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JSngry

2019-2020 MLB Hot Stove Thread

350 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, JSngry said:

Ok, I'll be the asshole here and say that other than it being against the rules, I don't see anything particular intrinsically wrong with the methodology and the technology itself. AFAIC, it really should be legalized and, of course, regulated.

And of course, I'm just a little bit or more amused that all this indignacious uproar about unauthorized/surreptitious collection and application of unknowingly collected data and activity is occurring in a world where such things pretty much drive damn near every element of our individual "private" lives.

Technology continues to alter pretty much every aspect of our interactions today, and far past the initial impact of the hardware and software. Behaviors change as well, and as they do, morals eventual do.

An "unfair advantage", perhaps, and in the current boundaries of acceptability, definitely deserving of admonishment. But in time, one which is likely to be adopted as one more tool to winning. Better that than the stenchy breaths of "legalized gambling" seeking to guarantee an outcome by paying for deliberate underperformance. You can lose on purpose, but you can never win on purpose. The fix is never in except to lose.

I don't know about that Jim... if teams were allowed to steal the other teams pitches and communicate what pitch was coming prior to the windup, how would this improve the game?

"Hey batter, here comes a fastball."

Wasn't that a line in Bull Durham? How did that work out? Oh yeah...

 

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3 minutes ago, bresna said:

I don't know about that Jim... if teams were allowed to steal the other teams pitches and communicate what pitch was coming prior to the windup, how would this improve the game?

I hope that everybody will agree that signal stealing is a fundamental part of the game, always has been, always will be. What seems to have upset everybody this time is that technology was involved (that, and maybe also that the Astros have been kinda "douche" lately (no offense to any active douchers out there, we thank you for your service and for your personal commitment to demonstrably higher standards of social responsibility).

But hey - MLB has been quite proud of itself for its advanced metrics, of getting data and then utilizing it to potentially effect a winning outcome. You think that there was a convention of scouts & GMs at which everybody got together and said, "ok, here's the data we're looking for, here's what we're going to do with it, and here's what it's going to look like once we do"?

Of course not. People figured that shit out independently and then they implemented it independently. It's not an edge if everybody does it the same way at the same time, right?

So now sign-stealing has entered the technological age. Genie's out of the bottle. Better get out in front of it and allow it. Set some guidelines and enforce them. If you're going to consider electric-eye umpires...

How does it improve the game? Well, pitchers still gotta pitch, hitters still gotta hit, and fielders still gotta field. And teams with ingenuity will figure out a way to beat the signal-stealing. It should be fun to watch, actually.

Defenses gonna shift? You know they're doing it, so figure out how to beat it, learn how to hit 'em where they ain't. Teams gonna steal your signs? You know they're doing it, so find a way to beat it, learn how to sign 'em what it ain't.

It's not complicated, all it takes is imagination, desire, and a proactive work ethic.

Stealing, that's the American way. Stealing before you get stole from, that's the EPITOMIC American way, it's downright Founding Fathers Constitutional!

20th Century people are getting really, really lazy. It's a new day, so let a man come in and do the popcorn.

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2 hours ago, Brad said:

Like other teams they’ve had some good ones and some bad ones; the Giants had a good one with Bochy (obviously) but their recent one is poor at best, considering his resume with the Phillies.

The consensus seems to be that Beltran will not be fired but we shall see.  

Agree on Kapler, hardly anyone here in the Bay Area is okay with the hire -- his lack of response to the sexual harassment stuff as a Dodger, plus his being the puppet for the GM Zaidi, has pissed off the fans to no end. Bochy was probably the last Old School manager, he wasn't too keen on analytics and he didn't like the front office interference. Given that, it was time for Bochy to move on, it's a different game now.

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1 hour ago, bresna said:

Wasn't that a line in Bull Durham? How did that work out? Oh yeah...

 

😎 ....

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

So now sign-stealing has entered the technological age. Genie's out of the bottle. Better get out in front of it and allow it. Set some guidelines and enforce them. If you're going to consider electric-eye umpires...

How does it improve the game? Well, pitchers still gotta pitch, hitters still gotta hit, and fielders still gotta field. And teams with ingenuity will figure out a way to beat the signal-stealing. It should be fun to watch, actually.

Defenses gonna shift? You know they're doing it, so figure out how to beat it, learn how to hit 'em where they ain't. Teams gonna steal your signs? You know they're doing it, so find a way to beat it, learn how to sign 'em what it ain't.

It's not complicated, all it takes is imagination, desire, and a proactive work ethic.

Stealing, that's the American way. Stealing before you get stole from, that's the EPITOMIC American way, it's downright Founding Fathers Constitutional!

20th Century people are getting really, really lazy. It's a new day, so let a man come in and do the popcorn.

1 hour ago, JSngry said:

 

True, but talk about slowing the game down to a fucking crawl and MLB is only interested in speeding shit up.  Can you imagine? Team A sees Team B just signaled batter to lay off, because Team A pitcher is about to throw a shit ball. Team A has to regroup which could mean a meeting at the mound. Meeting over, Team A sees Team B just signaled batter, a fast ball is coming. Team A has to regroup which could mean another meeting on the mound and or a bunch of other signals and so on and so on, vice versa and all that shit.

Fuck, just the suspicion alone would be nerve racking. Nah, if you're going to to do it, leave the higher technology out of it. That actually takes some imagination.

Edited by catesta

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

I hope that everybody will agree that signal stealing is a fundamental part of the game, always has been, always will be. What seems to have upset everybody this time is that technology was involved (that, and maybe also that the Astros have been kinda "douche" lately (no offense to any active douchers out there, we thank you for your service and for your personal commitment to demonstrably higher standards of social responsibility).

But hey - MLB has been quite proud of itself for its advanced metrics, of getting data and then utilizing it to potentially effect a winning outcome. You think that there was a convention of scouts & GMs at which everybody got together and said, "ok, here's the data we're looking for, here's what we're going to do with it, and here's what it's going to look like once we do"?

Of course not. People figured that shit out independently and then they implemented it independently. It's not an edge if everybody does it the same way at the same time, right?

So now sign-stealing has entered the technological age. Genie's out of the bottle. Better get out in front of it and allow it. Set some guidelines and enforce them. If you're going to consider electric-eye umpires...

How does it improve the game? Well, pitchers still gotta pitch, hitters still gotta hit, and fielders still gotta field. And teams with ingenuity will figure out a way to beat the signal-stealing. It should be fun to watch, actually.

Defenses gonna shift? You know they're doing it, so figure out how to beat it, learn how to hit 'em where they ain't. Teams gonna steal your signs? You know they're doing it, so find a way to beat it, learn how to sign 'em what it ain't.

It's not complicated, all it takes is imagination, desire, and a proactive work ethic.

Stealing, that's the American way. Stealing before you get stole from, that's the EPITOMIC American way, it's downright Founding Fathers Constitutional!

20th Century people are getting really, really lazy. It's a new day, so let a man come in and do the popcorn.

An analogy: In pro football, plays are relayed  electronically to the QB from the coach on the sideline; the QB and the rest of his offensive teammates then know the next play they're going to run; the defense does not. The defense's only recourse is superior skill/savvy/preparation on their part and on the part of their coaches. So what you're saying is that if the defense, through sub rosa technological means, could hack into the signals being sent to the QB and know in advance what play is coming, that's fair and OK by you? BTW, the electronic relaying of plays to the QB  from the sidelines came in, I believe, to counteract the seemingly unfair advantage that really noisy crowds gave to teams that were playing in their home stadiums. 

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Off Topic: I always hated Tom Landry for starting the practice of having the coach call the plays...

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1 hour ago, Matthew said:

Agree on Kapler, hardly anyone here in the Bay Area is okay with the hire -- his lack of response to the sexual harassment stuff as a Dodger, plus his being the puppet for the GM Zaidi, has pissed off the fans to no end. Bochy was probably the last Old School manager, he wasn't too keen on analytics and he didn't like the front office interference. Given that, it was time for Bochy to move on, it's a different game now.

Yes, it’s a different game. Not sure it’s better but GM interference is a fact of life. Apologies for the grouchiness; I wish the Mets were a premier franchise!

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1 hour ago, catesta said:

True, but talk about slowing the game down to a fucking crawl and MLB is only interested in speeding shit up.  Can you imagine? Team A sees Team B just signaled batter to lay off, because Team A pitcher is about to throw a shit ball. Team A has to regroup which could mean a meeting at the mound. Meeting over, Team A sees Team B just signaled batter, a fast ball is coming. Team A has to regroup which could mean another meeting on the mound and or a bunch of other signals and so on and so on, vice versa and all that shit.

Fuck, just the suspicion alone would be nerve racking. Nah, if you're going to to do it, leave the higher technology out of it. That actually takes some imagination.

Good lord, talk about thinking analog...

There are digital solutions to changing signals on the fly. In fact, some are already being discussed. https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-exploring-ways-to-use-on-field-technology-to-help-prevent-sign-stealing-report-says/

"Distracting", yeah, sure. Until you get to the generation of players who doesn't really have to take the time to think about it too much, if at all.

We are transitioning away from being an all-analog species. E-Sports are here to stay. At what point do live sports just seem quaint and or stupid and/or archaic, like boxing?

But oh yeah - tradition. That only works if you have nostalgia and somebody to sell it to.

1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

An analogy: In pro football, plays are relayed  electronically to the QB from the coach on the sideline; the QB and the rest of his offensive teammates then know the next play they're going to run; the defense does not. The defense's only recourse is superior skill/savvy/preparation on their part and on the part of their coaches. So what you're saying is that if the defense, through sub rosa technological means, could hack into the signals being sent to the QB and know in advance what play is coming, that's fair and OK by you? BTW, the electronic relaying of plays to the QB  from the sidelines came in, I believe, to counteract the seemingly unfair advantage that really noisy crowds gave to teams that were playing in their home stadiums. 

Baseball is not football, nor is Allstate State Farm.

But yeah, football got a defensive equivalent of sign-stealing, right there on the field, in real time.

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/02/08/tony-dungy-on-stealing-signals-its-been-done-legally-for-years/

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/24639497/new-york-jets-say-defense-knew-matthew-stafford-signals-rout

1 hour ago, Matthew said:

Off Topic: I always hated Tom Landry for starting the practice of having the coach call the plays...

I have any number of reasons for not feeling fondness for Tom Landry, and that's certainly one of them.

But just one.

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"Dungy said this morning on PFT Live that stealing signals is a legal and smart tactic in the NFL, and Sanders is wrong to conflate it with Spygate, in which the Patriots broke NFL rules by videotaping opposing teams’ signals from the sideline."

The legal signal stealing Dungy that refers to is the equivalent of, in baseball, the legal stealing of signs by a savvy third base coach or his equivalent. In particular, all such an observer has going for him are his own eyes and experience. He isn't a guy hidden in the scoreboard using binoculars or the like (that was the story behind the "Giants win the pennant!" Bobby Thomson home run off of Ralph Branca) nor is he, if you will, looking down the road a bit, someone processing info collected by a drone or a spy satellite. 


You'll note that Dungy then refers to "Spygate, in which the Patriots broke NFL rules by videotaping opposing teams’ signals from the sideline." The surreptitious use of technological means -- rather than the savviness of of an experienced human observer using nothing but his own eyes -- is why what the Astros (and the Patriots and probably the Red Sox) did is both illegal and unethical. You don't  see the difference?

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Of course I see the difference. The rules were broken. But if/when the rules get changed, hey.

And I don't  see why they shouldn't be, really. It's just a question of how you do it, not if you do it, and the technology makes it almost silly not to do it.

Almost..

It''s still against the tules. But everything gets legalized eventually if there's enough money and/or glory in it. And winning brings both, because this is a fucking circus right now, this world is.

As for the appeal to the ethos of "nothing but his own eyes"...are we talking about the business of athletics in the 21st century? Seriously?

Besides, thieves have "better eyes" than most people. Better eyes and more money, if they have better lawyers to go with them.

Wanna buy a ticket? I hear there's still good seats available!

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From a a story in today's Washington Post about how the Nationals took elaborate  (and time consuming, in the course of the game) steps to protect themselves against sign stealing in the 2019 World Series:

"It’s the worst feeling in the world stepping on that mound and having an idea that that hitter knows what’s coming,” said Paul Menhart, the Nationals pitching coach. “It’s one of the most unnerving feelings. You feel helpless. You just get ticked off to the point where you lose total focus and confidence."

One simple, ugly, non-technological solution: The catcher calls for a breaking ball, reasonably sure that the sign will be stolen. The pitcher, by prior agreement, instead throws a high and tight fastball. The batter steps confidently into the pitch, certain it will break, and takes a fastball right in the face. Rinse and repeat. Can you say Ray Chapman?  End of the outbreak of video-based sign-stealing.

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1 minute ago, Larry Kart said:

One simple, ugly, non-technological solution: The catcher calls for a breaking ball, reasonably sure that the sign will be stolen. The pitcher, by prior agreement, instead throws a high and tight fastball. The batter steps confidently into the pitch, certain it will break, and takes a fastball right in the face. Rinse and repeat. Can you say Ray Chapman?  End of the outbreak of video-based sign-stealing.

Totally agree. The only thing that motivates (most) people more than they acquisition of money is the fear of death.

Granted, most is not all, but people will definitely come out to a game to watch a greedy motherfucker get killed, if not this year, then soon enough.

So...maybe that won't be the end of it. Instead, it might be all the incentive the game needs to not just legalize it, but glorify it - COME SEE A CHEATER DIE. GOOD SEATS STILL AVAILABLE!!!

God, I wish I could live to see more of the 21st Century than I'm going to...

6 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

"It’s the worst feeling in the world stepping on that mound and having an idea that that hitter knows what’s coming,” said Paul Menhart, the Nationals pitching coach. “It’s one of the most unnerving feelings. You feel helpless. You just get ticked off to the point where you lose total focus and confidence."

That guy needs to be fired. I like your solution better, deal with it on its own terms, own the solution, not the problem. This guy's too emo, like oh boo hoo, they're stealing our signs, what can we do what CAN we do???? Kill a motherfucker with a fastball, that's what you can do.

Only then everybody would be like oh dear, is winning THAT important that you'll KILL somebody who's stealing your signs? Really? How desperate have we become, it's just a game, cheating is a part of any game, you shouldn't KILL somebody over a game. So there we go again.

This world today is a fucking 24/7 clown show, nonstop big top, hurry hurry hurry.

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20 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

"It’s the worst feeling in the world stepping on that mound and having an idea that that hitter knows what’s coming,” said Paul Menhart, the Nationals pitching coach. “It’s one of the most unnerving feelings. You feel helpless. You just get ticked off to the point where you lose total focus and confidence."

Yeah, I mean look motherfucker - you just won the World Series. You beat the cheating. You're not exactly a tragic victim entitled to reparations here, you won. Praise your players for being stronger than the cheaters, hell, they weren't unnerved, and they didn't "lose" shit. They won.

EVERYBODY gotta be a victim these days, even the winners. Makes me sick to both my stomachs.

 

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You have to be a Post subscriber to access the article, but in it Menhart isn't whining or being emo. Rather he says that realistically knowing up front how it can affect pitchers if they think the hitter knows what's coming, the Nationals had to/chose to engage in fairly elaborate sign altering/changing schemes that either would disrupt the sign stealing or give the Nationals' pitchers the belief that the sign-stealing was being disrupted and thus allow them to pitch more or less as they would have before. Problem was a) those sign altering/changing schemes were of necessity so elaborate as to be potentially quite confusing to the catchers, pitchers, coaches, and managers who were using them (e.g. when I call for pitch X I really mean pitch Y unless I  then give you a sign Z, which means that we start all over again from the top but read the signs in reverse order or something), and b) they were fairly time-consuming to implement -- this at a time when baseball was trying to speed up play. 

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Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox have decided not to wait for MLB judgment:  Alex Cora is gone.

Edited by ghost of miles

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5 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox have decided not to wait for MLB judgment:  Alex Cora is gone.

Ok ....

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9 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

You have to be a Post subscriber to access the article, but in it Menhart isn't whining or being emo. Rather he says that realistically knowing up front how it can affect pitchers if they think the hitter knows what's coming, the Nationals had to/chose to engage in fairly elaborate sign altering/changing schemes that either would disrupt the sign stealing or give the Nationals' pitchers the belief that the sign-stealing was being disrupted and thus allow them to pitch more or less as they would have before. Problem was a) those sign altering/changing schemes were of necessity so elaborate as to be potentially quite confusing to the catchers, pitchers, coaches, and managers who were using them (e.g. when I call for pitch X I really mean pitch Y unless I  then give you a sign Z, which means that we start all over again from the top but read the signs in reverse order or something), and b) they were fairly time-consuming to implement -- this at a time when baseball was trying to speed up play. 

Maybe I'm just insensitive, but I've been in unfamiliar/unfriendly jam sessions where cats would have routines worked out to deliberately set you up to fail. They knew what was coming and you either picked up on it or fell on your ass. Sometimes it was just a test and sometimes they were just mean-spirited motherfuckers. But either way, you were at peril and it was on nobody but you to deal. So I really don't feel a lot of worry about a dynamic of one team trying to fuck you up by any means at their disposal, Sink or swim, every tub on its own bottom, as they used to say.

As far as delaying the game, hell, if they knew what they were going to be dealing with, why didn't they plan ahead and get their "scheme" in place before the Series, not during the game itself? Because it contaminates the athlete's natural competitive performance instincts of just doing what comes naturally? Give me a break, are they that dumb, that they can't process multiple possible scenarios?

Seriously. it's NOT "just a game", and hasn't been for a good long time now. Ask the owners, ask the agents, ask the press, ask the players. Ask anybody except a fan.

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16 hours ago, JSngry said:

I hope that everybody will agree that signal stealing is a fundamental part of the game, always has been, always will be.

Jim - stealing the catchers signs has been a fundamental part of the game. But it really only came into play when there was a baserunner on 2nd. The coaches can't see when the catcher flashes his signs between his legs and the batter can't turn around to check or he risks a quick pitch that he can't react to. I was a catcher when I was a kid. We had special signs for when someone was on second. We knew the sign could be stolen, so we changed them up - sometimes from inning to inning.

Allowing legal sign-stealing would ruin the game. The change-up would disappear. No sense throwing any off-speed pitches when the hitter knows it's coming or else he's just going to tee off on it. These guys are professional hitters. Watch BP sometime. They can and will tee off on the warm up pitcher's soft tosses. I suppose if all you want to see is HRs, sure, allow this to happen. But if you want to see real pitching, stop this stuff.

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Nothing would disappear. People will just find new and innovative ways to beat the sign stealing, new ways of calling pitches, new orthodoxies of working the hitter.

There's no cheat that can't be beat.

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Players are always looking for an edge and will “push the envelope” until they are stopped. Now that the use of electronic equipment to steal signs has been curtailed, players will look for other ways to gain an advantage. One byproduct of the Houston incident is that team officials will become more vigilant about what their players are doing. In corporate America, employees are required to take courses about compliance with various laws, etc. I can now see teams rolling out these kinds of courses for players and team personnel. 

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22 minutes ago, Brad said:

Now that the use of electronic equipment to steal signs has been curtailed...

Has it been curtailed? Or is it going to continue as soon as somebody finds a newer, sleeker, less obvious technology that's more seamlessly integrated and doesn't involve something Flintstoney analog-primitive like banging on a freaking trash can?

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"As far as delaying the game, hell, if they knew what they were going to be dealing with, why didn't they plan ahead and get their "scheme" in place before the Series, not during the game itself? "

According to the Post article, planning ahead  as soon as they knew who their likely opponent in the Series was going to be and getting their  hopeful foil-their-opponents-sign stealing approach in place is exactly what the Nationals did. OTOH, devoting all that time  to novel and fairly elaborate anti-sign stealing methods could in itself screw up your own pitching staff. Do you want Joe Rotator Cuff thinking about getting that slider over the outside corner or thinking "What the hell pitch is it that my catcher is signaling me told to throw now?"

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Hey, they won. They did the work, they got it done, they won. Isn't that what we like to see, hard, difficult work rewarded with success? Astronauts, not Astros!

Joe Rotator Cuff needs to stop thinking like a jock and start thinking like the 21st Century Multi-Media Cross-Platform Entertainment Talent Tool that he is expected to be and just figure that shit out, get on with successfully executing the code, and then reaping the rewards that come with that.

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"There's no cheat that can't be beat." 

Yes, eventually -- and for the most part after the horse leaves the barn. See who won the World Series in 2017 and 2018 or the passenger lists for those two Boeing 737 Maxes than went down. Yes, it's who won a game versus death, but some sort of cheating is the common denominator, no? The Astros knew what they were doing was wrong, as did the people at Boeing, but in both cases they thought they needed to do what they did in order to "win" and thought they they could away with it.

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