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Explaining the decline in MLB offense


nmh

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http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/09/baseball-is-boring-and-this-camera/379443/?single_page=true

Great article worth reading. To summarize, with cameras being used to judge every pitch called by umpires, the strike zone has changed over the last decade because calls are less subjective. The strike zone now is lower and these are tougher pitches to hit and have led to an increase in strikeouts. Imagine five baseballs side by side. That is the cumulative increase in the strike zone area vs a few years ago.

The author was on KCRW's To the Point show yesterday (the Scottish independence episode; starts around minute 44). You can find it as a podcast. Some really interesting points about how this has led to drop in tv ratings.

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It makes sense because even after the roids crackdown started, slugging was still solid in MLB.

By 2009, one would have thought offenses would be starting to struggle. But lo and behold, the Halos set a franchise record for runs scored that year, despite struggling at the plate for the first 1/3 of the season, and introduced the .300 lineup.

Next question is, how long will pass before batters start swinging more often at those low strikes?

Edited by Angel Oracle
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The drop in tv ratings are because the game is slow as shit. I just tune in when my guide says Angels post game and know I can watch from the 8th on.

It's why soccer is blowing up with exponential growth. The game never stops except once for halftime and is done in two hours. With this new culture of adhd fans and instant gratification no one wants to sit through 4 hours of guys rubbing their balls and striking out.

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That's why crackdowns like limiting catcher visits to the mound need to take place. Why does the catcher have to visit the mound more often than the pitching coach?

The increase in replacing pitchers during games also slows the game down.

Last night was a prime example as the Twins went through EIGHT relievers in 5 innings.

Plus, batters incessantly leave the batters box between pitches. In the old days, a fastball would buzz them for doing that.

Time between half innings has increased ridiculously too, as commercial after commercial air between half inning.

It's ridiculous that in the decreased offense era, the games are seemingly longer than ever.

If instant replay is to be ingrained permanently into MLB, other areas will need to be speeded up.

Hockey also does it right. Regulation games used to last 3 hours, and now regulation games last generally 2:30 to 2:40, mainly due to letting the players dug out the puck against the boards instead of whistling stoppage in play.

Edited by Angel Oracle
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I don't mind those visits as they are usually short and almost like a QB and WR getting in the same page real quick.

Pitching changes are sometimes strategy based and the Twins were in the game last night.

However, when a reliever has been warming up for 15 minutes there is no need to have him throw again for another 5 minutes when he enters. Those 8 relievers using an extra 5 minutes is 40 minutes added.

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Fixed

 

There's a ballgame in there someplace among all the commercials, but it's getting harder to find it. At this rate they'll be running a 5-second commercial between every pitch. It's ridiculous.

 

Don't get me started on the casino contests. They have them almost every inning now, and they're stupid.

 

Oh, and on the 75th pitch of the game they run a commercial for a seafood restaurant in Santa Monica that's celebrating their 75th anniversary.

 

Stupid and irritating.

Edited by fan_since79
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Yeah, putting in rules to speed the game up would be terrible. I never find myself thinking I don't want to watch this because a pitcher threw over to first again, or did the fake third to first (which never should have been banned). NFL games actually do sometimes make me want to stop because of the commercials, but it is the #1 sport. So it isn't the time between pitches that turns people off.

I actually just had this realization the other night. Baseball fans are the smartest, and smarter people have fewer children. So naturally the dumber sports will become the most popular (as with music, movies etc.). And you have to know baseball to enjoy it, whereas anyone can turn on a basketball game and say, "yay, sphere go in circle, Kobe."

 

God bless you for having 4 hours a day for 162 days (plus the playoffs) out of your year to have nothing to do.

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Listening on the radio is starting to get irritating. Almost every foul ball elicits a 20-second commercial from Terry or Mark. In-N-Out, roofing companies, Roto-Rooter, casinos, it's endless.

 

Yep, I find myself wondering if the game is on or we are in a commercial break. Worst is hearing in the background the pitch being caught or a hit in the field and there is a delay while Terry or Mark finish their promo. Then when they don't have anything to sell you will have long pregnant pauses and you again wonder if there is a game going on.

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Yeah, putting in rules to speed the game up would be terrible. I never find myself thinking I don't want to watch this because a pitcher threw over to first again, or did the fake third to first (which never should have been banned). NFL games actually do sometimes make me want to stop because of the commercials, but it is the #1 sport. So it isn't the time between pitches that turns people off.

I actually just had this realization the other night. Baseball fans are the smartest, and smarter people have fewer children. So naturally the dumber sports will become the most popular (as with music, movies etc.). And you have to know baseball to enjoy it, whereas anyone can turn on a basketball game and say, "yay, sphere go in circle, Kobe."

 

To each his own.  I haven't watched a full, first pitch to last, MLB game this year.  College fb is another on my hit list - those games are pretty close to four hours.

 

One runs the risk of sounding like a hipster douche by touting soccer too much, but, as Brandon said, those suckers are two hours long.  Perfecto.  The round robin stage of the World Cup was just two and a half weeks of bliss.

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Yep, I find myself wondering if the game is on or we are in a commercial break. Worst is hearing in the background the pitch being caught or a hit in the field and there is a delay while Terry or Mark finish their promo. Then when they don't have anything to sell you will have long pregnant pauses and you again wonder if there is a game going on.

 

 

Terry Smith will end his career hear with more than 20 years on the radio.  Talk about being in the right place at the right time.  

 

When you hear the saying that 90% of success is just showing up, there should be a picture of Terry Smith next to it.

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