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Thread: The future of baseball

  1. #1
    Deity Bellhorn04's Avatar
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    The future of baseball

    Is the great game of baseball in trouble?

    Certainly the game is still extremely popular and the men who own major league franchises or otherwise have their fingers in the financial pie are still making tremendous piles of money, as are the players.

    But there are some indicators that its popularity is on the decline-downturns in attendance and most recently the TV ratings for the game’s ultimate showcase, the World Series.

    There have also been some rumblings and grumblings in various quarters, including right here on this forum, about the quality of the game itself as sporting competition and as entertainment.

    Let’s enumerate what seem to be the most widespread and most recent complaints.

    1) The games are too long, because of all the time between pitches, the mound visits, the pitching changes, and now the replay reviews.

    2) The game has become dominated by stat geeks and computer analysts. They decide who the best players are, who the best players for the money are, and how to win more games.

    3) All the fielding shifts are annoying and frustrating to watch.

    4) Too much emphasis on the long ball. Too many hitters taking an all or nothing approach. Increase that launch angle so you can launch the ball over that damn shift and into the seats.

    5) Thanks in large part to 4), there is not enough emphasis on the finer points of the game.

    6) Bullpen games are now a thing, and the pitching ‘opener’ is a thing. The idea of a starter trying to throw a complete game now is a joke. You don’t really expect any of your pitchers to attempt to make it through the order three times, do you?

    7) Two leagues with different rules, with opposing views on whether the pitcher trying to hit and run is a good idea. This creates a mess when the two leagues play against each other.

    8) Umpires continue to call balls strikes and strikes balls at an unacceptable rate. Why not try robot umps?

    So what should be done to improve the game? What CAN be done?

    Will the game start to show the impact of declining popularity on the bottom line and will that motivate the powers to do something about it?

  2. #2
    Deity Bellhorn04's Avatar
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    MLBTR seems to think baseball is still on the upswing financially, judging by their predictions for Harper and Machado:

    Harper 14 years 420 million
    Machado 13 years 390 million

  3. #3
    Deity moonslav59's Avatar
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    Not only are owners making huge money off baseball, the value of their teams, when they go to sell them, are extremely higher than when they bought them. That gives them the sense that they can spend to win.

    Then, you might have some owners who don't care if their team loses money, they just want the status as a winning owner in the sports world.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Jasonbay44's Avatar
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    I think there needs to be a DH in both leagues, the fact we have different rules for two different leagues is incredibly stupid, especially with inter-league happening year round. Pitchers aren't paid for their hitting, and it just risks injuries. I know a lot of NL purists don't wan this to happen, but I guarantee if we asked the Nationals, Dodgers, Cubs and etc, they don't want Scherzer, Kershaw, Lester and etc hitting or running the bases. Its just absurd how different the rules are in two leagues, playing the same game, that consistently play each other. Perfect example, E-Rod in the World Series, I don't think this dude has ever run the bases before.

    Robot umps need to be a thing, if the MLB is going to insist on keeping incompetent idiots like Angel Hernandez and not only employing them, but letting them call PLAYOFF Games, it is a huge issue. He single handily probably added 30 minutes to that ALDS game against the Yankees by messing up calls at 1B and putting us all through the replay bullshit.

    But obviously, the biggest issue is time. If you were to sit down and watch the Red Sox in the world series this year, you would need about 4 hours, and the games don't start till 8 pm. I think it is pretty unrealistic to get a younger generation interested in 4 hours of watching a game that lasts until after midnight, especially on school nights during the fall, or even in the summer, with the ridiculous amounts of activities kids have between camps/practices/lessons, etc.

    Also, I don't think the MLB does a good enough job of marketing its true star players. The NBA and NFL do a much better job of this. You probably cant find a person in America male or female who doesn't know who Lebron and Tom Brady are, but I know a ridiculous amount of non baseball fans who've never even heard of Mookie Betts or Mike Trout.

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    Deity Kimmi's Avatar
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    I am wondering how baseball compares to the other major sports in terms declining popularity/viewership. I think some of it is the sign of our times, in particular, the instant gratification and instant feedback that our younger generation seems to be used to in these technology prevalent times.

    Are long time, older fans being turned off from the game, or is it more that the sport is not picking up "new fans".

    IMO, the sport is beautiful and extremely entertaining the way it is. I think the analytics have enhanced the enjoyment and understanding of the sport. I don't like the 2 different rules in the different leagues, and I'm not particularly a fan of the shift, but I don't think those things are ruining baseball. Will robot umps really increase viewership?

    Making some changes to the sport, as Bell listed above, might help some. But I don't think that is really going to solve the problem, whatever the problem seems to be. Basically, I think that parents, role models, etc. need to instill a love for the game into their children like my parents did with me and my brothers when we were growing up.

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    Deity Kimmi's Avatar
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    One thing that is a problem is that it is just too darn expensive to take a family of four out to the ballpark for a major league game. It's not something I can afford to do on a regular basis. That said, there's always minor league games, which are reasonably priced.

  7. #7
    Super, Duper Moderator Youk Of The Nation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellhorn04 View Post
    2) The game has become dominated by stat geeks and computer analysts. They decide who the best players are, who the best players for the money are, and how to win more games.
    Trying to win more games?! Unacceptable! What kind of monsters are these people?
    Quote Originally Posted by YANKEESRULE View Post
    Yea got hand it to the Sox, they just could not go queitly into the night. Well, they are just post-poning the inevitable.
    - From the 2004 ALCS Game 4 Gamethread. A reminder that no game is over until the final out is recorded, and things will always get better. Misspellings unchanged as a reminder that Yankees fans are just terrible.

  8. #8
    The Lemon Drop Kid Northern Star's Avatar
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    NL needs the DH, which means longer games, which means a pitching clock.

    I get sick of the length of some ABs with countless foul offs. Don't really want to tinker with the format of an AB though. That would be a drastic change to the game. I wouldn't be 100% against reducing the game length to seven innings, which obviously would be a huge change. I'm not saying I'm 100% for it, either.

    Way too many stats. The media likes to tell us stuff like this was the first time there have been champagne celebrations in the opposing team's locker room on back to back days. Who gives a shit?

    The real problem regards the length of games is that baseball was invented before tv and smartphones. Those two things have shortened our collective attention spans.

    Also, MLB needs to market their stars better. No one cares about them.
    Priorities:
    1. Yankees lose
    2. Red Sox win

    don't put up no brick

    Quote Originally Posted by joeycaps View Post
    So shut up because you have no idea on what you say on anything as evidence of some of your ridiculous posts.

  9. #9
    2013 WS Champions redsoxrules's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellhorn04 View Post
    MLBTR seems to think baseball is still on the upswing financially, judging by their predictions for Harper and Machado:

    Harper 14 years 420 million
    Machado 13 years 390 million

    I seriously do not get the love for Harper.
    Aside from his 2015 season he's been nothing spectacular. Trout is way better and is not even getting close to that money.

    I don't even see how he can get 250M

  10. #10
    2013 WS Champions redsoxrules's Avatar
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    But yes baseball is in trouble.
    If the red sox were not in the playoffs I'd have zero interest to watch any post season games. Games were constantly passed 4 hours. Too many time called, mound visits. They implemented mound visits but half of them don't count so it's useless. Switching the pitcher for every batter because of all the analytics. Shifts on players. Its beyond ridiculous. Players in the outfield have little cards that tells them were to play.

    I honestly wouldn't mind robo umps. It would eliminate the arguing and make the game go faster. They should also eliminate shift. The first basement and second basement should stay on their side and same with the 3rd basement and shortstop. Otherwise they are no longer playing their positions.

  11. #11
    Deity Kimmi's Avatar
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    I think the biggest issue with the length of the game is the commercial breaks. The length of the breaks during the postseason games was beyond ridiculous. I know that MLB and the networks are not going to get rid of their commercials, but that is the biggest culprit.

    The pitching changes in the later innings (which leads to more commercial breaks) is another big culprit. I read a suggestion somewhere to require all relievers to pitch to a minimum of 3 batters or maybe a minimum pitch count of 30 pitches, whichever comes first, unless there is an injury. I would be on board with that rule.

    I also like the suggestion that defenders have to play withing certain zones, like the SS has to play on the left side of 2nd base.

  12. #12
    Deity Bellhorn04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redsoxrules View Post
    But yes baseball is in trouble.
    If the red sox were not in the playoffs I'd have zero interest to watch any post season games. Games were constantly passed 4 hours. Too many time called, mound visits. They implemented mound visits but half of them don't count so it's useless. Switching the pitcher for every batter because of all the analytics. Shifts on players. Its beyond ridiculous. Players in the outfield have little cards that tells them were to play.
    We had that moment this year when Mookie Betts pulled out and flashed his 'cheat card' after making a catch. A lot of folks found this funny/entertaining.

    Personally it made me a little queasy. No reflection on Mookie, of course. Just the fact that fielders now need these cards to know where to position themselves on every play.

  13. #13
    2013 WS Champions redsoxrules's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmi View Post
    I think the biggest issue with the length of the game is the commercial breaks. The length of the breaks during the postseason games was beyond ridiculous. I know that MLB and the networks are not going to get rid of their commercials, but that is the biggest culprit.

    The pitching changes in the later innings (which leads to more commercial breaks) is another big culprit. I read a suggestion somewhere to require all relievers to pitch to a minimum of 3 batters or maybe a minimum pitch count of 30 pitches, whichever comes first, unless there is an injury. I would be on board with that rule.

    I also like the suggestion that defenders have to play withing certain zones, like the SS has to play on the left side of 2nd base.
    I definitely like the reliever idea. Never thought of that one

  14. #14
    Deity Bellhorn04's Avatar
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    There's another item that I forgot to list: the growing paranoia about sign-stealing, forcing teams to have multiple sets of signs and changing them frequently.

    One unsightly by-product of this is all the instances of wild pitches and passed balls resulting from catchers getting crossed up on the signs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasonbay44 View Post

    Also, I don't think the MLB does a good enough job of marketing its true star players. The NBA and NFL do a much better job of this. You probably cant find a person in America male or female who doesn't know who Lebron and Tom Brady are, but I know a ridiculous amount of non baseball fans who've never even heard of Mookie Betts or Mike Trout.
    But a lot of people have heard of Bryce Harper, who is well on his way to being the most famous baseball player since Reggie Jackson...

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