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Pace of Play

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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#21

Posted: June 23, 2018, 9:22 PM Post
Posts: 2522
MrTPlush said:
Baseball commercials aren’t even long. The pitcher isn’t even warmed up half the time it comes back. Pretty sure the broadcast just returns when the game is ready to continue.


https://www.google.com/amp/www.sbnation ... length/amp

You are right, but it is part of the problem. It isn't 30 seconds per half inning, more like 10 to 15, but is close to 10 minutes extra. Interesting article anyways.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#22

Posted: June 23, 2018, 9:51 PM Post
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homer said:
Some interesting comments on this in the in-game thread so I thought it warranted a topic all it's own.

30 K's and 6 hits yet yesterday's game took over 3 hours to complete. Boring? Enthralling? Neither? What are your thoughts?


I'm usually one that thinks 3+ hour games aren't that big of a deal but yesterday was a snooze fest for like 99% of the game.

Cards' fans wear jorts.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#23

Posted: June 24, 2018, 7:28 AM Post
Posts: 11455
trwi7 said:
homer said:
Some interesting comments on this in the in-game thread so I thought it warranted a topic all it's own.

30 K's and 6 hits yet yesterday's game took over 3 hours to complete. Boring? Enthralling? Neither? What are your thoughts?


I'm usually one that thinks 3+ hour games aren't that big of a deal but yesterday was a snooze fest for like 99% of the game.


I was at the game yesterday. After Mikolas grounded out to end an inning, he stood by first base, removed his batting helmet and glove, then strolled slowly back to the dugout where he spent another minute or so putting his cap back on and getting his glove before heading back out the the mound. The rest of the Cardinal team didn't emerge from the dugout until he got ready to go back out. The 2 minute clock and run out, and was reset at least once. What's the point of a clock if it's not enforced? The bat boy should have run out, gathered his helmet and batting gloves and one of the infielders should have carried out his cap and glove. He should not be allowed to walk all the way back to the dugout.

There was very little action in the game with tons of strikeouts, many on full counts, and very few hits.

One suggestion I heard made a ton of sense. Strikeouts are way up because hitting pitchers throwing 95 and up is hard. Wasn't that long ago when a guy who threw 90-92 was considered a power pitcher, now that's a soft tosser. The suggestion? Move the rubber back. Why is 60 feet 6 inches sacrosanct? Add a foot or a foot and a half and allow for more reaction time for the hitter. The rest of the game would remain exactly the same.


Last edited by JohnBriggs12 on June 24, 2018, 7:38 AM, edited 1 time in total.

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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#24

Posted: June 24, 2018, 7:29 AM Post
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At least there is action happening on the screen during the commercials, the same can’t be said for much of the game these days.

With the attendance plunge continuing into the warm weather months I think we will finally see movement on this in the offseason. Perhaps the biggest indicator of the problem is how empty the ballparks are now in the 8th and 9th innings. Even the fans who are showing up can’t tolerate the length of the games and/or are not engaged enough to stick around.

The game has always been evolving and the rules need to catch up. It isn’t really a surprise or that big of a deal.

Strikeouts will be harder to fix since it is a multifaceted problem, unlike the pace of play which (as that article shows) is overwhelmingly caused by players just being slow. And there are some good arguments that strikeouts aren’t that bad anyway, especially for the TV-packaged version of baseball which emphasizes the batter-pitcher matchup.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#25

Posted: June 24, 2018, 7:33 AM Post
Posts: 440
When it comes to mid-inning pitching changes, my opinion is that they shouldn't need to enforce a minimum batter faced requirement. Rather it should be like a hockey line change...a new pitcher comes in with no warm ups and it should seem continuous.

In hockey when a goalie gets pulled, the backup comes in cold. In football, when a new QB comes in (especially after an injury), they are also cold. There isn't any warmup time with basketball either...players just check-in. Why can't baseball do something similar?


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#26

Posted: June 24, 2018, 7:44 AM Post
Posts: 11455
zurch1818 said:
When it comes to mid-inning pitching changes, my opinion is that they shouldn't need to enforce a minimum batter faced requirement. Rather it should be like a hockey line change...a new pitcher comes in with no warm ups and it should seem continuous.

In hockey when a goalie gets pulled, the backup comes in cold. In football, when a new QB comes in (especially after an injury), they are also cold. There isn't any warmup time with basketball either...players just check-in. Why can't baseball do something similar?


Hey I was a bench basketball player in high school. Can't count the number of times I got fouled the first minute I was in a game, some 15 or 20 minutes after pregame warmup was over. Try shooting a free throw without having worked up a sweat in a game yet. Even the best shooters percentage in those situations is way, way down.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#27

Posted: June 24, 2018, 7:52 AM Post
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I just find it kind of odd that people complain about too many K's, but most people love K pitchers. Do you really want less Chris Sales and Josh Haders and more Kyle Lohses?

Don't think that's a big part of the excitement problem.


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Online  Re: Pace of Play
#28

Posted: June 24, 2018, 8:16 AM Post
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The thing about strikeouts is that it's not just that pitchers throw harder. I would actually argue strikeouts are up more so because batters just don't care if they strikeout. 2 strike approach like I posted earlier. Batters would rather get caught looking on a close pitch or swing out of their shoes and miss strike 3 then shorten up and put the ball in play.


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Online  Re: Pace of Play
#29

Posted: June 24, 2018, 8:39 AM Post
Posts: 4099
When it comes to mid-inning pitching changes, my opinion is that they shouldn't need to enforce a minimum batter faced requirement. Rather it should be like a hockey line change...a new pitcher comes in with no warm ups and it should seem continuous.


It still takes time though because the manager strolls out to the mound, talks to the pitcher for a bit, then makes the move. Then the new pitcher has to trot in from the bullpen which is usually in the outfield. Then even without warmups he’ll kicked the dirt around the mound a bit to get a good footing.

Plus, the warmups often allow pitchers to come in a little before they are ready. Without warmups the manager might send the pitching coach out first or take more time to call for the change. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine without giving them warmups but on a pitching change the warmups aren’t the biggest time consumer.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#30

Posted: June 24, 2018, 9:57 AM Post
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Watching Suter and Max Scherzer vs. almost everyone else, I think a lot of time is wasted by pitchers just not delivering the ball.

The pace of Suter and Scherzer is noticeably faster, while the pace of Pedro Strop is terribly slow.

A pitch clock could reduce wasted time by the pitchers. Not sure if that's enough, though.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#31

Posted: June 24, 2018, 10:09 AM Post
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JimH5 said:
Watching Suter and Max Scherzer vs. almost everyone else, I think a lot of time is wasted by pitchers just not delivering the ball.

The pace of Suter and Scherzer is noticeably faster, while the pace of Pedro Strop is terribly slow.

A pitch clock could reduce wasted time by the pitchers. Not sure if that's enough, though.


The problem with a pitch clock is that it's going to be a huge deal because it's going to be such a massive change to some pitchers to disrupt their entire rhythm that it could end up affecting careers and be wildly opposed by the MLBPA.

I agree that most dead time is between pitches, I just don't know how you would go about the pitch clock. Maybe the best way would be to grandfather every player with MLB service time in now and now draw the line in the sand and say everyone from this point has a pitch clock. Then everyone it across the board in the minors and all the up and coming pitchers can become accustomed to it.

It would take years before you'd start to see the real changes from it but it would be about the only way to do it without creating sudden chaos in a season.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#32

Posted: June 24, 2018, 10:20 AM Post
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adambr2 said:
I just find it kind of odd that people complain about too many K's, but most people love K pitchers. Do you really want less Chris Sales and Josh Haders and more Kyle Lohses?

Don't think that's a big part of the excitement problem.


Can't have great defensive plays when balls aren't put into play. The hit and run has disappeared completely. The best of the best always fanned a lot of hitters but now it's not just the Chris Sale's of the world that fan a lot of hitters. Almost everyone does. A big strikeout when men are on base can be exciting but I'd like to see some guys hit to get on base.


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Online  Re: Pace of Play
#33

Posted: June 24, 2018, 12:35 PM Post
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I think if they just use a pitch clock, a "between innings" clock, and a "mid inning pitching change" clock and actually enforce them a lot of this goes away.

"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006


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Online  Re: Pace of Play
#34

Posted: June 24, 2018, 3:18 PM Post
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adambr2 said:
JimH5 said:
Watching Suter and Max Scherzer vs. almost everyone else, I think a lot of time is wasted by pitchers just not delivering the ball.

The pace of Suter and Scherzer is noticeably faster, while the pace of Pedro Strop is terribly slow.

A pitch clock could reduce wasted time by the pitchers. Not sure if that's enough, though.


The problem with a pitch clock is that it's going to be a huge deal because it's going to be such a massive change to some pitchers to disrupt their entire rhythm that it could end up affecting careers and be wildly opposed by the MLBPA.

I agree that most dead time is between pitches, I just don't know how you would go about the pitch clock. Maybe the best way would be to grandfather every player with MLB service time in now and now draw the line in the sand and say everyone from this point has a pitch clock. Then everyone it across the board in the minors and all the up and coming pitchers can become accustomed to it.

It would take years before you'd start to see the real changes from it but it would be about the only way to do it without creating sudden chaos in a season.


I would agree that pitchers waste too much time on the mound not doing anything. Just throw the damn ball. Don't like being hurried? Too bad, figure out how to pitch quicker. Same for batters. Stop wasting time outside of the box. If that takes you off your game, too bad. Figure out how to deal with it.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#35

Posted: June 24, 2018, 9:20 PM Post
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jerichoholicninja said:
The thing about strikeouts is that it's not just that pitchers throw harder. I would actually argue strikeouts are up more so because batters just don't care if they strikeout. 2 strike approach like I posted earlier. Batters would rather get caught looking on a close pitch or swing out of their shoes and miss strike 3 then shorten up and put the ball in play.


Exactly, I think we're nearing the "home run derby" point where hitters are overwhelmingly trying to hit a home run at all times, regardless of the game situation. Sometimes they 'fail' and hit singles/doubles but they usually aren't trying to do that...except for maybe the top 3-5% of all-star caliber hitters and the few remaining speed guys like Dee Gordon who are likely to be extinct soon.

There are a ton of reasons for this--pitchers have gotten so good/throw so fast that you have to guess at the plate, defenses + shifting have gotten so good that even hard-hit balls are gobbled up for outs, and hitting home runs is just easier overall because of the small new ballparks and possibly "juiced" baseball.

So reducing strikeouts would be really hard without inducing unintended consequences or making dramatic changes that will likely be unpopular. There's no sign of a plateau in strikeout rates so one wonders how high it will get. 25% is in reach in a few years. And of course in certain game situations it is way higher than the league average--e.g. close games with front end bullpen guys pitching.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#36

Posted: June 24, 2018, 11:34 PM Post
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I love baseball, but can't imagine watching it anymore without a DVR to fast forward through the countless Gruber commercials, pitching changes, reviews, and all of the other dead time in the game.

I got my mom into the Brewers and was at her house for dinner last week, so i watched the game there. It was torture watching it in live time with all of the stoppages and it was a boring game on top of that.

When i'm at Miller Park, all of the dead time doesn't really bother me all that much because i'm with friends and we'll be talking/hanging out. Good times to hit concession stands or bathroom.

At home though, it can be brutal to me on the rare times i watch a game live, especially later in some games when it's a parade of pitcher changes.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#37

Posted: June 24, 2018, 11:50 PM Post
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adambr2 said:
I just find it kind of odd that people complain about too many K's, but most people love K pitchers. Do you really want less Chris Sales and Josh Haders and more Kyle Lohses?

Don't think that's a big part of the excitement problem.

But huge K guys like them are the exception.

The issue is teams have smartly figured out how important bullpens can be. So most managers no longer keep tiring starters in or starters who typically struggle past the 5th/6th inning, because with 8-9 deep bullpens, protecting the pen isn't as needed.

Instead in comes a parade of hard throwing two pitch relievers who often have better K rates than the starters they are replacing.

Mix in the analytics angle of many teams prioritizing walks and power from hitters over contact, along with minimizing the running game, quite a few games devolve into a walk, K, and homer fest.

I don't mind because i love the sport no matter what, but it's likely not all that appealing to much of the younger generation.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#38

Posted: June 25, 2018, 10:46 AM Post
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I dismiss the premise the game needs to pick up the pace of play. Baseball was not built for constant excitement, and wasn't meant to be on the clock.

The only changes I would make is getting rid of the stupid automatic intentional walk, and getting rid of instant replay. Do you want it in the playoffs? Fine, I can compromise there.

Otherwise the game is just fine the way it is. Quite honestly, most of the suggestions I've seen here (and other threads where this topic has come up over the years) sound crazy to me. Limiting when you can bring a pitcher in, calling a ball if you throw to first, etc. I can't fathom watching that.

You want to speed up the game? Don't make any new rules, just add (or emphasize) an unwritten rule. Make it known to pitchers if they take too long, they may not get calls on the corners. Same thing for batters. Do that, and players will learn to hurry up, believe me.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#39

Posted: June 25, 2018, 10:51 AM Post
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More subjective decisions to the umpire? No thank you.


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Offline  Re: Pace of Play
#40

Posted: June 25, 2018, 11:11 AM Post
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NYChez said:
homer said:
I think evolving bullpen use plays a roll. I'd love to see the numbers on how many more pitching changes there are versus 20 years ago. The mid-inning swaps are killers in terms of time wasted.

I attended an Indians game recently. Terry Francona is the absolute worst in this category. I believe I sat through four pitching changes in one half inning. You could see it coming, and the thought in my head was, I could probably stand grab a beer at the stadium bar, finish the beer, and miss no action. I'm thankful that Counsell has gotten away from that approach this season. Hopefully it starts a trend.


I'm just guessing here, but my guess is that Counsell makes less changes because this bullpen is loaded with pitchers that can get anyone out. All he has to do is work backward with a lead or close game and most of them are coming in to start an inning and finish said inning.

Put Hader in when it's important. Take him out when he hits a pitch count. Go to Jeffress after that if it's mostly righties coming up. A lefty in-between isn't going to make him take Jeffress out because he's probably good enough to get that lefty out and you want him for the righty on deck. So on, so forth.

Counsell also generally uses his offensive depth/versatility to make a double switch so that Hader or someone else can go 2 innings if the order was near the pitcher spot.

Cleveland has an uncharacteristically terrible bullpen this year. Tito is probably trying to get every edge/matchup he can.

I'd say in general, the game is trending a bit toward what Cleveland is doing this year...but I can also see it trending the other way depending on how you look at it. Relievers are getting used more and more and the matchups are played even more and more...however, games may be pitched in a 3-2-2-1-1, 4-2-1-1-1, or 5-2-1-1 (innings pitched) format of pitching in a lot of cases. At the very least, a team is putting a guy in for an entire inning and making the change between innings. Since they are using them more often earlier in the game, it takes out a bit more of the micromanaging later in the game.

Back to Cleveland, they've got guys like Kluber and Clevinger going 6+ innings a lot. You've got a completely full bullpen to micromanage every at bat after that if the game is close.


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