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 Post subject: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:22 pm 
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For lack of a better place for this, I'm a little surprised at how quietly (at least publicly) the owners are willing to give Rob Manfred a 5 yr extension. Then again, they generally like stability. I just think they don't have a great sense of where they are in the broad sense. I think they have to wake up and recognize that the game, while still very popular and with no real competition, seems to be at an inflection point. It doesn't really seem like they recognize it.

While the league (Manfred) has invested some time and effort on some new ideas regarding game pacing, they are on the extreme fringes (automatic BB, pitch clocks, mound visit limits) and are effectively meaningless, while bigger issues loom. These big issues really need addressing in his 2nd term or his leadership will go down as a bigger failure/waste than Bud Selig's.

Yeah, I know that owners may look at the increase in tv contracts and gross revenues and gains they've made vis-a-vis the PA as overall net positives, I think that those are still short term victories, while they are getting closer to losing the broader war. I don't have statistics in front of me, but I don't think the game is attracting a lot of kids. It seems to me like it is riding out the last part of the baby boom generation. I used to see a lot more kids at games when I was little. I think there is real danger of them losing a generation of fans bc of the way the game is played today and just the broader issue of there being so many more entertainment options for young people today.

While Scott Boras's remarks were a lot about Scott Boras ultimately, he's not wrong about a lot of it. Too many teams are incentivized not to be competitive. That has to change... or at least it's something the league should be very concerned about bc as he said, it obviously affects attendance. Just have to look at Miami. That situation is going to be bad for a number of years and that's all on the league for letting it happen.

And then, the issue of the game itself. They have to start to think seriously about the way the game has evolved the past few years. There is just too much lack of action with brief interruptions for the occasional HR blast. I realize that the thnking is that this is a more efficient way to score, given that hits are harder to come by, but the style of play that we see is becoming problematic from the fan perspective.

And then there is the issue of formatting - scheduling, travel, divisions, playoffs. All these things really new a freshening... but done right. I just fear that the people running the game don't even realize that these issues exist. They seem to think that mound visits was a big problem...


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 Post subject: Re: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:02 pm 
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I think way too much blame for gameplay issues fall on the commissioner. Its great to have a sounding board to throw all these ideas out there that will essentially limit the amount of strategy to be employed (which is what pace of play measures really seek to do) but you're effectively try to regulate innovation and the use of data, while fans are always increasingly screaming for more investment in analytics. The 2 don't really marry. The more teams invest in analytics, the more in-game strategy to the micro-degree will be introduced to try to achieve more advantages on the fringes, which affects the viewing experience and pace of play.

If the commissioner starts coming out and banning shifts and limiting pitching changes and whatnot, that'll be seen as anti-innovation, and he'll be killed for it.

Bud Selig and Rob Manfred have presided over a prolonged period of labor peace when revenues are skyrocketing. Yeah, the in-game experience may be shifting, but TV revenues replace attendance revenue. And that should be on the teams to ensure their stadium experiences keep attention.

And I have no idea on the youth participation, but since you raise anecdotal evidence, I'll counter: I have young kids, 1 of which is involved in little league and 1 of which has moved into the club level of the sport. I don't see any evidence youth participation is hurting, and in fact, I will say as someone who grew up in the same area my kids are, there's a lot more going on with tournaments (both local and regional), indoor training facilities for 4 season play, etc., than there was when I grew up, which wasn't that long ago.

Quite frankly, I know there's a lot of complaining about the game, but I don't personally see it as being in any trouble. I don't think baseball was ever the "football" type viewing experience where people just set aside a day and park themselves on the couch and don't move. I get 4 hour games suck, but I don't think cutting down to a crisp 3 hour game changes the simple fact that the game of baseball naturally requires a ton of downtime in between occasional spurts of excitement. Either you appreciate the ride, or you don't, but I'm not sure thats different now than it was 10, 20, 30 years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:38 pm 
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I just wish he'd push to make the NL and AL the same regarding DH.

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 Post subject: Re: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:51 pm 
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I’d rather them different than have DH in NL


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 Post subject: Re: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:51 pm 
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You of course know the Commissioner is nothing but a highly-paid flunky of the owners, right?


8)

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 Post subject: Re: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:53 pm 
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TomInNC wrote:
I’d rather them different than have DH in NL


You either get the NL to accept it, or get EVERY OTHER ORGANIZED LEAGUE IN THE WORLD to drop it.


8)

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 Post subject: Re: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:02 pm 
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MarkJohnson>You wrote:
I think way too much blame for gameplay issues fall on the commissioner. Its great to have a sounding board to throw all these ideas out there that will essentially limit the amount of strategy to be employed (which is what pace of play measures really seek to do) but you're effectively try to regulate innovation and the use of data, while fans are always increasingly screaming for more investment in analytics. The 2 don't really marry. The more teams invest in analytics, the more in-game strategy to the micro-degree will be introduced to try to achieve more advantages on the fringes, which affects the viewing experience and pace of play.

If the commissioner starts coming out and banning shifts and limiting pitching changes and whatnot, that'll be seen as anti-innovation, and he'll be killed for it.

Bud Selig and Rob Manfred have presided over a prolonged period of labor peace when revenues are skyrocketing. Yeah, the in-game experience may be shifting, but TV revenues replace attendance revenue. And that should be on the teams to ensure their stadium experiences keep attention.

And I have no idea on the youth participation, but since you raise anecdotal evidence, I'll counter: I have young kids, 1 of which is involved in little league and 1 of which has moved into the club level of the sport. I don't see any evidence youth participation is hurting, and in fact, I will say as someone who grew up in the same area my kids are, there's a lot more going on with tournaments (both local and regional), indoor training facilities for 4 season play, etc., than there was when I grew up, which wasn't that long ago.

Quite frankly, I know there's a lot of complaining about the game, but I don't personally see it as being in any trouble. I don't think baseball was ever the "football" type viewing experience where people just set aside a day and park themselves on the couch and don't move. I get 4 hour games suck, but I don't think cutting down to a crisp 3 hour game changes the simple fact that the game of baseball naturally requires a ton of downtime in between occasional spurts of excitement. Either you appreciate the ride, or you don't, but I'm not sure thats different now than it was 10, 20, 30 years ago.

As to your last para, I said that the pace of game stuff that Manfred has done has been silly, even openly mocked... a waste. Agree entirely that baseball flows at its own pace.

Entirely different issue that game style has become more boring because of the lack of balls in play today. I certainly don't think that measures that could be put into the game to counterbalance that issue would be "killed" as anti-innovation... not if it ends up with a better game experience. Not necessarily advocating for this, but we all know that zone defenses are prohibited in the NBA bc of how it would affect the game... and similarly a play clock and 3 second clock were put in to speed up the action. MLB could make certain changes like keeping 2 IFers on each side of 2B or lowering mound. There could be roster changes that would limit the amount of RPers each team could carry that would affect how many pitching changes we'd see in each game. I don't think these would be anti-innovation. Innovation is about finding advantages within the given rules/structure. When the rules change, the innovation adjusts with it.

Moreover, I think they need to work on the economic structure of the game bc as it is now, too many teams find it to their advantage not to be competitive... and in many cases that lasts several seasons. That's just nuts. It's not good for the game. maybe realignment would address this. Something has to. Heck, just look at the Mariners right now. The idea that they would consider dealing their reasonably paid ace LHed starter coming off of an 89 win season should be pretty shocking. There seems to be too many teams willing to consider cashing chips in. That seems justifiable when you can't break .500 but a lot less so at 89 wins. Again, something's not right with that picture.


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 Post subject: Re: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:13 pm 
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Much of what any one person could do to speed up the game or the pace of the game has to go up against what the players who play the game want.


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 Post subject: Re: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:30 pm 
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Doesn't the NBA allow zone defenses now? Not much of an NBA guy, but I thought that old prohibition was dropped essentially because it was anti-innovation. I dunno. To me the better analogy would be the NFL placing arbitrary limits on say how many defenders can line up in the secondary. You know teams play more spread, so defense should be able to counter with more guys off the line, etc. Just like in baseball when we know hitters have tendencies to hit the ball in certain spots, you should be able to defend it.

On the economics, I don't think thats limited to baseball. Other than instituting a cap, which is anti-player and I'm not sure that a commissioner would be celebrated for putting more money in the owner's pockets, I don't know how you fix the fact that when you have a league with widely disparate media markets and revenues. Contract the Marlins, Rays, etc? Would I guess improve overall balance of competitiveness, but man, how much does THAT suck for those fans? Everyone knows moving the Expos was the right move from a competitiveness perspective but was that really a popular move by Selig from a fan perspective? Does he get celebrated for that?


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 Post subject: Re: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:41 pm 
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Imagine being a Mariners fan... they finally move up the chain and have a terrific 89 win season, and their reward for that is to hear that they intend to sell off some better pieces to do a soft re-tooling... Huh??

That should offend a lot of people around the game. I mean, maybe it was just overplayed by some in the media. But DiPoto didn't seem to go out of his way to deny the story. In fact, it's been more or less confirmed as we hear them talking about Paxton. How is that going to help them in 2019?

How could a team like the M's already seeming to concede that they can't win their division or even a WC not offend people in the game, especially their own fans..?


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 Post subject: Re: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:00 pm 
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HeyNowHK wrote:
Imagine being a Mariners fan... they finally move up the chain and have a terrific 89 win season, and their reward for that is to hear that they intend to sell off some better pieces to do a soft re-tooling... Huh??

That should offend a lot of people around the game. I mean, maybe it was just overplayed by some in the media. But DiPoto didn't seem to go out of his way to deny the story. In fact, it's been more or less confirmed as we hear them talking about Paxton. How is that going to help them in 2019?

How could a team like the M's already seeming to concede that they can't win their division or even a WC not offend people in the game, especially their own fans..?


But so whats the fix? A cap? Do you think Manfred gets celebrated long term by limiting player salaries and putting money back in owner's pockets?

I think there's some degree of reality here: being a fan of a small market team comes with the reality that part of the fandom is the ride, and not expecting a championship on a regular basis. Thats somewhat true in a lot of leagues in different sports even globally, right? I have friends who are HUGE EPL fans and thats a league where literally, what, 5 clubs have any shot at ever winnings other than a crazy Leicester City situation, but thats sort of part of the fandom?

I mean, lets be fair: we're all here. Are we Met fans due to the belief that someday soon the Mets will be an MLB dynasty? If you are, may be time for a little think straight/talk straight moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Manfred
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:13 pm 
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MarkJohnson>You wrote:
HeyNowHK wrote:
Imagine being a Mariners fan... they finally move up the chain and have a terrific 89 win season, and their reward for that is to hear that they intend to sell off some better pieces to do a soft re-tooling... Huh??

That should offend a lot of people around the game. I mean, maybe it was just overplayed by some in the media. But DiPoto didn't seem to go out of his way to deny the story. In fact, it's been more or less confirmed as we hear them talking about Paxton. How is that going to help them in 2019?

How could a team like the M's already seeming to concede that they can't win their division or even a WC not offend people in the game, especially their own fans..?


But so whats the fix? A cap? Do you think Manfred gets celebrated long term by limiting player salaries and putting money back in owner's pockets?

I think there's some degree of reality here: being a fan of a small market team comes with the reality that part of the fandom is the ride, and not expecting a championship on a regular basis. Thats somewhat true in a lot of leagues in different sports even globally, right? I have friends who are HUGE EPL fans and thats a league where literally, what, 5 clubs have any shot at ever winnings other than a crazy Leicester City situation, but thats sort of part of the fandom?

I mean, lets be fair: we're all here. Are we Met fans due to the belief that someday soon the Mets will be an MLB dynasty? If you are, may be time for a little think straight/talk straight moment.


6 from the Prem but yes your point stands.


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