the Cardinals finished next to last in homers, but first in runs. They got a lot of guys on base. In 1987 they were last in homers, but second in runs. They had a huge number of guys on base. His 1976 Royals hit very few home runs but scored many runs. Lots of baserunners.

What's different now is simply that there is not as much emphasis on having to get on base via batting average, and an acceptance that drawing walks is important.

It's worth noting that steals today are not, historically speaking, at low levels. There are more steals in today's baseball than in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, or 1960s. (Seriously.) The extremely high stolen base totals of the 1970s and 1980s are the historical outlier.

So why did that happen?

Hard to say for sure, but I think a big part of it was ballparks. Starting in the late 1960s, baseball started to see a lot of big parks with artificial turf. A large field - both to the outfield fences and with lots of foul ground - dissuades home run hitting, and artificial turf is extremely advantageous for baserunning. It is not an accident that the Cardinals concentrated on slash-and-run tactics; in Busch Stadium that made perfect sense.

Starting in the 1990s, those parks started to vanish, and to be replaced with parks with grass and smaller playing surfaces. Only Tampa and Toronto have turf and it's grass-simulating (and Toronto is a great place to hit homers, anyway.)
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  #245  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:38 PM
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This table shows the year by year trends:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/l.../MLB/bat.shtml

The walk rate hasn't increased dramatically. In fact, it was the same in 1978. Batting Average (.248 last season), however, has dipped below .250 for the first time since 1972. A recent high was .269 in 2006.
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:55 PM
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Hard to say for sure, but I think a big part of it was ballparks. Starting in the late 1960s, baseball started to see a lot of big parks with artificial turf. A large field - both to the outfield fences and with lots of foul ground - dissuades home run hitting, and artificial turf is extremely advantageous for baserunning. It is not an accident that the Cardinals concentrated on slash-and-run tactics; in Busch Stadium that made perfect sense.

Starting in the 1990s, those parks started to vanish, and to be replaced with parks with grass and smaller playing surfaces. Only Tampa and Toronto have turf and it's grass-simulating (and Toronto is a great place to hit homers, anyway.)
I've been thinking about this topic lately, as well, and I agree that this is probably one of the reasons. (And, thank you for opening my eyes, a few months ago, about the stolen bases of the 1970s and 1980s being the exception to the historical norm.)

A lot of those big parks that were built in the 1960s and 1970s were multi-purpose stadiums -- parks like Veterans Stadium, the 1960s Busch Stadium, Riverfront Stadium, etc., were built to host both baseball games and football games, and as they were compromises between the needs of two different sports, weren't particularly well-suited for either. Because those stadiums had to have enough space for a football field, they tended to have big baseball playing surfaces (including big foul grounds), plus, of course, the first-generation Astroturf rugs.

As those stadiums began to be replaced (in the 1990s and later), they've nearly always been replaced, for their former MLB tenants, with purpose-built baseball stadiums, which have tended to have smaller field dimensions (and usually natural grass, as well).

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-29-2019 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
Only Tampa and Toronto have turf and it's grass-simulating (and Toronto is a great place to hit homers, anyway.
Diamondbacks just put in turf start of this season.

Cubs just had a series there, and the announcers were saying that they were saving so many gajillion gallons of water.
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:11 PM
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Oh, I'd missed that.

About ten years ago I was on a business trip to Phoenix and my host took us for lunch to a restaurant in Chase Field or whatever it was called, and our table overlooked the field. Although the roof was open, the had sun lamps sitting around parts of the field to get sun onto shadowed parts of the field. In Phoenix. It was so weird.
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:13 PM
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Stolen base attempts are down but so is the caught stealing rate. Some people blame the modern catcher but it's more a function of analytics: players who suck at stealing bases aren't getting the green light. There are a lot of players in baseball history who had no business stealing. Brett Butler, for instance. His 558 steals looks impressive but he was only successful in 68% of his attempts. Pete Rose was even worse, with a success rate of 57%.
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:53 PM
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A really good example of this is if you look at the assist numbers for great catchers. I'll use Gary Carter as an example.

If you never saw Gary Carter play catcher, you missed something. Carter had an arm like a Barrett sniper rifle; it was unbelievable. He came out of a crouch and threw bullets in the blink of an eye. He was amazing. What's even more amazing, though, is that his astounding arm didn't dissuade people from trying to steal bases off him. In 1980 he had 157 tolen base attempts against him. In 1981, 94 in a sort season. In 1982, 173 attempts. In 1983, 161 more attempts. Over those four years Carter mowed down over 40% of basestealers.

Running against Gary Carter was just plainly a stupid thing to do; it was throwing away runs pointlessly. Today, no one would run against Gary Carter, or if they did it would only be with the very finest basestealers when pitchers known to be shitty at holding runners were on the mound. There's no way Gary Carter today would see 173 baserunning attempts; hell, he wouldn't see 73. It would just be nuts. It WAS nuts, they just lacked the analytics then.

Of course, the reverse is that if a catcher is really noodle-armed, you should run more on him. The problem is that if a guy is that bad, and you start running on the time, he'll soon not be catching anymore. (They ran on Mike Piazza a lot.)
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