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MLB 2021 Season Thread


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19 minutes ago, OnWis97 said:

However, it’s definitely not as bad as a shoot out,

 

Honestly, I disagree. I would say it's just as bad as that. You're gifted a runner on second base out of thin air. It's gimmicky and fraudulent and completely against the nature of the sport. I don't acknowledge winners and losers in today's NHL for games decided in 3-on-3 overtime or shootouts, and I refuse to recognize winners and losers for extra innings baseball games for as long as this nonsense is being done.

 

I hand-waved an awful lot of 2020 nonsense because of the pandemic, and if you wanna strain credulity a bit and say that some of those rules can still stand because we are, technically, still in pandemic times, I suppose that argument does exist. But if the extra inning and doubleheader rules still exist come next year, when COVID will almost certainly have been brought under control (assuming the current trajectory remains as is), then MLB is a lost cause and will be for as long as Manfred is the commissioner and these rules exist. Nonsense gimmicks deciding MLB games...honestly, it personally offends me. This is "solving" one problem by creating a bigger one. If this is extra innings, then end a game after nine innings, call it a tie, and tell everybody to go home instead. That's better than this. It shouldn't be MLB, or the NHL's, problem that Americans can't handle the concept of a game ending in a tie.

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3 minutes ago, Kramerica Industries said:

 

 If this is extra innings, then end a game after nine innings, call it a tie, and tell everybody to go home instead. That's better than this. It shouldn't be MLB, or the NHL's, problem that Americans can't handle the concept of a game ending in a tie.

I share the unpopular opinion with you that ties are not a big problem (The North Stars had 20 ties one year in my earliest memory). But it is the league's problem that fans can't handle ties if its to the point where they stop consuming the product.

 

Seeing a team get a "win" for a shootout win bugs me and I cringe about the impact on the standings. Sixty minutes (plus some amount of 5-on-5 OT) ending in a tie tells me that the two teams played evenly and should each get one point. Unfortunately, many fans, particularly casual fans that attend games, consume the game as a single event and don't really tie it to the integrity of the season. And I'm guessing they walk out more satisfied at a shootout W/L than a tie.

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7 minutes ago, Kramerica Industries said:

 

Honestly, I disagree. I would say it's just as bad as that.

 

It's totally different than the shootout!  A shootout is an event that rarely actually occurs during normal game play.  It's a way of ending the game in a way that's more/less random since it removes 99% of the actual game from it.  A runner on second happens in baseball all game long, and teams routinely plan for such a situation and strategize for it.  It's just a way of speeding things up - it's not changing the game or removing any aspect from it.  

 

If anything, it is even more pure than the rest of the game, because it brings back things like bunting runners along, which have been largely eliminated from the regular game (especially in the AL).

 

I find it hypocritical for anyone to be a fan of the DH, but then cry foul (see what I did there?) at the new extra inning rule.  Not saying you personally are a hypocrite because I don't know how you feel about the DH, just saying anyone in general.

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1 hour ago, OnWis97 said:

I share the unpopular opinion with you that ties are not a big problem (The North Stars had 20 ties one year in my earliest memory). But it is the league's problem that fans can't handle ties if its to the point where they stop consuming the product.

 

Seeing a team get a "win" for a shootout win bugs me and I cringe about the impact on the standings. Sixty minutes (plus some amount of 5-on-5 OT) ending in a tie tells me that the two teams played evenly and should each get one point. Unfortunately, many fans, particularly casual fans that attend games, consume the game as a single event and don't really tie it to the integrity of the season. And I'm guessing they walk out more satisfied at a shootout W/L than a tie.

 

I think the NHL should consider a 3-2-1-0 point system like the IIHF tournaments. I would even go as far as skipping the OT and go straight to the shootout. 

 

1 hour ago, BBTV said:

 

I actually really like the college OT rule, and think that a tweaked version would work well in the NFL.

 

Imagine taking a date to a movie and not having any idea when it would end.  Movie (let's say Star Wars) starts at 7, and you figure you'll be home banging your date before 10.  Instead, from 9 till 1AM, you're bored to death watching Luke and Darth Vader sitting there having coffee while discussing politics, until all of a sudden the Death Star blows up at 2AM, and you are so tired by that point that you crash your car driving home and kill both of you.  Is that what you want out of sports?  An event that kills its viewers?  That's basically what you're all saying.

 

 

Spoiler

Darth Vader is Luke's father.

 

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13 minutes ago, DEAD! said:

 

I think the NHL should consider a 3-2-1-0 point system like the IIHF tournaments. I would even go as far as skipping the OT and go straight to the shootout.

Getting rid of overtime hockey would be awful. Hockey is already an exciting game, the three-on-three sudden death is incredible, especially in the playoffs.

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2 hours ago, BBTV said:

 

I actually really like the college OT rule, and think that a tweaked version would work well in the NFL.

 

Imagine taking a date to a movie and not having any idea when it would end.  Movie (let's say Star Wars) starts at 7, and you figure you'll be home banging your date before 10.  Instead, from 9 till 1AM, you're bored to death watching Luke and Darth Vader sitting there having coffee while discussing politics, until all of a sudden the Death Star blows up at 2AM, and you are so tired by that point that you crash your car driving home and kill both of you.  Is that what you want out of sports?  An event that kills its viewers?  That's basically what you're all saying.

 

 

If it’s becoming too long for you than either turn the game off or leave. 
Don’t butcher the sport because some fans are just impatient. 

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4 minutes ago, QCS said:

Getting rid of overtime hockey would be awful. Hockey is already an exciting game, the three-on-three sudden death is incredible, especially in the playoffs.

Just to clarify: Playoffs is 5-on-5 and I'm only talking about regular season.

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So, the Giants blew a 5-0 lead in the 7th and lost on a walkoff bases loaded walk on Opening Day. 

 

There is absolutely zero reason to waste any time watching them this year. I fully expect them to be even worse than the Rockies. 

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Speaking as someone whose former passion for following Major League Baseball was completely extinguished by a previous change (namely, interleague play), I can say that this phantom runner would probably have driven me away, as well.

 

And I hereby deem completely out of order any snide references to supposed "purism". I love the DH, though I do not like its use in the National League, because there is a definite value in having both versions.

 

Having grown up as a Yankee fan, I scoff at the dishonest argument that the DH eliminates strategy. In actual fact, the DH promotes strategy by allowing teams to pinch-hit for other players, as the Yankees used to do regularly for Bucky Dent (a fact which contributes to the context behind  Dent's shocking home run against the Red Sox in the 1978 one-game A.L. East playoff). 

 

The DH also makes it easier for teams to pinch-run, to platoon, and to use defensive replacements, all of which practices were extensively employed by Earl Weaver.

 

So, in the end, the DH introduces more opportunities for strategy than it removes by eliminating the need to decide whether to pinch-hit for the pitcher. 

 

Of course, the DH can make managers lazy, as we saw most dramatically when Yankee manager Bob Lemon, a great pitcher himself, inexplicably chose to pinch-hit for Tommy John in the fourth inning of game 6 of the 1981 World Series, or when Royals manager Jim Frey failed to keep a player on the bench during that same season's All-Star Game, and so had to let a pitcher bat late in the game. More recently, there was the incident a couple of years ago in which Red Sox manager Joey Cora became befuddled by the opponents' act of switching a pitcher to a defensive position (and thereby losing the DH for the rest of the game), even though the rule on this is perfectly clear, and the opposing team, Tampa Bay, had followed that rule.

 

By contrast, a rule change that I abhor is the automatic intentional walk. In the first World Series that I ever saw, in 1972, Rollie Fingers struck out Johnny Bench on a fake intentional walk.  Since then there have been instances during intentional walks in which hitters have swung for base hits, and in which pitchers have thrown wild pitches or have picked runners off. That such events do not happen often is irrelevant; the threat of any one of these things had been present in every intentional walk, creating tension.

 

Also objectionable are any rules which remove a manager's ability to deploy his players as he sees fit. For this reason the rule requiring a relief pitcher to face three hitters is unacceptable, as is the rule in place in AA this season banning the shift. (However, I will note that I like the AAA rule introducing larger bases, and also the A-ball rule requiring a pitcher to disengage from the rubber in order to make a pickoff throw to any base.)

 

The phantom extra-inning runner may be the most absurd change to game play of them all. That a team could score a run merely on two sacrifice flies (or, if the runner is fast enough and the ball is hit deep enough, on one sacrifice fly) should offend every fan. So a pitcher can throw a perfect game, yet still give up a run. Also, a leadoff hitter can line into a double play, and so there could be an inning with only two batters. Anyone who defends this travesty is making a huge mistake; and anyone who denies that it alters the fundamental nature of the game is just not being honest.

 

My unpopular opinion, coming from having watched soccer for the past 15 years, is that I have learnt that a draw is a legitimate result. So I would be in favour of there being no extra innings during the regular season, and having a game that is tied after nine innings go into the books as a draw. Or, as @OnWis97 suggested, maybe have a draw after 12 innings (as I believe is done in Japan).

 

But a hard "no" to the phantom runner.

 

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3 hours ago, BBTV said:

 

I actually really like the college OT rule, and think that a tweaked version would work well in the NFL.

 

Imagine taking a date to a movie and not having any idea when it would end.  Movie (let's say Star Wars) starts at 7, and you figure you'll be home banging your date before 10.  Instead, from 9 till 1AM, you're bored to death watching Luke and Darth Vader sitting there having coffee while discussing politics, until all of a sudden the Death Star blows up at 2AM, and you are so tired by that point that you crash your car driving home and kill both of you.  Is that what you want out of sports?  An event that kills its viewers?  That's basically what you're all saying.

 

 

 

First off, we both know that a sizeable portion of this community would not only love watching Luke and Darth Vader have coffee and talk politics for four hours, the first thing they'd do after watching it would be to head straight to these here boards to talk about it. Which brings me to my second point. Like anyone here is going to be "banging" after taking a date to Star Wars. They'd be lucky to give the date a ride home after that. Assuming, of course, that they somehow managed to get a date in the first place. Finally, an event that kills its viewers just might make soccer interesting enough to watch. But I seriously doubt it.

 

 

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1 hour ago, AustinFromBoston said:

If it’s becoming too long for you than either turn the game off or leave. 
Don’t butcher the sport because some fans are just impatient. 

 

I used to be a young idealist too.  I used to get all up in arms about the DH, hated interleague play, hated the Cleveland NFL deal, etc.

 

Now that I'm older and have more things going on in life, I've come to just realize that sports really aren't that important.  Professional sports is no different than any other play that you go see or TV show that you watch.  It's just a part of life.  A part of an evening.  It's not life, and it shouldn't be the whole evening.

 

The runner on second doesn't deviate from the basic strategy of the game, adds a lot of drama, and means I can go home at a good time.  I love it - and I initially thought I'd hate it.  If you don't - that's fine.  But let's keep it real here - baseball is boring to a lot of people, and needs to change if it wants to keep people engaged.  This seemingly minor change checks lots of boxes for me.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Speaking as someone whose former passion for following Major League Baseball was completely extinguished by a previous change (namely, interleague play),

 

Interleague play is awesome. I didn't bother reading the rest of your manifesto. Sorry.

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3 minutes ago, infrared41 said:

Finally, an event that kills its viewers just might make soccer interesting enough to watch. But I seriously doubt it.

 

Do soccer balls ever go into the crowd like foul balls do in baseball?  I propose a change to the sport where when the ball goes into the crowd, blades or spikes would come out of it all around so that it becomes almost like a bomb that you have to dodge.  I would laugh so hard if someone ended up with a spiked ball to the head because they were stuffing their face with a hotdog instead of paying attention.  

 

65,000 fans enter... 64,997 leave.  I love it.

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Just now, BBTV said:

 

Do soccer balls ever go into the crowd like foul balls do in baseball?  I propose a change to the sport where when the ball goes into the crowd, blades or spikes would come out of it all around so that it becomes almost like a bomb that you have to dodge.  I would laugh so hard if someone ended up with a spiked ball to the head because they were stuffing their face with a hotdog instead of paying attention.  

 

65,000 fans enter... 64,997 leave.  I love it.

 

I would watch the :censored: out of soccer if it added that.

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1 minute ago, infrared41 said:
31 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Speaking as someone whose former passion for following Major League Baseball was completely extinguished by a previous change (namely, interleague play),

 

Interleague play is awesome. I didn't bother reading the rest of your manifesto. Sorry.

 

If you consider introducing further scheduling imbalances, distorting the record books, diminishing the value of the World Series, and generally spitting in the eye of history to be awesome, then you are perfectly entitled to enjoy interleague play.

 

For me, that change had the effect of converting me from an ardent follower of everyday results to a purely historical fan; and it is from this historical standpoint that I am interested in considering all subsequent rule changes. (Though of course I do keep up with the uniforms.)

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1 minute ago, BBTV said:

Like this.  It's just a normal soccer ball, but when it leaves the field of play, the spikes pop out of it.

 

black-matted-sphere-thorns-isolated-260n

 

 

 

Perfect. Who do we call to get this done?

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