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  • New rules

    MLB managers seem to be overwhelmingly supportive of the rules changes for 2020, and want to make some of them permanent, based on a survey of 20 current managers.

    https://sports.yahoo.com/maybe-baseb...170703767.html

    As a reminder, rules changes included the universal DH, a runner on second during extra innings, 7-inning double headers, expanded postseason, and the 3-batter minimum. The 3-batter minimum is the only one that didn’t receive overwhelming support, but it was still supported by the majority (60%, whereas the others were at least 90%).

  • #2
    Originally posted by ChiTownTrojan View Post
    MLB managers seem to be overwhelmingly supportive of the rules changes for 2020, and want to make some of them permanent, based on a survey of 20 current managers.

    https://sports.yahoo.com/maybe-baseb...170703767.html

    As a reminder, rules changes included the universal DH, a runner on second during extra innings, 7-inning double headers, expanded postseason, and the 3-batter minimum. The 3-batter minimum is the only one that didn’t receive overwhelming support, but it was still supported by the majority (60%, whereas the others were at least 90%).
    Managers love these rules because they protect their bullpens from burnout and they don't have to worry about PH for pitchers and can thus maintain their bench depth.

    The only one I'd be disappointed by is the 7 inning double headers. However, not many DH in normal seasons. I think most teams play only a few so I guess I could live with it. The extra inning rule I'd be happier with if it started in like the 12th inning and the first couple extra innings were played under normal rules. The rest I don't care about.

    Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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    • #3
      Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

      Managers love these rules because they protect their bullpens from burnout and they don't have to worry about PH for pitchers and can thus maintain their bench depth.

      The only one I'd be disappointed by is the 7 inning double headers. However, not many DH in normal seasons. I think most teams play only a few so I guess I could live with it. The extra inning rule I'd be happier with if it started in like the 12th inning and the first couple extra innings were played under normal rules. The rest I don't care about.
      I don't mind 7-inning double headers, because as you say, there are so few double headers that we are really just talking about a contingency plan in case there is bad weather or a pandemic or something like that that results in a bunch of games needing to be made up, and I'd rather have shorter games than pitchers blowing out their arms. I actually like the runner on second in extra innings, though if that was pushed back to the 11th or 12th I'd be okay with that too. For the playoff format I hope they can find a happy medium between 4 and 8 teams per league, because it definitely diminished the division races. 6 seems like the right number (3 wild cards, 2 byes, maybe the 3rd division winner gets to choose their opponent or something for the first round to incentivize winning the division).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

        Managers love these rules because they protect their bullpens from burnout and they don't have to worry about PH for pitchers and can thus maintain their bench depth.

        The only one I'd be disappointed by is the 7 inning double headers. However, not many DH in normal seasons. I think most teams play only a few so I guess I could live with it. The extra inning rule I'd be happier with if it started in like the 12th inning and the first couple extra innings were played under normal rules. The rest I don't care about.
        It depends on the manager. The rules dumb-down the game and minimize a manager's abilities to gain an edge, essentially out-manage his opponent. Veteran managers don't like the DH because they not only can handle managing a game where pitching and lineup decisions are intertwined, but, in chess-like fashion, they can force moves by the opposing manager. It's actually a part of the game I really enjoy and why I haven't for years watched much American League baseball that didn't involve the White Sox. I noticed in the late 1970s that the DH was slowing down the pace of the game. When three-outcome hitters (batsmen, really, because their focus on power diminished their hitting) started populating AL DH slots, because their defense was more limited than their offense, it slowed the pace of the game more. If the DH becomes universal, even though fans in most National League cities oppose it, I would find myself watching a lot less baseball and doubt I would be paying to watch any baseball.

        The three-hitter rule is the sort of thing you come up with if you have people who know nothing about baseball designing baseball rules. If you don't have a DH, if your roster is limited to 25, you really don't need such a rule. It makes it easier to manage, or at least it makes good managers less necessary. Doubleheaders with seven-inning games seem an admission that the game is unwatchable and we just need to get it over with. Nothing is really being done to address the actual pace of the game, which has more to do with pitchers and batsmen than pitching changes and innings. The extra-inning rule is arbitrary enough that I would find tie games preferable. It's really not major league baseball if a pitcher can pitch a perfect game and lose by a run. Before I pay to see another baseball game, I'm going to want, in writing, a guarantee that if the score is tied after nine innings, I can get a refund.

        I don't see the new rules bringing new fans into the sport. I see current fans either liking the rules, tolerating the rules or leaving the game because of the rules. I don't see the new rules growing the game.

        The new rules make it easier to manage, dumbing down the job while dumbing down the game.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TDog View Post

          It depends on the manager. The rules dumb-down the game and minimize a manager's abilities to gain an edge, essentially out-manage his opponent. Veteran managers don't like the DH because they not only can handle managing a game where pitching and lineup decisions are intertwined, but, in chess-like fashion, they can force moves by the opposing manager. It's actually a part of the game I really enjoy and why I haven't for years watched much American League baseball that didn't involve the White Sox. I noticed in the late 1970s that the DH was slowing down the pace of the game. When three-outcome hitters (batsmen, really, because their focus on power diminished their hitting) started populating AL DH slots, because their defense was more limited than their offense, it slowed the pace of the game more. If the DH becomes universal, even though fans in most National League cities oppose it, I would find myself watching a lot less baseball and doubt I would be paying to watch any baseball.

          The three-hitter rule is the sort of thing you come up with if you have people who know nothing about baseball designing baseball rules. If you don't have a DH, if your roster is limited to 25, you really don't need such a rule. It makes it easier to manage, or at least it makes good managers less necessary. Doubleheaders with seven-inning games seem an admission that the game is unwatchable and we just need to get it over with. Nothing is really being done to address the actual pace of the game, which has more to do with pitchers and batsmen than pitching changes and innings. The extra-inning rule is arbitrary enough that I would find tie games preferable. It's really not major league baseball if a pitcher can pitch a perfect game and lose by a run. Before I pay to see another baseball game, I'm going to want, in writing, a guarantee that if the score is tied after nine innings, I can get a refund.

          I don't see the new rules bringing new fans into the sport. I see current fans either liking the rules, tolerating the rules or leaving the game because of the rules. I don't see the new rules growing the game.

          The new rules make it easier to manage, dumbing down the job while dumbing down the game.
          I'm sorry I think that's a simplistic answer. A good manager wants all the tools they can have at their disposal then they are free to use those tools as they see fit. Having a fresher bullpen and not having to worry about position switches when they PH for the pitcher late in games gives them more options. they are still free to do those things, but you can't honestly tell me that great managers don't want these tools available to them if they can have them. Better managers will still out manage their opponents regardless of those tools being available to both sides.
          Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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          • #6
            Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

            I'm sorry I think that's a simplistic answer. A good manager wants all the tools they can have at their disposal then they are free to use those tools as they see fit. Having a fresher bullpen and not having to worry about position switches when they PH for the pitcher late in games gives them more options. they are still free to do those things, but you can't honestly tell me that great managers don't want these tools available to them if they can have them. Better managers will still out manage their opponents regardless of those tools being available to both sides.
            I'm sorry you find the answer simplistic, but it should be obvious the DH limits the tools available to managers, not just for moves they make to benefit their team, but for moves they can force the other team to make. It isn't just about having a hitter in the lineup instead of a the pitcher. It's about the opponent having a hitter instead of a pitcher. Separating pitching and lineup considerations does a lot to change the way games are managed. The only new rule change that doesn't limit the effectiveness of a superior manager is the extra-inning rule. More astute managers, depending on where they are in their lineup, would make more use of small ball, which is where the difference between the managers who fill out lineup cards and change stick to a formula for pitching changes are left behind by managers who manage situations expertly.

            As managers have less flexibility in what they can do and have less and can do less to force opposing managers into making decisions, obviously the importance of game managing is diminished.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TDog View Post

              I'm sorry you find the answer simplistic, but it should be obvious the DH limits the tools available to managers, not just for moves they make to benefit their team, but for moves they can force the other team to make. It isn't just about having a hitter in the lineup instead of a the pitcher. It's about the opponent having a hitter instead of a pitcher. Separating pitching and lineup considerations does a lot to change the way games are managed. The only new rule change that doesn't limit the effectiveness of a superior manager is the extra-inning rule. More astute managers, depending on where they are in their lineup, would make more use of small ball, which is where the difference between the managers who fill out lineup cards and change stick to a formula for pitching changes are left behind by managers who manage situations expertly.

              As managers have less flexibility in what they can do and have less and can do less to force opposing managers into making decisions, obviously the importance of game managing is diminished.
              Which wasn't my point. I didn't say the game wasn't easier to manage, I said good managers will want these tools at their disposal regardless of if it makes it easier for their opponents too.
              Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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              • #8
                Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

                Which wasn't my point. I didn't say the game wasn't easier to manage, I said good managers will want these tools at their disposal regardless of if it makes it easier for their opponents too.
                My point was that the DH isn't a tool at a manager's disposal. It takes away tools from a manager's disposal.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TDog View Post

                  My point was that the DH isn't a tool at a manager's disposal. It takes away tools from a manager's disposal.
                  We disagree, it actually gives them more flexibility with how to use their bench knowing they don't have to save the 3 bats to hit for pitchers. They can do more matchup switching especially with pitchers now forced to face 3 guys. If they have to save their 4 bench bats to hit for pitchers it limits what they can do otherwise.
                  Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

                    We disagree, it actually gives them more flexibility with how to use their bench knowing they don't have to save the 3 bats to hit for pitchers. They can do more matchup switching especially with pitchers now forced to face 3 guys. If they have to save their 4 bench bats to hit for pitchers it limits what they can do otherwise.
                    The reason we disagree about the flexibility is that we disagree about the layer of decisions have been taken out of the manager's hands. I not having to consider the effect of pitching changes on the lineup a loss of flexibility, a dumbing-down of the managerial art. If when the American League was writing its unique DH rule, which was different from every amateur DH rule in use (and continues to be different from the NCAA DH rule) had limited the DH to three uses per game with another use after the ninth, 12th etc. (I'm old enough to remember when the DPH concept was being debated) less of the flexibility would be lost. Now many managers let pitch counts determine how long their starters stay in the game, even sometimes when they're giving up seven runs or more.

                    The fact that more flexibility (as I see it) leads to more circumstance where a manager could be second-guessed, it shouldn't be any wonder that many managers are content in simply filling out lineup cards and changing pitchers according to a set formula. If you insist on taking small ball out of the equation, you give managers less flexibility still. If managers like the abomination of putting a runner on second at the beginning of every extra-inning, it may be because it gives them an opportunity for small ball.

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                    • #11
                      Those are to some extent valid points, but it's just new rules to learn that's all. The managers who can make the best decisions adapting to these new rules will be the most successful. It's no longer possible to jump in and correct a bad bullpen decision immediately (for example) as we all learned first hand when Carlos Rodon was given the nod by Ricky during game 3 of the playoff series. So managers will need to be even more in tune with whether pitchers are good enough against both kinds of hitters, who the opposing team still has left on the bench, whether the pitcher is able to pitch that day. He can't simply bring in 3 one out guys back to back regardless of who is expected up and how fresh that pitcher is.

                      Arguing the DH rule seems a bit like banging your head against the wall. it's been ~50 years. It's time to let it go.

                      And sure I suppose managers can try to avoid the limelight by not doing anything, but based on the analyses around these parts, that's not going to fly either. Fans will be just as critical of a missed PH opportunity as they will be a good/bad bullpen decisions. Managers never have been able to avoid scrutiny and second guessing and they never will.

                      As I said above, I wish they would hold off on the runner at 2nd until like the 12th, but don't discount the fans in this one. Parents will be very happy to not have to stay until for several extra innings at the park when they've got kids who want to see the end. Fans are like this too. Very few leagues still have "original rules" that govern OT periods during the regular season. Only the NBA that I can think of and the rate of scoring in the NBA is much higher than in other leagues so it makes sense to do so.
                      Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by voodoochile View Post
                        ...

                        Arguing the DH rule seems a bit like banging your head against the wall. it's been ~50 years. It's time to let it go.....
                        The National League has only had the DH for one 60-game season, and it's been consistently the more popular league for the last half century without it. Forcing the National League to play with the DH when a majority of their fans are against it, for the sake of having two leagues playing under the same rules (an overrated concept) is just as bad as the more popular National League forcing the American League to give up the DH entirely by the same overrated logic. Either change would be contrary to growing the game, especially when you consider that the DH spot in the batting order had a lower overall batting average than any starting position in 2020.

                        The odd thing about the rule changes in baseball compared with the rule changes in other sports is that every other sport changes rules to increase the pace of the game (with the possible exception of instant replay in football -- possible because I don't watch football to know if instant replay deflates the game as much as it does in baseball). Every baseball rule change (with the possible exception of the arbitrary and capricious extra-inning rule) has slowed the game's pace. Even the three-hitter rule hasn't improved the game's pace.

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                        • #13
                          Just curious how you determined the NL is more popular than the AL.
                          Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TDog View Post
                            Forcing the National League to play with the DH when a majority of their fans are against it, for the sake of having two leagues playing under the same rules (an overrated concept) is just as bad as the more popular National League forcing the American League to give up the DH entirely by the same overrated logic.
                            I'll have to disagree with you on a fundamental assumption in your argument: that they are two leagues. With daily inter-league play, teams moving from one "league" to the other at the whim of MLB, and the fact that there are no longer league offices, just MLB, makes the two "leagues" really just two conferences or divisions in one league. The rules need to be uniform.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by voodoochile View Post
                              Just curious how you determined the NL is more popular than the AL.
                              Attendance and ratings. The National League has a more firmly established fan base. The Cubs are more popular in Chicago, despite what White Sox fans want to believe. A few times inn Nevada, I've been ridiculed for my White Sox license plate frame. Even pre-2016, I was told more than once that I should be a Cubs fan. The Dodgers are more popular in Los Angeles. The Giants are more popular in the Bay Area. The Mets are more popular in New York than they should be based upon their success in comparison with the Yankees.The Diamondbacks lobbied hard to be a National League team because they believed the National League would generate them more attendance, probably because they did market research and found most Arizonans, if not Phoenicians identified as fans of National League teams (there was also talk about not wanting to sell DH baseball). When I worked in suburban Milwaukee, there was a lot of excitement about the Brewers going to the National League.

                              After the 1972 season. the America League adopted the DH because it was behind the National League in popularity, but the American League never realized a popularity boost, certainly not in the first decade. There may have been ebbs and flows within markets. Of course, I always hated to see the Cubs lose 100 games because I want them to lose more often. Living outside of Chicago, I watched more National League games because I considered every American League team a rival of the White Sox. I can't even root for an American League team in the World Series, unless it's playing the Cubs, and that one really hurt. I lived in the Spring Training home of the Padres, only a couple of hours outside San Diego, so I saw a lot of National League baseball. I had a Brewers season-ticket plan when I lived outside of Milwaukee, but I would give away my ticket and drive down to see the Sox on weekends they were home

                              I have been told the National League became the superior,more popular league in the late 1940s and 1950s when National League teams were quicker to integrate. (The Yankees came up with a statement post-Jackie Robinson saying an African-American player would play for the Yankees when an 'African-American player was good enough to play for the Yankees. By the time I came of age as a fan, baseball was integrated, but the National League game was more fun, with more of the running and athleticism that players brought from the Negro Leagues. If the American League hadn't adopted the DH, which slowed the game further, it might be the more popular game today.

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