Gary.

2019 MLB Season

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AL Starter Justin Verlander mentioned that the balls might be juiced...

 

After seeing a 40-39 score in the Home Run Derby tonight... he's on to something.

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Vlad Jr. hits 34 more home runs than the guy who won. I also wish the MLB would stop pretending like "launch angle" is why so many home runs are being hit. Must be easy to hit home runs when the balls are basically rubber. 

 

Baseball really is trying hard to outdo the NHL on stupidity.

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Pete Alonso is the modern-day Justin Morneau.

 

The fact that Justin Morneau is no longer considered modern-day makes me feel ancient, FWIW.

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Was hoping Vladdy Jr. would come out victorious in the end, but alas he was too gassed. Still one of the most entertaining derbies I can remember.

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13 hours ago, Lafarge said:

Vlad Jr. hits 34 more home runs than the guy who won. I also wish the MLB would stop pretending like "launch angle" is why so many home runs are being hit. Must be easy to hit home runs when the balls are basically rubber.

 

A close cousin of this is when people talk about spectators getting hit by foul balls because of newly increased emphasis on "launch angle" and "exit velocity." As if "hit ball hard" is some new revelation, yeah, great, guess you solved baseball. No, people get hit by foul balls because teams moved all the seats up close to make more money.

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I think the piece of evidence that nailed the whole juiced balls argument for me was hearing that home runs are way up in AAA this year. Know what else happened in AAA this year? They switched to MLB balls. 

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Why does it feel like an AL victory is always inevitable lately? I don't think that their squad is any more stacked talent-wise, especially this year.

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1 hour ago, Marlins93 said:

Why does it feel like an AL victory is always inevitable lately? I don't think that their squad is any more stacked talent-wise, especially this year.

Maybe they take the game more seriously. 

At least this meaningless game stopped being used to determine home-field advantage for the World Series. One of the worst ideas baseball ever had. 

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6 hours ago, Quillz said:

Maybe they take the game more seriously. 

At least this meaningless game stopped being used to determine home-field advantage for the World Series. One of the worst ideas baseball ever had. 

 

The AL getting home-field advantage in the World Series because of a player from the worst team in not only the AL, but the league, scoring the game-winning RBI is hilarious to think about.

 

But, this game shouldn't have that kind of implication; rather the team with the best record out of the two WS teams determines who has home-field advantage at the start.

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9 minutes ago, Dalcowboyfan92 said:

 

The AL getting home-field advantage in the World Series because of a player from the worst team in not only the AL, but the league, scoring the game-winning RBI is hilarious to think about.

 

But, this game shouldn't have that kind of implication; rather the team with the best record out of the two WS teams determines who has home-field advantage at the start.

That’s exactly why the idea was so terrible. 

And they only started looking at league champion record in 2017. At least prior to 2003 there was predictable rotation between the leagues for home field advantage. 

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45 minutes ago, Dalcowboyfan92 said:

 

The AL getting home-field advantage in the World Series because of a player from the worst team in not only the AL, but the league, scoring the game-winning RBI is hilarious to think about.

 

But, this game shouldn't have that kind of implication; rather the team with the best record out of the two WS teams determines who has home-field advantage at the start.

34 minutes ago, Quillz said:

That’s exactly why the idea was so terrible. 

And they only started looking at league champion record in 2017. At least prior to 2003 there was predictable rotation between the leagues for home field advantage. 

 

It's probably better than the All-Star Game winner deciding home field, but I don't think record is a particularly good measure for baseball's setup, either. In the NBA or NHL, there's 58 or 60  shared games out of an 82-game schedule (since you play every other team at least twice). While there may be effects because of a stronger/weaker division in those leagues, it's less likely.

 

In baseball, the two World Series opponents will share just 20 games out of the 162-game schedule, which makes a team's final record very dependent on who their regular-season opponents are. I think back to 2016 for this — everyone freaked out because the Cubs won 9 more games than the Indians, but they also played in a god-awful National League (compared to the Indians, who played in a very competitive American League). That year, 9 of the 15 AL teams won at least 84 games, and two others (the defending World Series champion Royals and the White Sox) were very much trying to compete. On the flip side, there were a bunch of NL teams not really trying to win that year, and just 6 National League squads finished with at least 80 wins.

 

Did the difference in league quality amount to an extra 9 wins? I'm not sure — but saying that the 95-67 Nationals should've had home-field advantage over the 93-69 Red Sox that season in a prospective World Series doesn't really seem right to me.

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2 minutes ago, crashcarson15 said:

but I don't think record is a particularly good measure for baseball's setup, either

I agree to an extent. But the reality is there simply is no perfect playoff format. And if it comes down to arbitrary rotation or record, at least the latter is something teams can control to an extent, so I feel that's the better metric.

 

I think arbitrary rotation only works for the Super Bowl because it's one game at a neutral site.

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4 minutes ago, crashcarson15 said:

but saying that the 95-67 Nationals should've had home-field advantage over the 93-69 Red Sox that season in a prospective World Series doesn't really seem right to me.

So then home-field should be based on the "quality" of the league? I suppose that makes some sense but then it comes down to effectively a merit-based decision, if you will. And then you might run into an issue where a really hot wild card team wins their league and has considerably fewer wins than the other league's champion (remember that year the 83-win Cardinals went all the way?) and now gets home field advantage because they are from the "better" league.

 

It would take far too long, but I always thought the only way to really have a fair playoff format, at least within each league, is a round robin. Keep the five teams, but each one plays the other twice, once home, once away. Then you assign a point value and after each round, drop the lowest team. Obviously takes too long and doesn't really work for baseball, but it's the only way you can really evaluate which teams can do best in the playoffs, I think. Even with the best-of-X format, there are simply teams that sometimes match up really well against their opposition and it ends up being one-sided.

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22 hours ago, the admiral said:

 

A close cousin of this is when people talk about spectators getting hit by foul balls because of newly increased emphasis on "launch angle" and "exit velocity." As if "hit ball hard" is some new revelation, yeah, great, guess you solved baseball. No, people get hit by foul balls because teams moved all the seats up close to make more money.

 

I also want to know how many people who get hit or nearly hit were on their cellphones when the ball was hit. It’s insane to me how many people in

unprotected areas just don’t pay attention during a sport where deadly projectiles are regularly sent flying into the crowd.

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You shouldn't be screwing with your phone at an event you paid good money to see on general principle, but I don't think divided attention is enough to account for the problem. 

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100% of all the people hit by baseballs at baseball games are drunk millenials who only care about snapgram and myface apps and don't care about the game.  

 

 

RE: Extended Netting. I'm for it!

 

First of all, it's 2019 - People are going to look at their phones. Obviously people should be paying attention to the game they paid to attend, but asking people to keep their eyes on the field for the entire game is A. unreasonable, B. impossible and C. the stadiums themselves are overstimulating attention dividers. I'm supposed to watch the video screen of the previous highlight, answer some trivia question, watch people dancing on the big screen, while the next pitch is being thrown. The seats are closer than ever, the balls are being hit harder than ever, and there's a higher emphasis on fouling balls off and working the count so there's more balls being hit into the crowd than ever. This is why almost every major league player wants extended netting because they don't want to kill some kid while trying to extend an at-bat. 

 

Even if someone is completely focused on the game, actual major leaguers sometimes struggle to react to these balls fast enough and they're trained professionals in peak physical condition. You simply don't have a lot of time to get out of the way. Jerry Franklin from Accounts Payable at Integrated Logistics isn't going to be able to get out of the way if the players can't and you KNOW Jerry Franklin from Accounts Payable at Integrated Logistics is paying attention to the game. 

 

People want so badly to make extended netting into a "pussification of America! I didn't wear a bike helmet when i was a kid and I survived! millenials and their apps!" thing and it's not. It's common sense safety and good customer service (because getting hit with a dangerous object is bad customer service no matter where you are). I'd rather sit safely behind a net (that I can barely see and I forget about after 3 seconds) while I pay attention to 90% of the game and enjoy myself than be on constant high alert for projectiles coming at me and my kids (I don't have kids). Also if you're a granny who keeps score you're not watching every single pitch either so cram the phone thing down your cramhole.

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52 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

100% of all the people hit by baseballs at baseball games are drunk millenials who only care about snapgram and myface apps and don't care about the game.  

 

 

RE: Extended Netting. I'm for it!

 

First of all, it's 2019 - People are going to look at their phones. Obviously people should be paying attention to the game they paid to attend, but asking people to keep their eyes on the field for the entire game is A. unreasonable, B. impossible and C. the stadiums themselves are overstimulating attention dividers. I'm supposed to watch the video screen of the previous highlight, answer some trivia question, watch people dancing on the big screen, while the next pitch is being thrown. The seats are closer than ever, the balls are being hit harder than ever, and there's a higher emphasis on fouling balls off and working the count so there's more balls being hit into the crowd than ever. This is why almost every major league player wants extended netting because they don't want to kill some kid while trying to extend an at-bat. 

 

Even if someone is completely focused on the game actual major leaguers sometimes struggles to react to these balls fast enough and they're trained professionals in peak physical condition. You simply don't have a lot of time to get out of the way. Jerry Franklin from Accounts Payable at Integrated Logistics isn't going to be able to get out of the way if the players can't and you KNOW Jerry Franklin from Accounts Payable at Integrated Logistics is paying attention to the game. 

 

People want so badly to make extended netting into a "pussification of America! I didn't wear a bike helmet when i was a kid and I survived! millenials and their apps!" thing and it's not. It's common sense safety and good customer service (because getting hit with a dangerous object is bad customer service no matter where you are). I'd rather sit safely behind a net (that I can barely see and I forget about after 3 seconds) while I pay attention to 90% of the game and enjoy myself than be on constant high alert for projectiles coming at me and my kids (I don't have kids). Also if you're a granny who keeps score you're not watching every single pitch either so cram the phone thing down your cramhole.

Hell, the scouts, literally paid to evaluate players sit in seats with netting, so the whole "view" angle is overplayed, too. 

Frankly, it would be nice to be able to pay attention to things other than the batter during a game- watch focus on a single player all the way through an inning, see how he's positioning himself, reacting. Increased netting is more chance to nerd out. 

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5 hours ago, McCarthy said:

Even if someone is completely focused on the game, actual major leaguers sometimes struggle to react to these balls fast enough and they're trained professionals in peak physical condition. You simply don't have a lot of time to get out of the way. Jerry Franklin from Accounts Payable at Integrated Logistics isn't going to be able to get out of the way if the players can't and you KNOW Jerry Franklin from Accounts Payable at Integrated Logistics is paying attention to the game. 

 

The high-profile incident that happened in Houston this year and the one that happened in 2017 at Yankee Stadium, if I'm not mistaken, both involved infant kids getting beaned by those 100+ mph hit balls as well, right? So even if people want to be self-righteous about they pay better attention to the game than someone else, we're talking about people here who had no chance of getting out of the way, heck, had no idea what was even happening or where they were when they were on the receiving end of a very bad development. 

 

In general, we're talking about people who may have a reaction time of, what, 2-3 seconds? Even less the closer to the field you are, of course. And do remember that, even if you get out of the way, there's probably someone sitting behind you. Protect yourself if possible, of course, but it's also human nature to feel guilty if your actions may have directly caused harm to someone else because, ahem, you were "too much of a coward to take on the problem yourself" (or something like that; the absurdity is baked into the comment). It's really a no-win situation. 

 

The biggest drawback, and somewhat legitimately really, is that it's harder to get a foul ball with extended netting. But there's a catch here as well, and that is that the areas of the field where extended netting would be applied - we're not talking about doing like they do in Japan with the netting extended all the way the foul poles; nobody has endorsed that - are areas where you aren't very likely to get a foul ball anyway. That close to the plate, if one's hit too hard, you're getting out of the way, and any softly hit ones are most likely to end up being tossed into the front rows anyway, usually to children (obligatory Bill Burr [sfw]). If you want a foul ball (or better, a home run!), you're gonna need to be sitting further out down the lines or in the outfield. And that part isn't affected by protective netting, so you should be ok.

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