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MLB Changes 2017

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3 hours ago, McCarthy said:

Yeah by the late 90's it was just too impractical to have 2 completely different leagues both operating at an equal level, intertwined in all aspects except they never played each other.

 

Why?

 

 

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I was playing MLB Perfect Inning Live and I got a doubt: do the Cardinals still use the Red/White on Navy monogram?

 

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1 minute ago, Victormrey said:

I was playing MLB Perfect Inning Live and I got a doubt: do the Cardinals still use the Red/White on Navy monogram?

 

591e0192ed116_VideogameBaseball.thumb.png.f24e7c1a44af6b3a4027375996c6628e.png

 

They still wear the navy hat with the red monogram.

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8 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

And this is the reason I don't like wide interleague play, and why I like the leagues having their own identities and style of play. 

Agreed. I'm not even a fan of the DH from a "pure baseball" perspective, but having it helps make AL ball seem different from NL ball. And that's a good thing. 

 

Hell, if I had if my way we'd go back to AL and NL umps, and go back to each league having its own president under the MLB Commissioner. 

I'm not sure I'm in favour of eliminating interleague all together. Ideally though? It would be limited to two-three series a team per season, with an emphasis on geographic rivalries. 

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2 minutes ago, WSU151 said:

They still wear the navy hat with the red monogram.

 

Really? I thought they've ditched it:

 

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They've taken it out of the regular rotation, but I believe it's still in their set and still makes an occasional appearance.  

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8 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

They've taken it out of the regular rotation, but I believe it's still in their set and still makes an occasional appearance.  

 

7 minutes ago, CardsFan79 said:

They still wear them on the road when playing another Red team, Nats, Reds, etc.

 

Thank you guys for the clarification!

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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:

Why?

 

Keeping the leagues separate became impractical for several reasons: 

1. The league was leaving a ton of money on the table by not playing interleague games. Example: Indians fans are not driving down here to watch the Reds play the Braves for the 100th time, but a 3 game weekend series? Yeah they're gonna come for that. You put every team in every stadium and you give a fan a reason to go to the ballpark that they didn't have before. They could no longer afford to leave that revenue on the table because....

 

2.  The strike demanded the game introduce some gimmicks to win fans back and every team in the league actually playing every other team in the league (like every other sport in North America) was a quick way to do that. 

 

3. As sports coverage grew, cable stations aired more games, people started to watch more out of market games thanks to satellite and then later the internet, it became more and more necessary to widen the pool of opponents for the schedule to remain interesting. Again, I could watch the Reds play the Braves for the 100th time or I could watch the Reds play the Indians for the first time ever. TV broadcasts need eyeballs like seats need butts and interleague play was a ratings grab. It became impractical to leave that money on the table. 

 

4. I don't know how much longer young people would've put up with the notion that some of the best players in the game will never face off against some of the other best players in the game because "that's the way it's done". By the late 90's it felt antiquated to me, a kid, that we had 28 teams, many of them in the same city and some of them had never played. That's weird when you explain it like that.  "When are the Mets gonna play the Yankees, dad?" "Unless they both make it to the World Series, never" "Why?" "because that's the way it is." 

 

5. The draft, umpires, free agency, TV coverage, minor leagues, and leadership were all intertwined and both leagues were truly one entity. With all of those moving parts working together it made less sense to keep the play on the field separate. They hadn't been separate entities for decades. The only thing they weren't together on was actually playing each other. Think about this - some of the best baseball players of all time never played against some of the other best baseball players of all time and the only reason we were robbed of those matchups was because they happened to be in different leagues. That's silly and eventually it was going to change. 

 

When I go to the ballpark I go to see the other team probably more than I go to see my own and the more variety we can get the better that is for me, the fan. I want to see those matchups without hoping two guys meet in a meaningless allstar game or the small chance both their teams make it to the World Series. I'm as much a traditionalist as anyone, but that was a bad tradition and I'm glad we're moving away from it. I love interleague play because I love baseball. If anything I want to see more of it. 


Thank you

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That's a great post and summarizes a lot of my thoughts. I do agree that interleague play "cheapened" the playoffs a bit, but so did also realigning into three divisions. But at the same time, baseball was being, in my opinion, too reliant on tradition. (I mean, baseball also traditionally didn't allow anyone who wasn't white into the league, either).

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The Twins cursive script jersey is hideous.  That script looks really bad. 

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22 hours ago, Jungle Jim said:

 

On one hand, I'm a traditionalist who hates interleague play.  I long for the days of four divisions and looking forward to the all-important showdowns between my Reds and their NL West rivals Dodgers, where each game counted for two games in the standings.  

 

Looking back, I think my love of MLB ended with the 1994 realignment.  "Making the playoffs" was cheapened and the Reds-Dodgers rivalry that I so loved was killed off.  I've still followed the Reds to some extent since, but I've had no real emotional investment.

 

That being said, I do take special interest when the Reds play teams like the Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox, A's, etc.  I might even tune into games I would otherwise ignore, so I guess, for MLB's purposes, it works.  Still, if I could wave magic wand, I'd go back to the MLB of 1969-1993.

 

It's exactly right to say that making the playoffs was cheapened as a result of the 1994 realignment. By contrast, the split into divisions in 1969 had been a brilliant move because it introduced a round of playoffs without altering the most important criterion for making the playoffs, which is finishing in first place.  From 1969 through 1993, every team in the playoffs was a champion.

 

And each division title was significant. The 1983 "Winning Ugly" White Sox are remembered as a beloved championship team for their A.L. West title.  Also, lest it be forgotten in the glow of the Cubs' World Championship, I'll mention that their 1984 N.L. East title was a huge deal.  Furthermore, the Blue Jays' A.L. East championship in 1985 is so significant that the team held a commemoration for that team's 30th anniversary in 2015.   The point is that the division title had almost as much prestige in the 1969-1993 period as the league pennant had had before.

 

During the 1978 season, the Yankees and Red Sox staged an epic battle of mythic proportions in which the Yankees came back from a huge deficit to take the division lead, only to lose that lead and end up tied.  The teams then faced off in a one-game playoff (an extra regular-season game) to decide the division.  This had tension that was beyond that of the actual playoffs or World Series.

 

Compare that to 2001, when the C̶i̶n̶c̶i̶n̶n̶a̶t̶i̶ ̶R̶e̶d̶s̶ St. Louis Cardinals and the Houston Astros tied for the N.L. Central title.  The Astros themselves had once before been in a divisional race that resulted in their being level with another team, having in 1980 allowed the Dodgers to catch them in the N.L. West by getting swept by them in the final three scheduled games of the season, only to win a one-game playoff to take the divisional championship.  But in 2001 there would be no playoff game between the Astros and the Reds to decide the divisional title, because both had qualified for the playoffs.  Whichever team would have lost the playoff would be in as the wild card anyway, so they just blew off the playoff game.  Both teams hung banners declaring themselves N.L. Central champions -- and no one did anything to stop this. (If I had not been retired since 1997, this event would surely have driven me away.)

 

I finally left out of disgust over interleague play; but the seeds for my departure had been planted with the 1994 realignment.  Looking back, I knew this in 1995, when the Yankees won the initial wild card spot in the American League.  We were all supposed to be excited, this being Mattingly's chance finally to play in the playoffs. But it didn't feel right.  When Griffey scored the run that beat the Yankees in the new first round, I was not sad at all; this was because I knew in my heart that the Yankees didn't belong in the playoffs because they hadn't finished in first place.  

 

I pondered how devastated I had been by the 1980 playoff loss to Brett and the Royals; yet there I was in 1995 feeling almost relieved after a Yankee playoff loss, because of my discontent with the wild card. I knew then that I was on my way out.

 

With the much worse abomination of interleague play coming up for 1997, I had only one more year left.  By startlingly good luck, the Yankees rose to the occasion by winning it all for the first time since I was a kid -- crucially, doing so after having won the division, so truly having earned their spot in the playoffs this time, thereby allowing me to root whole-heartedly.  I cried with joy when they won the Series; and then I walked away.

 

 

21 hours ago, Old School Fool said:

No idea why some people don't want interleague. It doesn't make sense to just have teams not face each other.

 

It makes plenty of sense.  The two leagues had a century of history as separate circuits.  Long before the DH, the two leagues had separate identities, and each league had its own customs. They differed on umpiring and on players' visits to the mound. And they differed in style of play, which was tied into the difference in their histories, as the National League integrated a lot earlier and more thoroughly than the American League did, and so was for a long time essentially drawing from a larger talent pool. 

 

In the record book, every mark had an American League record and a National League record. Steve Garvey's consecutive games played streak was a cherished National League record.  And, before the eventuality that Pete Rose was going to surpass Ty Cobb in hits became clear, the big news was his pursuit of Stan Muriel for the National League hit record.

 

We have totally lost this.  Nowadays,  a guy could set a "National League record" while playing a regular-season game against an American League team. (Not that today's fans, the goofballs who run around saying "the MLB", are even going to care about a league record.)  This sucks in so many ways.

 

So, really, I didn't leave baseball; it left me.

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37 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

the goofballs who run around saying "the MLB"

What should we be saying?

 

I agree that the playoffs aren't as meaningful as they once were, but I disagree that records accomplished today are somehow less meaningful just because they are accomplished in the AL (if a NL player) or vice versa. To me, an achievement is an achievement.

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36 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Compare that to 2001, when the Cincinnati Reds and the Houston Astros tied for the N.L. Central title.  The Astros themselves had once before been in a divisional race that resulted in their being level with another team, having in 1980 allowed the Dodgers to catch them in the N.L. West by getting swept by them in the final three scheduled games of the season, only to win a one-game playoff to take the divisional championship.  But in 2001 there would be no playoff game between the Astros and the Reds to decide the divisional title, because both had qualified for the playoffs.  Whichever team would have lost the playoff would be in as the wild card anyway, so they just blew off the playoff game.  Both teams hung banners declaring themselves N.L. Central champions -- and no one did anything to stop this. (If I had not been retired since 1997, this event would surely have driven me away.)

This never happened. It wasn't the Reds, it was the Cardinals and they were automatically handed the Wild Card because of the regular season matchup. No 2001 division banner was ever raised in St. Louis. 

 

I'd make the argument the addition of the Wild Card ADDED to the excitement of regular season finishes. 1998, 1999 and 2011 come to mind.

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4 minutes ago, insert name said:

This never happened. It wasn't the Reds, it was the Cardinals and they were automatically handed the Wild Card because of the regular season matchup. No 2001 division banner was ever raised in St. Louis. 

 

I'd make the argument the addition of the Wild Card ADDED to the excitement of regular season finishes. 1998, 1999 and 2011 come to mind.

2011 was a truly crazy year... The Red Sox had something like a 97% chance to make the playoffs, but didn't.

 

The problem with the wild card, though, is that it really does take away the "prestige" of being a division champion. Teams like the '07 Rockies, the '11 Cardinals, and the '14 Royals demonstrate that you can be pretty unremarkable all season long, then just got hot the last few weeks, and make it all the way to the World Series. It's not that's bad, not at all. Those teams played exceptionally well towards the end, but it's just... I dunno, it's almost like, why even try until the last couple months of the season?

 

I agree somewhat with Ferdinand that baseball lost a lot of charm in the post-wild card era. But I also think it's a bit shallow to stop watching baseball entirely. I think at some point you have to accept that leagues change and that it's okay. There have been a lot of great postseason series the past few years that one would miss if they gave up on the sport just because division banners don't mean as much as they used to.

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19 minutes ago, Quillz said:
54 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

the goofballs who run around saying "the MLB"

What should we be saying?

 

"Baseball"; "Major League Baseball"; "the Majors".

 

While saying "MLB" instead of "Major League Baseball" is annoying but almost understandable, it's that article in "the MLB" that is a huge clunker.  Someone who says "the MLB" is announcing that he/she doesn't give a fig about history.  

 

For generations, the defining characteristic of baseball fans was their intense interest in history.  This is no longer true; and Major League Baseball has pivoted to appeal to the history-ignorant.  

 

Major League Baseball is orienting itself to those people who sneer at history, not to people who know and care about history. That is why I say that I didn't leave baseball, but, rather, it left me.

 

Regarding the team that tied with the Astros atop the N.L. Central in 2001:

 

8 minutes ago, insert name said:

It wasn't the Reds, it was the Cardinals

 

Oops! Sorry about that. I wasn't watching at the time; but I should have looked it up in order to get it right.  Thanks for the correction.

 

8 minutes ago, insert name said:

No 2001 division banner was ever raised in St. Louis. 

 

Well, I can only say they that is what I read at the time.  I'd have to do research in order to find articles mentioning this.

 

At any rate, the fact that no playoff was held illustrates conclusively the harm that the wild card has done to the pennant races.

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Just now, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

At any rate, the fact that no playoff was held illustrates conclusively the harm that the wild card has done to the pennant races.

One-game "regular season playoffs" still do occur, though. And with the second wild card, there is now an actual one-game playoff every postseason.

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I'm sort of in the middle on this one.. I like interleague play, but only to a certain extent.. And not just randomly mixed into the schedule.. My ideal solution would involve excitement buzzing two or three times per year over "interleague week", where teams might get 2 interleague series in during each of those weeks.. Maybe the first "Interleague Week" after the first quarter of the season, the second around the midway point, and the third coming about three-quarters of the way through.. This would space them out as evenly as possible, keep the vast majority of the season focused on league and divisional games, and minimize the effect it has on cheapening the playoffs, while also acting somewhat as "mini holidays" and things that fans can actually look forward to and get excited about certain matchups, instead of everything just being randomly thrown in there.. I feel like this would be a decent middle-ground and still accomplish some of the positive things achieved by adding interleague play, but minimizing the negatives..

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I don't know, maybe its because I'm a younger fan, but all this talk about not being a baseball fan anymore because of the wild card or interleague games just sounds really immature....

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Just now, Around the Horn said:

I don't know, maybe its because I'm a younger fan, but all this talk about not being a baseball fan anymore because of the wild card or interleague games just sounds really immature....

It does seem to be generational. My parents also complain how division titles "don't matter" anymore in baseball, which is only partially true. Younger fans seem to be more a fan of a larger playoff pool. There's no wrong answer, of course, it's all subjective. It's hard to find a balance: leagues like the NBA and NHL let too many teams in, IMO, so those bottom seeds are usually close to or even below .500. Historically, baseball was seemingly less likely to produce upsets in the playoffs, but you also tended to have very good teams since all were well above .500.

 

Personally, I think the NFL has a good balance between not letting too many teams in, and also ensuring division titles matter (since having home-field advantage is big). But on the other hand, I think the NHL has the most exciting playoffs by far. The NBA playoffs, though, have been truly dreadful. It's the nature of the game, unfortunately. Anyone expecting anything other than yet another Cavs-Warriors Finals have wasted their time watching these playoffs.

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