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Pickoffs and Step offs

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Offline  Pickoffs and Step offs
#1

Posted: June 22, 2018, 11:54 PM Post
Posts: 1499
Games have less action than ever. Walks, HRs, and Ks dominate games. There will be more Ks than hits this year, first time ever. With the less action, time of game continues to stay high, leaving fans to watch the pitcher and catcher play catch.

Addressing pace of play AND more action in the game, here is a different idea I haven't heard discussed a bunch nationally, yet it is interesting:
Every pickoff attempt or step off with runners on would result in a ball (cannot get a 4th ball/walk, however).

This would do the following:
1. Promote faster games without as many step offs and pickoffs to bases. Counts of 1-1 or 2-1 would feel a little different for pitchers with runners on. Instead of throwing over a bunch, a pitcher would have to weigh its worth. If the stepoff or throw over costs a ball, many pitchers wouldn't do it nearly as much. Also, the irritating manager who relies on warming up his pitcher late by having the current pitcher throw over a bunch would have to get his reliever up earlier. All This could speed up each game by 15 minutes.
2. Promote more general action in the game. Moneyball has killed the running game, and baseball needs it back. Less throws over and step offs would give many avg runners better leads and more SB attempts (and quicker outs). Managers might look at that SB attempt a little differently if the rate of success increased somewhat.
3. Walks (and scoring) would probably increase with the change, but the changes in pace of play, time of game, and more action on the field would more than offset any negative, in my humble opinion.
4. There would be less booing at games!! Think of it, how often do you here booing when opposing pitchers throw over? Frequently late in games... it's like 9:50 and the last 10 minutes have resulted in the same batter with 5 pickoffs/stepoffs, a catcher visit, and a pitching coach talk.

Interested in what others think...
thanks


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#2

Posted: June 23, 2018, 4:44 AM Post
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It would change the spirit and mechanics of the game too much. Do you eliminate the rule on a 3 ball count? As then a baserunner gets the steal for free, since the pitcher can't even step off or it's a walk. It wouldn't work.

Then, since it wouldn't work on a 3 ball count, would it work on a 2 ball count? Step off to throw over (which picks a guy off about 1% of the time (notsureonthat)), and it's immediately a 3 ball count, which means the guy gets the steal/walk?


I guess it would make speed a FAR more important part of the game, which would be interesting in today's power obsessed times. I'd try to think of a less radical change though. Perhaps every 3rd step off/pick-off attempt is a ball rather than EVERY step off/pick-off attempt?


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#3

Posted: June 23, 2018, 5:49 AM Post
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This part of the game can't be messed with. Holding baserunners is a huge part of being a pitcher. I think back to the Twins game when the Brewers had a one-run lead and Buxton reached first to lead off the inning. Hader, in the middle of his six strikeout outing, did a masterful job preventing Buxton from stealing second. Without this ability, stealing would become too easy and would lead to MLB being filled with more guys with speed who are bad hitters.


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#4

Posted: June 23, 2018, 6:28 AM Post
Posts: 11693
I was in Maryvale in March. On one of the back fields was one lone pitcher and a coach working on pickoff move. The pitcher? Brent Suter. He's got at least 3 pickoffs so far. It's a huge part of the game.


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#5

Posted: June 23, 2018, 6:34 AM Post
Posts: 464
Location: Milwaukee
Why not just stop allowing basestealing all together. If we really want to speed up the game, that would eliminate a big part of the delays. You could also then impose a time limit to throw the pitch more effectively.

I like the steal and think it is a fun part of the game, but to speed up the game, this would be the most effective way of doing it.


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#6

Posted: June 23, 2018, 8:54 AM Post
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The playing of the game isn't the problem. It's all the useless crap that happens when the ball isn't in play. Warmup pitches for mid inning pitching changes, batters stepping out of the box and adjusting every piece of clothing and equipment between every pitch, pitchers taking 30 seconds to decide which of their 2 or 3 pitches they want to throw, replay reviews that take over 5 minutes. Put an end to that crap and you'll make some headway but for gods sakes leave the actual playing of the game alone. No limits on pickoffs, pitching changes, shifting, etc. I play adult baseball in the summer. Our 9 inning games take about 2 hours with the same rules as MLB, doesn't matter if it's a 1-0 game or a 10-9. Somehow we can pull it off.


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#7

Posted: June 23, 2018, 10:16 AM Post
Posts: 1499
Oxy said:
It would change the spirit and mechanics of the game too much. Do you eliminate the rule on a 3 ball count? As then a baserunner gets the steal for free, since the pitcher can't even step off or it's a walk. It wouldn't work.

Then, since it wouldn't work on a 3 ball count, would it work on a 2 ball count? Step off to throw over (which picks a guy off about 1% of the time (notsureonthat)), and it's immediately a 3 ball count, which means the guy gets the steal/walk?


I guess it would make speed a FAR more important part of the game, which would be interesting in today's power obsessed times. I'd try to think of a less radical change though. Perhaps every 3rd step off/pick-off attempt is a ball rather than EVERY step off/pick-off attempt?



Addressed this in my note (you could not get an automatic walk by throwing over with 3 balls).... if you throw over with a two ball count, it becomes a three ball count. Not really complicated. Different? Sure. Radical? Maybe. Yet, if it speeds up the game AND gets more action in the game, doesn't that check off two big things we want to see in baseball.
Thanks for your points.


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#8

Posted: June 23, 2018, 10:19 AM Post
Posts: 1499
JohnBriggs12 said:
I was in Maryvale in March. On one of the back fields was one lone pitcher and a coach working on pickoff move. The pitcher? Brent Suter. He's got at least 3 pickoffs so far. It's a huge part of the game.


Pickoffs would still happen, still be part of the game. More pickoffs would probably happen with guys trying to get a bigger lead knowing pitchers wouldn't throw over as much. Do you think it would speed up the game? Would stolen base attempts be up?


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#9

Posted: June 23, 2018, 10:33 AM Post
Posts: 1499
NYChez said:
This part of the game can't be messed with. Holding baserunners is a huge part of being a pitcher. I think back to the Twins game when the Brewers had a one-run lead and Buxton reached first to lead off the inning. Hader, in the middle of his six strikeout outing, did a masterful job preventing Buxton from stealing second. Without this ability, stealing would become too easy and would lead to MLB being filled with more guys with speed who are bad hitters.


Good point and example.....
I would rather see the runner just take off if he wants to run and be done with this time wasting dance. Now, the dance (meaning the game between base runners and the pitcher) would be better than ever! Baserunners would have better leads which would mean closer plays at 1B, and pitchers would treat a throw over and step off more seriously; less lob over token throws or pitchers taking forever to throw the ball, just to step off.


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#10

Posted: June 23, 2018, 11:44 AM Post
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I think more importantly, how would this help anything? There are so few real base stealers in baseball anymore it would only matter for like 4 or 5 guys.


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#11

Posted: June 23, 2018, 12:03 PM Post
Posts: 2812
While we are at it batters get a strike every time they step out of the box to redo their gloves or take a sign. Calling timeout too...also a strike. Not with 2 strikes though.

Does this sound dumb? Because I was trying to make it sound dumb.


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#12

Posted: June 23, 2018, 12:16 PM Post
Posts: 1499
jerichoholicninja said:
I think more importantly, how would this help anything? There are so few real base stealers in baseball anymore it would only matter for like 4 or 5 guys.


More guys would or could steal with a slightly larger lead....


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#13

Posted: June 23, 2018, 12:24 PM Post
Posts: 1499
stoutdude04 said:
While we are at it batters get a strike every time they step out of the box to redo their gloves or take a sign. Calling timeout too...also a strike. Not with 2 strikes though.

Does this sound dumb? Because I was trying to make it sound dumb.


If you want a faster game, it gets to the heart of the issue.

Look at all the little balk rules that have been in the game for years... slight movements here or there, not coming to a complete stop, or just recently changed-not throwing to the base, etc. How would this be any different?

Putting in the throw over rule or even your mocking strike rule would help an issue that hasn't been solved or even helped in the last 10 years. Players would adapt and the game would be better for it. No one would want it back the other way.


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#14

Posted: June 23, 2018, 1:00 PM Post
Posts: 2812
How much time is really spent with pickoffs and step offs? I truly dont know the answer and I'm not sure we'd be able to come up with one. In fact, with increased steals(I'm guessing thered be more), the amount of time saved would be very little.
Want to shorten the game length? Stop giving so much time in between innings for singing songs and games.


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#15

Posted: June 23, 2018, 1:06 PM Post
Posts: 1499
stoutdude04 said:
How much time is really spent with pickoffs and step offs? I truly dont know the answer and I'm not sure we'd be able to come up with one. In fact, with increased steals(I'm guessing thered be more), the amount of time saved would be very little.
Want to shorten the game length? Stop giving so much time in between innings for singing songs and games.


More SB attempts, quicker outs on throw outs.
A throw over is just like a pitch, takes roughly the same amount of time. A step off is slightly less.


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Offline  Re: Pickoffs and Step offs
#16

Posted: June 23, 2018, 1:10 PM Post
Posts: 2812
rickh150 said:
stoutdude04 said:
How much time is really spent with pickoffs and step offs? I truly dont know the answer and I'm not sure we'd be able to come up with one. In fact, with increased steals(I'm guessing thered be more), the amount of time saved would be very little.
Want to shorten the game length? Stop giving so much time in between innings for singing songs and games.


More SB attempts, quicker outs on throw outs.
A throw over is just like a pitch, takes roughly the same amount of time. A step off is slightly less.


I realize that, but do we have an actual number of time it takes. Let's say every throw over is 20 seconds added. How many throw overs a game are there? Then, would the increased amount of steals add more time...take time away?

Why not just change the count to 3-2 count instead of 4-3.


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