Friday, August 22, 2014

Improving Baseball

Improvements to baseball: Might as well reduce the number of games in a season since so many people think the season hinges on the one game being played. Unlike football where every game is live of die, baseball is a marathon – even with a 154 game season. Do people watching the Boston Marathon give up and go home because a runner runs one slow mile?

OK to enforce the time limit between pitches, and force the batter to not take walks between pitches. It is TV’s fault the time between innings is so long. But the average time of a MLB game is not why kids are playing other sports. Coaches and umpires do nothing to speed the pace of Little League games. Instead they drag on forever, and the kids are bored. But its fun for 13 year olds to play on a tiny field that 9 year olds should be playing on. And it makes for great TV. The 13 year old sticks his bat out and the ball goes over the fence. Batters can’t take full swings because the mound is too close. Then next year when the 14 year olds move up to a regulation field, they don’t have the proper fundamentals to play the game correctly.

I do agree that the new commissioner should come in and make changes. Re-establish the strike zone as it is written should be number one. Baseball has taken several positive steps, tightening catch rules and the neighborhood play at second base. Football is always tweaking the rules in an effort to improve the game.

Go back to having the team with the best record have the home field advantage in the world series. Even when the all-star game decided home field, it was hard for all star managers to not play all but a few of their players. Back in the old days the best players would play almost the entire all star game, meaning so many lesser players just came and watched. I’d rather see every player get in the game and play an inning or three. Lessens the chance of any one player getting hurt.

As Pete Rose said yesterday, he signed a piece of paper agreeing to be banned from baseball for life. He admits to not reading what he signed. Rose was a great player. I admired his style of play. But in retirement Rose has become one of the biggest slimeballs around. Should the new commissioner reinstate him? Perhaps. But even then he would now be ineligible for the HOF based on the new rules just now going into effect. If Rose is reinstated, then so should Shoeless Joe. He was more innocent than Rose.

And who cares how long spring training lasts?

Braves win their 6th out of seven – an 8-0 blowout. Also their 8th out of ten. Teheran is dominant. Avilan gets in an inning, and Gosslin plays the outfield. Gattis goes opposite field to drive in a run. Justin and Freddie have their averages almost up to .300. Justin is second in the NL in RBIs. Freddie is second in hits.

I’ve been feeling bad all week. Sunday was miserable. Better Monday through most of Thursday. Yesterday afternoon I got feeling worse. Went home and laid on the couch all evening. About the same today. Came to work so I could sit in my chair all day. Problems problems problems. No one knows how to do their job correctly, and they come to me to figure it out. Meanwhile my work piles up.

ROB: I am looking at OPS+ numbers for the last 3 years.  LaStella  94, Johnson 89, Simmons 80 and BJ 71.  Last year we had 3 regulars under 100 (league average) - Uggla, Simmons and BJ.  The year before we had 4, but of those, Uggla was at 98, Bourn was 99 and injury riddled McCann was 87.

LaStella was a good stop gap for the disaster that was 2014 Uggla.  But I don't think he is a long term answer.  Eventually Perazza will be at 2B, but his minor league walk rate concerns me.  Gosselin is another one who can't take a walk.  He tore up Gwinnett hitting .344 this year, but only a 5% BB rate.  Apparently, not only can't you walk off the island (as has been said of many latin players), you can't walk off the UVA campus.
But I think Gosselin's approach will suit him well to be a pinch hitter - coming off the bench and looking for the first pitch he can hit.

Johnson's OPS+ was 123 last year.  Johnson could get back to where he was last year (or at least over league average) if we see more LH pitching and if he went back to pulling the ball more.  I think last year he fell too much in love with being an opposite field singles hitter.

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