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MLB plans to deaden the baseball in 2021, per the Athletic

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  • #46
    Originally posted by vegandork View Post

    I'll take Back2Back2Back shots in the middle of our order anyday. I don't care that it's not traditional baseball.
    The Twins used to get that in the mid-1960s when they weren't grounding out to shortstop. It meant more at the time because everyone wasn't doing it and their pitchers weren't turning around and giving them back.

    At one level, the juiced ball is inflation. Being a millionaire meant more in the 1960s (especially in baseball -- Dick Allen was the highest-paid player in baseball when the White Sox agreed to give him a raise to $250,000 before the 1972 season). Juicing the ball to make flies and line drives travel farther not only increased the number of home runs, but it changed the way the game was played, appreciably slowing down the pace of the game, sucking much of the action out of it.

    The were home run, even game-ending home runs even before baseball began shrinking the strike zone in 1969, certainly before the current livelier ball. It was less frequently just about the home runs and there was more action. My favorite Frank Thomas walk-off wasn't a home run. It came on a Saturday night in 2000 in a game against the A's when, with Jose Valentin on first after a one-out single in the bottom of the 10th, he lined a drive into the left-center gap and Valentin slid around the catcher's attempted tag at at the plate for the winning run. I was sitting in the last row of the upper deck and scraped my knuckles o the ceiling with my reaction.

    The easier it is to build a team where you're going to get home runs back-to-back-to-back in the middle of the batting order, the harder it is to build a pitching staff that can last the season without giving up back-to-back-to-back home runs when your team needs to protect the lead, or at least stay in the game. The more you inflate offensive success, the more devastating offensive failure becomes. The more success hinges on balls put into play, the important you make all-around baseball skills and athletic skills.

    Certainly on that hot August night in 2000 when Thomas came to the plate after Valentin legged out a ground ball to shortstop, he wasn't thinking that he needed to get under the pitch and hope it carried over the wall to prevent hitting into where Valentin did, which likely would have been an inning-ending double play, delaying the postgame fireworks show. However it is likely that if Wavin' Wally had held Valentin at third, Ordonez would have tried to hit a fly over the outfielders who would have been playing as shallow as they could to be in position to throw out the winning run tagging up from third on a fly out.

    There is more to baseball than home runs, walks, strikeouts and ground outs to short. I don't know exactly when so many White Sox fans stopped seeing that as something that was good for the game.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by TDog View Post

      The Twins used to get that in the mid-1960s when they weren't grounding out to shortstop. It meant more at the time because everyone wasn't doing it and their pitchers weren't turning around and giving them back.

      At one level, the juiced ball is inflation. Being a millionaire meant more in the 1960s (especially in baseball -- Dick Allen was the highest-paid player in baseball when the White Sox agreed to give him a raise to $250,000 before the 1972 season). Juicing the ball to make flies and line drives travel farther not only increased the number of home runs, but it changed the way the game was played, appreciably slowing down the pace of the game, sucking much of the action out of it.

      The were home run, even game-ending home runs even before baseball began shrinking the strike zone in 1969, certainly before the current livelier ball. It was less frequently just about the home runs and there was more action. My favorite Frank Thomas walk-off wasn't a home run. It came on a Saturday night in 2000 in a game against the A's when, with Jose Valentin on first after a one-out single in the bottom of the 10th, he lined a drive into the left-center gap and Valentin slid around the catcher's attempted tag at at the plate for the winning run. I was sitting in the last row of the upper deck and scraped my knuckles o the ceiling with my reaction.

      The easier it is to build a team where you're going to get home runs back-to-back-to-back in the middle of the batting order, the harder it is to build a pitching staff that can last the season without giving up back-to-back-to-back home runs when your team needs to protect the lead, or at least stay in the game. The more you inflate offensive success, the more devastating offensive failure becomes. The more success hinges on balls put into play, the important you make all-around baseball skills and athletic skills.

      Certainly on that hot August night in 2000 when Thomas came to the plate after Valentin legged out a ground ball to shortstop, he wasn't thinking that he needed to get under the pitch and hope it carried over the wall to prevent hitting into where Valentin did, which likely would have been an inning-ending double play, delaying the postgame fireworks show. However it is likely that if Wavin' Wally had held Valentin at third, Ordonez would have tried to hit a fly over the outfielders who would have been playing as shallow as they could to be in position to throw out the winning run tagging up from third on a fly out.

      There is more to baseball than home runs, walks, strikeouts and ground outs to short. I don't know exactly when so many White Sox fans stopped seeing that as something that was good for the game.
      Lack of highly paid players in the 60's and before had NOTHING to do with how many home runs a guy hit and everything to do with the reserve clause. There was no FA before Curt Flood opened the door for the players to form a union and FA; It's simply ridiculous to say it meant more back then. I mean DUH! THERE WEREN'T ANY!
      Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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      • #48
        Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

        Lack of highly paid players in the 60's and before had NOTHING to do with how many home runs a guy hit and everything to do with the reserve clause. There was no FA before Curt Flood opened the door for the players to form a union and FA; It's simply ridiculous to say it meant more back then. I mean DUH! THERE WEREN'T ANY!
        I apologize for not making it clear I was talking about salaries in terms of inflation. Parenthetic nonpolitical reference to Dick Allen's salary may have been misleading because it tangentially ties into the the Bill Veeck quite concerning the high cost of mediocrity. My point was about inflation not increasing intrinsic value, not that baseball players are getting paid intrinsically more for producing less.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by TDog View Post

          I apologize for not making it clear I was talking about salaries in terms of inflation. Parenthetic nonpolitical reference to Dick Allen's salary may have been misleading because it tangentially ties into the the Bill Veeck quite concerning the high cost of mediocrity. My point was about inflation not increasing intrinsic value, not that baseball players are getting paid intrinsically more for producing less.
          Thanks for explaining. I did get a different impression.
          Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



          Comment


          • #50
            https://theathletic.com/2514275/2021...s-on-the-game/

            The Athletic looked at the data so far and it looks like exit velocity is up a bit due to the ball being slightly lighter while distance is down because of the drag on the ball.

            Because of the drag, pitchers strikeout rates are up since the extra drag is causing the ball to move more.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by MrX View Post
              https://theathletic.com/2514275/2021...s-on-the-game/

              The Athletic looked at the data so far and it looks like exit velocity is up a bit due to the ball being slightly lighter while distance is down because of the drag on the ball.

              Because of the drag, pitchers strikeout rates are up since the extra drag is causing the ball to move more.
              The article also pointed out it's hard to draw a clear conclusion because it's still early April and real cold in some places, but at first glance it doesn't seem like it's doing anything to move away from the three true outcomes.

              However, there will be an experiment in the Atlantic League that appears interesting:
              https://theathletic.com/2518208/2021...ying-out-next/

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by whitesox5187 View Post

                The article also pointed out it's hard to draw a clear conclusion because it's still early April and real cold in some places, but at first glance it doesn't seem like it's doing anything to move away from the three true outcomes.

                However, there will be an experiment in the Atlantic League that appears interesting:
                https://theathletic.com/2518208/2021...ying-out-next/
                As many predicted. It's not the ball that caused hitters to play for three true outcomes. It's because it's effective regardless of the ball.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by vegandork View Post

                  As many predicted. It's not the ball that caused hitters to play for three true outcomes. It's because it's effective regardless of the ball.
                  It's WAY too early to come to that conclusion. Even if the ball is indeed coming off the bat differently, it's going to take time for the analytics to catch up to understand if a different approach works better, and then an even longer time before players are able to effectively make changes to an approach they've been using for years.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by ChiTownTrojan View Post

                    It's WAY too early to come to that conclusion. Even if the ball is indeed coming off the bat differently, it's going to take time for the analytics to catch up to understand if a different approach works better, and then an even longer time before players are able to effectively make changes to an approach they've been using for years.
                    Considering nobody has changed anything and the results are the same...and it's cold weather which favors the pitchers, it's reasonable to assume that things will continue as they have.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      If MLB substituted shot puts for the balls, home runs would be as rare as a Dodo Bird. The Manfred would not look at moving back the Mound one foot to make up for the power arms in the league.

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