Bucfan56

2018 MLB Off Season Thread

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Not liking that universal DH proposal, and this is from someone who prefers the American League.  Its about the only thing that causes there to be an actual difference between the two leagues anymore. 

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Sooner or later, it's bound to happen. The National League will copy the American League completely and all NL fans will bitch about it (and rightfully so).

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I don't understand the logic of the draft incentive thing. Clearly it's on the table to discourage teams from "tanking" but often times teams have losing seasons because they don't have a deep system or made some misguided moves elsewhere. "Penalizing" teams for losing seems to be a move that would further increase the divide between the rich and poor teams.

 

The three batter minimum also feels a little too reactionary. It might shave off a few minutes, but on the whole seems unnecessary. The concern shouldn't be the running time; it's more an issue of how much action unfolds during the game. I mentioned this in another thread recently, but lowering the mound seems like a wise approach to boosting offense in a way that won't radically alter the game's traditional identity, considering that mound height has already been previously modified. That's certainly a less radical change than banning the shift, which has been mentioned.

 

The proposal that turns me off the most, however, would be putting a runner on 2nd during extra innings. Implement that in the minors, sure, but keep it away from MLB.

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I'm anti-DH, always have been, always will be, but I actually do kind of like the leagues being different. How it's been that way my whole life. That being said, I'm also realistic and know that it could happen. So if it does, it does. I'm not going to stop watching it. Actually would benefit the Cardinals this year. Jose Martinez could play everyday and could kinda stomach giving Fowler a shot at redemption in RF without it having as much of an effect offensively.

 

I've been saying for awhile and I think a writer put it out there a couple months ago, too (Stark?), but I'd only DH for the starting pitcher. When he's pulled, it becomes an NL game again. Relievers never really bat anyway, so pinch-hitting would continue so the current NL strategy would as well. The DH himself can be double-switched into the field if necessary. I think that would be the best of both worlds, IMO.

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I've always been anti-DH and prefer the NL style of play, but I think I would get used to the change over time. I think there's a legitimate argument in saying that the requirement that pitchers also step into the batter's box originate at a time when they were at least competent hitters. The game evolved organically over time so I don't think it's that detrimental to update the rules to reflect that.

 

In some ways, adding the DH to the NL makes more sense to me than most of the other proposals. The problem is that Manfred seems to be very kneejerk and reactionary in his inclinations to change the rules. What I mean is that, most of the items he seems to be considering sprung out very recent developments in MLB, particularly the prevalence of defensive shifts, teams rebuilding, and the reluctance to sign free agents to 10+ year megadeals. Whenever you start tinkering with things, there are going to be unintended consequences. Manfred gets too antsy when teams organically adopt new strategies to give themselves a competitive edge.

 

Having said that, I do think that the finances of the game should be given a long hard look. Teams are finally wising up to the fact that 10 year/$300 million contracts are never really a good investment. Players are also becoming more picky about where they play, making it harder for small market teams to retain star players beyond their arbitration years. I would support further consideration into how club control, arbitration, and free agency could be more equitable and also player friendly. There shouldn't be an outright salary cap, but perennial losing teams are probably hurting MLB's bottom line more than extra inning games or pitching changes are. And games are too damn expensive to attend!

 

In short, I would leave what happens on the field alone mostly for now and devote most of the energy to baseball economics. 

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DH in the NL is something I'm not keen on but I have been saying for a few years now is probably inevitable. It's something that probably wouldn't actually bother me once its implemented, but as mentioned, it's one of the very few things that actually makes what league your team is in matter.

 

As much as I really don't like marathon extra inning games, I don't think putting a runner on 2nd is a good idea. Absolutely crazy idea here: why can't baseball have ties? Why can't extra innings be capped to, say, three and if the score is tied after that, it's a tie in the standings? Ties weren't uncommon in the early days of baseball, and both football and hockey (for a time) were able to handle them just fine. Baseball already has plenty of tiebreaking rules... Obviously, for the playoffs, you'd play on until there is a winner.

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20 hours ago, Marlins93 said:

I've always been anti-DH and prefer the NL style of play, but I think I would get used to the change over time. I think there's a legitimate argument in saying that the requirement that pitchers also step into the batter's box originate at a time when they were at least competent hitters. The game evolved organically over time so I don't think it's that detrimental to update the rules to reflect that.

 

In some ways, adding the DH to the NL makes more sense to me than most of the other proposals. The problem is that Manfred seems to be very kneejerk and reactionary in his inclinations to change the rules. What I mean is that, most of the items he seems to be considering sprung out very recent developments in MLB, particularly the prevalence of defensive shifts, teams rebuilding, and the reluctance to sign free agents to 10+ year megadeals. Whenever you start tinkering with things, there are going to be unintended consequences. Manfred gets too antsy when teams organically adopt new strategies to give themselves a competitive edge.

 

Having said that, I do think that the finances of the game should be given a long hard look. Teams are finally wising up to the fact that 10 year/$300 million contracts are never really a good investment. Players are also becoming more picky about where they play, making it harder for small market teams to retain star players beyond their arbitration years. I would support further consideration into how club control, arbitration, and free agency could be more equitable and also player friendly. There shouldn't be an outright salary cap, but perennial losing teams are probably hurting MLB's bottom line more than extra inning games or pitching changes are. And games are too damn expensive to attend!

 

In short, I would leave what happens on the field alone mostly for now and devote most of the energy to baseball economics. 

I don't know that I'd call it organic.  The AL established the DH as a way to increase the number of runs on the board. 

 

One one hand, I think the days of the NL and AL being separate leagues are essentially over...so it's odd that the two conferences have different rules.  On the other I love the NL game and I don't want them going to the DH.  (What I really want is the AL to dump the DH, but that's not happening).

 

I agree that there can be some knee-jerkness and that's part of why a rule against shifting would be a bad idea.  What I hope happens in response to shifting (and I acknowledge this will take some time) is that players start to be able to hit away from it, which would deter it from happening.

 

I do think, though, that MLB's most important things to address are on the field.  They need to find a way to make games go more quickly (which is part of why I don't like the DH).  Due primarily to teams being smart (fresh arms, taking pitches, etc.), the games are just taking too long.  It's a difficult problem, but it's probably not best to have weeknight games routinely going until 11:00.

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31 minutes ago, OnWis97 said:

I don't know that I'd call it organic.  The AL established the DH as a way to increase the number of runs on the board. 

 

One one hand, I think the days of the NL and AL being separate leagues are essentially over...so it's odd that the two conferences have different rules.  On the other I love the NL game and I don't want them going to the DH.  (What I really want is the AL to dump the DH, but that's not happening).

 

I agree that there can be some knee-jerkness and that's part of why a rule against shifting would be a bad idea.  What I hope happens in response to shifting (and I acknowledge this will take some time) is that players start to be able to hit away from it, which would deter it from happening.

 

I do think, though, that MLB's most important things to address are on the field.  They need to find a way to make games go more quickly (which is part of why I don't like the DH).  Due primarily to teams being smart (fresh arms, taking pitches, etc.), the games are just taking too long.  It's a difficult problem, but it's probably not best to have weeknight games routinely going until 11:00.

So are you implying that pitchers were competent hitters right before the AL adopted the DH in 1973? Because that's the point I was making. Hitting fell out of the pitcher's skill set naturally.

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34 minutes ago, Marlins93 said:

So are you implying that pitchers were competent hitters right before the AL adopted the DH in 1973? Because that's the point I was making. Hitting fell out of the pitcher's skill set naturally.

I guess.  Though I was not alive at the time, I've always viewed it as a way to get more runs on the board.  That pitchers could not hit well was not in itself a problem.  Watching NL games today, that's how I feel anyway.

 

How we got to the point that pitchers cannot hit may be more "organic" but the change itself was not really (that change, though, would be impossible to make organically, I suppose).  We're kinda splitting hairs, but if baseball needed pitchers not hitting, the NL would have switched decades ago.

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It was fine when interleague play wasn't a thing and it was still fine when interleague play was only a couple weekends out of the season, but now that they're playing interleague every single day this needs to be addressed because it's an unfair advantage for the AL teams.

I'm in favor of the DH in both leagues because it unnaturally favors one league over the other when it comes to player acquisition. And because we'll never go back to both leagues not using the DH the only course of action is to just adopt it universally. 

 

Would also have the side benefits of finally being able to STFU about it and Joey Votto could play two extra seasons for the Reds. 

 

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I can't imagine them modifying interleague play until the alignment changes somehow. A likely scenario would be the creation of 8 divisions with 4 teams if Oakland/Tampa were to stay put but MLB expanded to 32 teams. They might even dissolve the AL and NL completely at that point.

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Reports are JT Realmuto on the move to Philadelphia.

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  • three-batter minimum - I disagree; the manager should be entitled to use his players however he likes.
  •  
  • universal designated hitter - I strongly disagree. The last vestige of distinction between the two leagues needs to be retained.
  •  
  • single trade deadline before the All-Star break- I disagree. I'd remove the trading deadline, or else push it to the last week of the season.  Teams should be allowed to trade players whenever they want.
  •  
  • 20-second pitch clock - I am not sold on this. If a pitcher is taking longer than 20 seconds, he is not out there wasting time gratuitously.  He is involved in communication with his catcher.
  •  
  • 26-man rosters with 12-pitcher maximum - I agree with this. (Though for a two-way player such as Ohtani, this strict classification will be a problem.)
  •  
  • Draft advantages for winning teams and penalties for losing teams.  - A very bad idea.  Of course, the draft itself is a very bad idea; all unsigned players should be free agents.  But, if the draft is going to exist, then the bottom teams should continue to get higher picks.  What people dismiss as "tanking" is a legitmate rebuilding strategy that has risks.
  •  
  • Lower the mound - I agree.  This should have been done a long time ago.
  •  
  • Allow two-sport amateurs to sign major league contracts - Obviously teams should be allowed to offer a Major League contract to anyone they want.
     

 

On 2/6/2019 at 9:05 AM, Marlins93 said:

The proposal that turns me off the most, however, would be putting a runner on 2nd during extra innings. Implement that in the minors, sure, but keep it away from MLB.

 

Is that part of the changes being discussed?  I didn't see that listed in the stories I read.  

You make a good point that this would not be so bad in the minor leagues, because in the affiliated minors the results of the games don't matter.  The danger, however, is that implementation of such a rule in the minors will desensitise people to it, and will make it more likely to be adopted in the Majors eventually.

 

 

On 2/7/2019 at 1:43 PM, Marlins93 said:

I can't imagine them modifying interleague play until the alignment changes somehow. A likely scenario would be the creation of 8 divisions with 4 teams if Oakland/Tampa were to stay put but MLB expanded to 32 teams. They might even dissolve the AL and NL completely at that point.

 

Expansion needn't have anything to do with dissolving the leagues.  Going to 32 teams could just as easily be a reason to solidify the two 16-team leagues by getting rid of interleague play completely. 

The scheduling works out perfectly, as each team could play its three divisional rivals 14 times (42 games) and the 12 teams from its league's other three division 10 times a piece (120 games), for a total of 162 games.  And, most important, only division winners would advance to the playoffs, restoring the prestige and the importance of finishing in first place.

 

Another benefit would be that it would simplify travel: a team would need to visit the ballpark of every non-divisional opponent only once a year, for a five-game series.

 

No more interleague play; no more wild cards.  And the identities of each league would be strengthened, thereby giving the World Series and the All-Star Game added meaning.  And every team saves money by eliminating a whole chunk of travel.  This is what you call "a genius move".  You're welcome.

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have they said anything about if a pitcher has a No-Hitter going into the 10th, and they put a player on second, does the pitcher lose the No-Hitter (even Perfect Game).  

 

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It's official: Major League Baseball has gotten rid of the disabled list, replacing it with the injured list.

 

Quote

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Major League Baseball is changing the name of its disabled lists to injured lists.

 

Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem said Thursday the change is being made at the suggestion of advocacy groups for the disabled, including the Link20 Network.

 

Clubs were notified of the change in a Dec. 20 memo to clubs from Jeff Pfeifer, senior director of league economics and operations in the commissioner’s office. The change was first reported by ESPN.

 

“In recent years, the commissioner has received several inquiries regarding the name of the ‘Disabled List,‘” Pfeifer wrote. “The principal concern is that using the term ‘disabled’ for players who are injured supports the misconception that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in sports. As a result, Major League Baseball has agreed to change the name ‘Disabled List’ to be the ‘Injured List’ at both the major and minor league levels. All standards and requirements for placement, reinstatement, etc., shall remain unchanged. This change, which is only a rebranding of the name itself, is effective immediately.”

 

The major leagues have had disabled lists of 10 and 60 days, plus a seven-day list only for players with concussions. MLB has proposed to the players’ association that the 10-day list go back to a 15-day minimum, its level before 2017.

 

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On 2/6/2019 at 7:44 PM, Quillz said:

DH in the NL is something I'm not keen on but I have been saying for a few years now is probably inevitable. It's something that probably wouldn't actually bother me once its implemented, but as mentioned, it's one of the very few things that actually makes what league your team is in matter.

 

As much as I really don't like marathon extra inning games, I don't think putting a runner on 2nd is a good idea. Absolutely crazy idea here: why can't baseball have ties? Why can't extra innings be capped to, say, three and if the score is tied after that, it's a tie in the standings? Ties weren't uncommon in the early days of baseball, and both football and hockey (for a time) were able to handle them just fine. Baseball already has plenty of tiebreaking rules... Obviously, for the playoffs, you'd play on until there is a winner.

You know, that's what they do in Japan.

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10 hours ago, willmorris said:

You know, that's what they do in Japan.

Tie after the 12th inning? I didn't know that. I think it would work, honestly. There have been many extra inning games that just go hours and hours because no one can score. Most fans don't even stick around (can you blame them?)

 

I remember when hockey replaced ties with shootouts. Maybe after three extra innings, baseball can turn into a home run derby.

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6 hours ago, Quillz said:

Tie after the 12th inning? I didn't know that. I think it would work, honestly. There have been many extra inning games that just go hours and hours because no one can score. Most fans don't even stick around (can you blame them?)

 

I remember when hockey replaced ties with shootouts. Maybe after three extra innings, baseball can turn into a home run derby.

That's completely unnecessary. Only 18% of extra inning games make it into the 13th inning.

 

Extra innings aren't a problem that needs to be dealt with, games that go 13+ innings much less so because they are quite rare.

 

Many fans (like myself) find extras to be quite exhilarating for multiple reasons too.

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