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JSngry

2019-2020 MLB Hot Stove Thread

350 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

How can a spreadsheet or algorithm give you that info?

It can't, unless it has one created for it by a human who has an idea what to look at and then what to look for and then how to get there.

Seriously, have you worked much in Excel? I do, just a little bit, but I work around people all day long whose job it is to look at data, look at trends, and then predict the future from there. If they get it right, they have a job. If they don't, they don't. It's very serious business, and it takes a very serious skill set, not just in terms of what to do with the data, but also what the data means. People are called "analysts" because they fucking analyze data, all the damn time. The more data, the more analysis, and good analysis is what leads to good decisions. And if not "good decisions", at least good in the sense that it gives you better odds of getting the desired outcome.

Excel and other programs like it are capable of SO much more than just balancing your checkbook and stuff like that. Between data harvesting and data analytics, this is your life in the outside world in the outside world, whether you realize it or not.

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I don't see where anything is gained by calling what I described above an "algorithm," except that it sounds modern and sexy; nor do I see where "crazy mad analytical skills" come into play here. If you know upfront whether the next pitch is going to be a fastball or a breaking ball -- this thanks to baseball savvy observation (the same sort of observation that was available to and probably put to use by vintage baseball brainiacs like Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, George Sister et al.) -- you've got a big edge, simple as that. As for what to do with those observations, isn't it just a matter of "when you know what pitch is coming, you're that much more ready to hit that pitch"?

As for the algorithms, certainly they can predict which pitch a particular pitcher is more likely to throw in a given situation, and from where I sit that's all well and good  -- such information, again, always has been available to those players (Cobb, etc.) who care and want it; algorithms only package it more efficiently. But while the value of such "he's more likely to" data is undeniable, its significance pales beside the virtually certain knowledge, based on info relayed from a TV monitor by a guy in the clubhouse  (the Astros) or by the guy with binoculars  who was planted in the scoreboard at the Polo Grounds by the NY Giants all through September of 1951 and who signaled  Bobby Thomson  what pitch was coming when he hit that game-winning homer off of Ralph Branca of the Dodgers. That's not "crazy made analytics" or algorithms in action; it's cheating,

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It's cheating, but does require analytics. The catcher's signs are not always straight "1=fastball, 2=curve" etc., but are disguised in assorted ways and varied depending on situations. Observational/empirical work is required to develop sufficient certainty to signal the hitter what's coming. The analytical work has been easy to do for decades:  broadcast TV has been showing catchers' signals forever, and clubs have been employing analysts with statistics training since the early "Moneyball" days. The statistical analysis required is not mega-sophisticated.

Possible hindsight on my part, but I'd be shocked if the Astros were the first club to do all this. I've gotta believe that lots of analysts have been deciphering signs for at least 20 years. And once a team has the knowledge, it's pretty damn likely to get used...

Edited by T.D.

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24 minutes ago, T.D. said:

It's cheating, but does require analytics. The catcher's signs are not always straight "1=fastball, 2=curve" etc., but are disguised in assorted ways and varied depending on situations. Observational/empirical work is required to develop sufficient certainty to signal the hitter what's coming. The analytical work has been easy to do for decades:  broadcast TV has been showing catchers' signals forever, and clubs have been employing analysts with statistics training since the early "Moneyball" days. The statistical analysis required is not mega-sophisticated.

Possible hindsight on my part, but I'd be shocked if the Astros were the first club to do all this. I've gotta believe that lots of analysts have been deciphering signs for at least 20 years. And once a team has the knowledge, it's pretty damn likely to get used...

Finally, a sensible response!

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1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

I don't see where anything is gained by calling what I described above an "algorithm," except that it sounds modern and sexy; nor do I see where "crazy mad analytical skills" come into play here. If you know upfront whether the next pitch is going to be a fastball or a breaking ball -- this thanks to baseball savvy observation (the same sort of observation that was available to and probably put to use by vintage baseball brainiacs like Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, George Sister et al.) -- you've got a big edge, simple as that. As for what to do with those observations, isn't it just a matter of "when you know what pitch is coming, you're that much more ready to hit that pitch"?

As for the algorithms, certainly they can predict which pitch a particular pitcher is more likely to throw in a given situation, and from where I sit that's all well and good  -- such information, again, always has been available to those players (Cobb, etc.) who care and want it; algorithms only package it more efficiently. But while the value of such "he's more likely to" data is undeniable, its significance pales beside the virtually certain knowledge, based on info relayed from a TV monitor by a guy in the clubhouse  (the Astros) or by the guy with binoculars  who was planted in the scoreboard at the Polo Grounds by the NY Giants all through September of 1951 and who signaled  Bobby Thomson  what pitch was coming when he hit that game-winning homer off of Ralph Branca of the Dodgers. That's not "crazy made analytics" or algorithms in action; it's cheating,

Finally, some moral clarity!

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41 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

I don't see where anything is gained by calling what I described above an "algorithm," except that it sounds modern and sexy; nor do I see where "crazy mad analytical skills" come into play here.

Do you even understand what a algorithm is in this context? It's a real, programmable, mathematical thing, maybe conceived as a speculative "what-if analysis", but concluded in a more or less certainty of an IF/THEN formula . This whole cheating system originated on an Excel spreadsheet. Not by a player or by a coach, but by a data guy who also understood baseball.

And it worked, because in general, properly analyzed data tends to work, it reduces the chance of an unpredictable outcome.. That's kinda the whole point. Do you not understand how prevalent "Excel spreadsheet" baseball is today, on and off the field? You don't like it, I don't like it, but fuck us, there it is anyway. Would that it was just a baseball thing!.

So what you "gain" by calling it that is simple - you're calling it what it actually is, not what your "impression" of what it is. Ty Cobb didn't have a computer, didn't have a whole team of people doing data/analytics, sure, but nobody did. But that was then, this is now, and damn near every team does have them, and they're certainly not afraid to use them. And where the Nationals need to be applauded loudly - far louder than all the simplistic crying about "cheating" is that they didn't whine about it, or play along with the "open secret", no, they took it for what it was, proceeded accordingly, and beat the cheat, not through "moral superiority, but by the good old-fashioned work-ethic of doing, not wishing. Same thing as the cheaters, only they did better work. Finally, management gets their shit together!

If you'd prefer that things like this not be used at all, that we go back to a simpler, more individual skill-set based game and just, you know, let the ball players play ball and leave the calculus to the , well, yeah, wouldn't that be nice and all that. Let's Make Baseball Great Again, sure.

But you know, this world ain't that world, and unless/until this society collapses under the world of it's digitality, it ain't gonna be. Not just the "game", the whole freakin; world.

4 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

Finally, some moral clarity!

Like Beto! :g

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"Do you even understand what a algorithm is in this context? It's a real, programmable, mathematical thing, maybe conceived as a speculative "what-if analysis", but concluded in a more or less certainty of an IF/THEN formula . This whole cheating system originated on an Excel spreadsheet. Not by a player or by a coach, but by a data guy who also understood baseball."

I'll grant you that "this whole cheating system originated on an Excel spread sheet," but its ultimate practical consequential application (i.e. influencing the outcome of games), which is why we're even having this conversation, was based on a video feed into the Astros clubhouse and the immediate relaying of information gleaned from that video feed to a batter in the batter's box. Again, pretty much like the Giants versus Dodgers in '51, where Excel spreadsheets played no part.

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4 hours ago, JSngry said:

Trump is a trailing indicator, not a leading indicator. Thinking otherwise is a huge waste of time and energy, physical and mental. Save your time and energy for getting in front of shit.

So...it's an "open secret", and nobody steps up to blow the whistle. That's kinda lame. But very all-American, pre-Trump. Don't upset the applecart.

Even worse, it was an open secret, and nobody but the Nationals had the skill set and the motivation to actually figure out how to counter it? Talk about out of touch...The nationals should be proud as fuck about getting that done, not whining about having to do it...a 21st Century solution to a 21st Century problem deserves infinitely more validation than a whiny 19th Century response.

I'm supposed to NOT laugh at a "game" that has long ago sold it's soul to spreadsheets and algorithms not being able to cope with an extended application of the same damn things into the realm of actual rule-breaking? Sorry, I laugh extra hard every time somebody acts like oh my, they CHEATED and then turns around and hedges with well, stealing signals has always been a part of the game. If that's a "real opinion" then all I can say is that it's probably not the "cheating" that bothers you, it's the technology of it. And it should be, because you are being "cheated" with this same technological paradigm damn near every waking moment of your life (only a slight exaggeration)

Tell you what - when the game bans managers managing the game with a butload full of spreadsheets and such on their lap, when the game stops talking about using technology to call balls and strikes in the name of more reliable outcomes (yes, robo-umps, like electronic voting machines, what could POSSIBLY go wrong?), when the game pretty much decides that they'll not allow their brand to leverage all the social media that their is out their because of sincere concerns over data-harvesting, then I will think about not laughing.

Until then, anybody who's actually surprised that this happened is a chump/ Some most of them are loveavble chumps, but geezus folks - what world are you living in?

TOTALLY a laughing matter!

Well, no, "gentlemen" don't.

So yes, appearances (or as we say today, "optics") matter.

Jim, I have no idea why you’ve decided to devote your considerable intellectual abilities to defending what Houston did. Unless it’s some kind of longstanding affinity for a Texas team—but I thought you were a Rangers fan?! I’m not going to wade further into any Trump stuff, because it will inevitably involve too much political talk, but trust me, I’m well aware of the smoldering ashfire that is America. There is NO doubt, though, that DT has made it A-OK for a lot of assery to start showing itself, and I heard his influence loud and clear in how Houston handled the Taubman situation (attacking the media, blatantly lying about what happened, etc). You’ve gone down an analytics/algorithm rabbithole that’s ultimately a smokescreen distraction. As Larry pointed out, yes, it’s one thing to study how pitchers sequence their pitches (when pitcher X gets into a 3-1 count, he throws a slider 90 percent of the time, etc). It’s one thing to study if a pitcher is tipping his pitches. But when MLB says NO use of technology to tip off a hitter, NO centerfield camera, and then you get these oh-so-advanced guys banging on trash cans and setting up a damn monitor just a few steps from the dugout... sorry, I’m not buying the cynical, morally-clouded argument being made here, or berating the Nats for “whining” about how they had to combat this cheating bullshit. It was an open secret in the sense that most teams had a strong feeling the Astros were cheating... but until Fiers blew the whistle, there was no concrete evidence to be had. Just curious, why DO you think Fiers blew the whistle, if this is all just “boys-will-be-boys” nonsense? Clearly he was bothered by it a great deal, given that he chose to speak out about it. Is he a chump? Are all of the MLB players who’ve expressed outrage about it chumps? The fans? Sorry, I can both accept that athletes and teams are just as fallible, maybe more so, as the rest of us when it comes to unethical behavior. But no way am I going to cheer it on as “gee those guys are smart!” and attack those who deplore it as dupes and malcontents. F*#% that trash-can noise!

7 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

"Do you even understand what a algorithm is in this context? It's a real, programmable, mathematical thing, maybe conceived as a speculative "what-if analysis", but concluded in a more or less certainty of an IF/THEN formula . This whole cheating system originated on an Excel spreadsheet. Not by a player or by a coach, but by a data guy who also understood baseball."

I'll grant you that "this whole cheating system originated on an Excel spread sheet," but its ultimate practical consequential application, which is why we're even having this conversation, was based on a video feed into the Astros clubhouse and the immediate relaying of the information to a batter in the batter's box.

Bingo! 

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1 hour ago, ghost of miles said:

Jim, I have no idea why you’ve decided to devote your considerable intellectual abilities to defending what Houston did.

And I have no idea what give you the idea that I'm defending it. I'd like to think that your reading comprehension ability was better than that. They cheated, they got busted. No argument, no defense. It happened, end of story, no defense of the action or objection to the outcome of the bust.

I guess I could invest all my...whatever... into being "outraged" and all that, but that's what I did when I was a kid (and then some), but now, as a rational adult, I'd much rather look at understanding the context of how all this came to happen, and if all I do is BAD BAD PEOPLE did BAD BAD THINGS!!!! then...that's baby stuff.

When they make a Hollywood Movie about this affair, I hope it's on the level of Eight Men Out, which is so NOT imbued with simplistic amped up "moral outrage". We can get that anytime, anywhere, and from anybody. It's easier than ever, and it's a GREAT distraction.

You talk about a rabbithole - "moral outrage" is just that. What do we learn from it? Not a damn thing, except that there are bad people who do bad things. Wow, I'm so glad to learn THAT!

What are our actionable takeaways? PUNISH THEM!!!

Meanwhile, the systemic contributing factors go unchecked. The same things that create the opportunities for wrong to be done are allowed to remain in place, waiting for somebody smarter to game them a little better, until the get caught. Nothing gets fixed..

But god, are we morally outraged!!! And boy do we feel good about that!

Babies. No wonder shit's going all to hell, nobody wants to work, they just want to feel. Well, feelings get hurt a lot easier than work gets destroyed, so prioritize the investment of energies accordingly.

Or not.

1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

I'll grant you that "this whole cheating system originated on an Excel spread sheet," but its ultimate practical consequential application (i.e. influencing the outcome of games), which is why we're even having this conversation, was based on a video feed into the Astros clubhouse and the immediate relaying of information gleaned from that video feed to a batter in the batter's box. Again, pretty much like the Giants versus Dodgers in '51, where Excel spreadsheets played no part.

And driving with a GPS that talks to you is no different than following road signs. And getting in a self-driving car still boils down to using a car to get to where you want to go. And taking a a car trip based around charging stations is no different that planning one around gas stations. hey, let's just GO!

Because, I suppose, the full impact of applied technology on our behavior is not really worth examining?

Or something?

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I'm seeing the videos of Chapman and Sanchez about Altuve's walk off and whether he knew what was coming ... and you know what stands out? The fact that Chapman threw an utterly flat 84 mile-an-hour slider that sat, up and over the plate, like a BP fastball. Had a damn sign on it that said hit me to the moon. I really don't care if Altuve was wearing a wire. Chapman threw a piece of shit pitch that professional ball players hit out of the park every damn day.

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28 minutes ago, JSngry said:

And I have no idea what give you the idea that I'm defending it. I'd like to think that your reading comprehension ability was better than that. They cheated, they got busted. No argument, no defense. It happened, end of story, no defense of the action or objection to the outcome of the bust.

I guess I could invest all my...whatever... into being "outraged" and all that, but that's what I did when I was a kid (and then some), but now, as a rational adult, I'd much rather look at understanding the context of how all this came to happen, and if all I do is BAD BAD PEOPLE did BAD BAD THINGS!!!! then...that's baby stuff.

When they make a Hollywood Movie about this affair, I hope it's on the level of Eight Men Out, which is so NOT imbued with simplistic amped up "moral outrage". We can get that anytime, anywhere, and from anybody. It's easier than ever, and it's a GREAT distraction.

You talk about a rabbithole - "moral outrage" is just that. What do we learn from it? Not a damn thing, except that there are bad people who do bad things. Wow, I'm so glad to learn THAT!

What are our actionable takeaways? PUNISH THEM!!!

Meanwhile, the systemic contributing factors go unchecked. The same things that create the opportunities for wrong to be done are allowed to remain in place, waiting for somebody smarter to game them a little better, until the get caught. Nothing gets fixed..

But god, are we morally outraged!!! And boy do we feel good about that!

Babies. No wonder shit's going all to hell, nobody wants to work, they just want to feel. Well, feelings get hurt a lot easier than work gets destroyed, so prioritize the investment of energies accordingly.

Or not.

And driving with a GPS that talks to you is no different than following road signs. And getting in a self-driving car still boils down to using a car to get to where you want to go. And taking a a car trip based around charging stations is no different that planning one around gas stations. hey, let's just GO!

Because, I suppose, the full impact of applied technology on our behavior is not really worth examining?

Or something?

To continue the auto trip theme, I was just pointing out that where the rubber met the road in 1951 (Giants versus Dodgers)  and where it met the road in 2017

(Astros versus Yankees) was virtually identical  -- presumably so in the latter case, definitely so in the former.

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

And I have no idea what give you the idea that I'm defending it. I'd like to think that your reading comprehension ability was better than that. They cheated, they got busted. No argument, no defense. It happened, end of story, no defense of the action or objection to the outcome of the bust.

I guess I could invest all my...whatever... into being "outraged" and all that, but that's what I did when I was a kid (and then some), but now, as a rational adult, I'd much rather look at understanding the context of how all this came to happen, and if all I do is BAD BAD PEOPLE did BAD BAD THINGS!!!! then...that's baby stuff.

When they make a Hollywood Movie about this affair, I hope it's on the level of Eight Men Out, which is so NOT imbued with simplistic amped up "moral outrage". We can get that anytime, anywhere, and from anybody. It's easier than ever, and it's a GREAT distraction.

You talk about a rabbithole - "moral outrage" is just that. What do we learn from it? Not a damn thing, except that there are bad people who do bad things. Wow, I'm so glad to learn THAT!

What are our actionable takeaways? PUNISH THEM!!!

Meanwhile, the systemic contributing factors go unchecked. The same things that create the opportunities for wrong to be done are allowed to remain in place, waiting for somebody smarter to game them a little better, until the get caught. Nothing gets fixed..

But god, are we morally outraged!!! And boy do we feel good about that!

Babies. No wonder shit's going all to hell, nobody wants to work, they just want to feel. Well, feelings get hurt a lot easier than work gets destroyed, so prioritize the investment of energies accordingly.

Or not.

And driving with a GPS that talks to you is no different than following road signs. And getting in a self-driving car still boils down to using a car to get to where you want to go. And taking a a car trip based around charging stations is no different that planning one around gas stations. hey, let's just GO!

Because, I suppose, the full impact of applied technology on our behavior is not really worth examining?

Or something?

I think the players and other team officials (and fans) are thinking more and more that the punishment levied wasn't enough--and every time the Astros open their mouths about the scandal, they somehow seem to make it worse.  You can blame that worsening on "moral outrage" culture, but seems to me that's a copout akin to the abdication of personal accountability/responsibility that you're lamenting the apparent vanishing of above.  Astros were great at cheating and suck at mitigating the fallout from getting caught.  (And only then because Fiers said something, and that forced Manfred's hand.  I really don't think Manfred wanted to pursue this, for a variety of reasons.)  And regrets if I've misread your posts, but iirc your response from the git-go to the whole story was to kinda pooh-pooh it, downplay it as not really being a big deal.  If so many people are upset about it, y'know, might be fire behind that smoke, not Jello (apologies to J.D. Salinger) or a heapin' stack of moral-outrage pancakes.  Now maybe some of that's resentment, because the Astros have been relatively dominant the past three years... but that's also part of what makes it bad.  (Yes, bad! :g)  They won a WS title and damn near picked up a second.  If the Astros had concocted this system and finished in the middle of the division the past three years, or barely made the playoffs and been dislodged, there still would've been a scandal, for sure--but I believe the ramifications and reverberations would have been considerably less intense.  This is the tainting of a World Series title--not the tainting of an 83-79 season finish, or some such.  

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8 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

I think the players and other team officials (and fans) are thinking more and more ..

See, that's where you and I fundamentally go out of sync - I do not give even half a fuck what "players and other team officials (and fans)" are thinking, be it more and more or less and less. That has no relevancy or interest  to me at all.

 

8 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

Astros were great at cheating..

 

6 hours ago, soulpope said:

And this is why - talk about idiocy - no, the Astros were not good at cheating, for damn sure not great. First of all, they got caught and are being punished. Great cheaters don't get caught, and good cheaters find a way to mitigate, sometimes actually avoid the punishment.

And a really virtuoso cheater finds ways to steal and benefit from the theft without it really being provably "illegal".

Dmywj8KVAAER84E.jpg:large

No, the Astros actually have not been particularly good at cheating.

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With all the technology available today, why are catchers still using hand signals to call pitches?  

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Simple cure would be for the catcher to go out to the mound before every pitch and just whisper the pitch call in the pitcher's ear, but that would lengthen the game considerably. As for all the technology available today -- so is hacking.

2 hours ago, JSngry said:

See, that's where you and I fundamentally go out of sync - I do not give even half a fuck what "players and other team officials (and fans)" are thinking, be it more and more or less and less. That has no relevancy or interest  to me at all.

 

 

And this is why - talk about idiocy - no, the Astros were not good at cheating, for damn sure not great. First of all, they got caught and are being punished. Great cheaters don't get caught, and good cheaters find a way to mitigate, sometimes actually avoid the punishment.

And a really virtuoso cheater finds ways to steal and benefit from the theft without it really being provably "illegal".

Dmywj8KVAAER84E.jpg:large

No, the Astros actually have not been particularly good at cheating.

If I'm not mistaken, the main reason the Astros got caught is because of something they could do nothing about short of murder -- through trade or otherwise, players leave the team that cheated, and then with new loyalties in place, some of them decide to talk.

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The ability to buy (or otherwise secure) silence is fundamental to being a successful cheater. If you can't even do that little bit, hey, you oughta just leave it alone.

Don't do something like this if you don't have a long game ready to go. Shit takes money, time, and a power bigger than some cheapass hubristical bullshit.

The Astros were not good at cheating.

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And how, exactly, could the Astros have bought or otherwise secured silence? BTW, I emphasize "secured." If its payments, someone else (in the media or otherwise) with a good sense of smell will offer more. Otherwise we're talking about gross intimidation of some sort, and how well and how long is that going to work? The long game -- as in "We know where your children go to school or where your wife gets their hair done and where your mother lives"?   Don't make me laugh.

Given such realities, no one is that good at cheating in the long run.

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9 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

And how, exactly, could the Astros have bought or otherwise secured silence? BTW, I emphasize "secured." If its payments, someone else (in the media or otherwise) with a good sense of smell will offer more. Otherwise we're talking about gross intimidation of some sort, and how well and how long is that going to work? The long game -- as in "We know where your children go to school or where your wife gets their hair done and where your mother lives"?   Don't make me laugh.

Given such realities, no one is that good at cheating in the long run.

Oh, but they are. The really good ones make the law/rules, or get them made on their behalf. "Influence", I believe its called?

Murder is for suckers. Money is for pros.

OTOH, jocks are mostly dumb, and dumb people scare easy. So the money is probably wasted there.

No matter, the Astros were not good at cheating. Having a little bit of success is not the same as being good at it. Actually being good at it is for career professionals, not renegade upstarts with god knows how many self-placed chips on their self-padded shoulders..

Now, let's talk about the rest of why baseball in its current state sucks: https://www.axios.com/mlb-problems-baseball-houston-sign-stealing-scandal-c91f94ea-386b-4671-9f09-4b582b6b26a1.html

The deal about what's going down with the minor leagues...why is nobody talking about this here? That seems pretty serious to me. Talk about the "integrity" of the game (such as it is...).

And really, it's a rule now that a pitcher must face three batters?

Bring in the feral hogs!

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2 minutes ago, JSngry said:

And really, it's a rule now that a pitcher must face three batters?

Bring in the feral hogs!

This is the only worthwhile rule change in years. Fewer pitching changes, and presumably fewer lefty/lefty matchups. Less specialization, more generalized skill.  Me likey.

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Yeah, but...not sure about not bringing in somebody because you don't know if they've got the stuff today to go three batters. What that does to overall staff wear-and-tear over the course of a full season...I don't know.

Sure, hire better pitchers, or at least train better pitchers. Problem solved, right?

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Well you may end up with the pretend "whoops I tweaked my hammy" mound visit/fake warm up throw/I'm outta here" shimmy, or you just may get some more mid and late inning offense because of fewer match-up driven pitching changes. 

I wouldn't get behind a "no shift" defense rule (I'm a Willie Keeler hit 'em where they ain't guy) but minimizing the dominance of bullpen specialists sounds good to me. 

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What about fewer pinch-hitters? Possibility? Good thing? bad thing?

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4 minutes ago, JSngry said:

What about fewer pinch-hitters? Possibility? Good thing? bad thing?

NL pinch hitters are an inevitability unless they finally adopt the DH. In the AL there's what, maybe 2 guys coming off the bench in a big spot? And almost always they are only marginally better than the hitter they are replacing.

I'll be honest I haven't thought that much of pinch-hitters, the flipside of the parade of relief hitters. What we really need is some good intelligence on who is going to PH. What about cameras that are manned by lip readers? Cheating/not cheating? :g

 

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JUMBOTRON!!!!

Just to clarify (and I think you got it, just making sure), will the decrease in # of pitchers in an inning lead to a parallel decrease in the # of pinch-hitters? If so, what does that do to individual seasonal stats (i.e. - earning potential) of marginal players?

I still would like to hear some thoughtful thoughts about what's going on with the minors...that seems really significant to me, infrastructure, labor sourcing, talent development, etc. OTOH, money saving, because how many people get signed and paid with no expectations whatsoever that they'll play in the majors, they're just cogs in the overall system. OTOH, what does this portend in the way of signing established (as opposed to younger) talent from outside the US who will need little or no AA-AAA seasoning? And how funny can that money potentially get?

If what is being unspokenly said is that there's more teams than "the game" can realistically support, then, hey, welcome to, what, 1980 or so?

 

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