All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > MLB: a bag of a**holes.
5/14/2014 1:42 PM (edited)
Posted by bad_luck on 5/14/2014 1:27:00 PM (view original):
But the "out is an out" mentality is correct. Most of the time, your swing on 2-2 should be the same as 2-0 because, most of the time, the strikeout isn't any worse than any other out.
In my opinion, that's the flaw in the thinking.  On 2-0, when you take your big swing, you have a cushion of 2 other strikes to work with if you're unsuccessful in putting it in play. On 2-2, trying to hit the ball as hard as you possibly can may not be the best idea.  Shorten your swing (and swing hard) but be ok with the single you lined the other way instead of trying to destroy a ball into the gap, which you are more likely to miss than when taking a different approach, and strike out.  With 2 strikes, the pitcher is also more likely to throw you a pitch that's more difficult to drive in the first place.
5/14/2014 1:37 PM
And again, "an out is an out" doesn't always apply anyway.  As a pitcher up 1 late with a man on 3rd and 1 out, I'm hoping that batter doesn't change his approach at all.

5/14/2014 2:02 PM
One thing that's being somewhat ignored in this discussion (we're dancing around it, but not addressing it directly) is the count during a PA, and how both the pitcher and the batter need to adjust and adapt their approach accordingly.

It's fine to "swing hard to try to drive the ball" on a hitter's count.  In fact, that's what the hitter SHOULD be doing.  But when the pitcher is ahead in the count, as burnsy points out, he's going to be pitching differently.  Other than a mistake, he's not going to be giving the hitter "drivable" pitches.  The hitter needs to adapt and adjust his approach to the count.  Sometimes, "just making contact" is the better approach rather than taking the same approach and same swing irregardless of the count.




5/14/2014 2:03 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 5/14/2014 12:27:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 5/14/2014 11:11:00 AM (view original):
If the ball isn't put in play, it's still two guys playing catch. 
Most baseball fans see more than that, but ok.
Most or some?   You seem to think that there are millions upon millions of people watching games and keeping a scorebook.   There aren't. 

I'm not saying baseball is dying but it's #3 in America right now and, if I had to guess, will fall behind soccer at some point if you can't garner the interest of young people.
5/14/2014 2:17 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 5/14/2014 2:03:00 PM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 5/14/2014 12:27:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 5/14/2014 11:11:00 AM (view original):
If the ball isn't put in play, it's still two guys playing catch. 
Most baseball fans see more than that, but ok.
Most or some?   You seem to think that there are millions upon millions of people watching games and keeping a scorebook.   There aren't. 

I'm not saying baseball is dying but it's #3 in America right now and, if I had to guess, will fall behind soccer at some point if you can't garner the interest of young people.
Most baseball fans watching a pitcher pitch don't see "two guys playing catch."  
5/14/2014 2:19 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 5/14/2014 2:17:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 5/14/2014 2:03:00 PM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 5/14/2014 12:27:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 5/14/2014 11:11:00 AM (view original):
If the ball isn't put in play, it's still two guys playing catch. 
Most baseball fans see more than that, but ok.
Most or some?   You seem to think that there are millions upon millions of people watching games and keeping a scorebook.   There aren't. 

I'm not saying baseball is dying but it's #3 in America right now and, if I had to guess, will fall behind soccer at some point if you can't garner the interest of young people.
Most baseball fans watching a pitcher pitch don't see "two guys playing catch."  
You're right.   They're watching one guy throw a ball to another guy.    And the other guy tossing it back to him. 

It's not must-see TV until the 7th inning.   Assuming no one has a hit yet. 
5/14/2014 2:24 PM
Posted by dahsdebater on 5/14/2014 1:08:00 PM (view original):
Posted by tecwrg on 5/14/2014 12:54:00 PM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 5/14/2014 12:44:00 PM (view original):
Posted by tecwrg on 5/14/2014 12:35:00 PM (view original):
I wouldn't want my hitters shortening up in that situation and trying for a ground ball out. The benefit is small. I'd much rather risk a strikeout and that small benefit and have them take a real swing and have a chance at an extra base hit.

How many hitters go up to the plate with the intention of "trying for a ground ball out"?

Do you understand the concept of trying to make contact and put a ball in play?

Does every ball put in play result in an out?
I'm a little confused as to what you think I'm arguing here. I'll try to answer your questions but keep in mind that no one is arguing that a hit is the same as a strikeout.

1.) I don't know. I hope, for the most part, zero. Let's look at the situation. A player goes up to the plate with a guy on 2nd and one out. He strikes out. What do you think he should have done differently? If you say, "shorten up, make contact, and put the ball in play," my response would be, "doesn't that increase the likelihood that he will make an out because he won't hit the ball as hard?"

2.) I think all players are trying to make contact when they swing. I'm not arguing that they shouldn't. I'm arguing that they shouldn't change their approach in this situation merely for the sake of making contact. Weak contact here doesn't really help the situation.

3.) If a ball in play doesn't result in an out, the saying, "an out is an out," doesn't apply. 
With two strikes, in general, you want your batter to change their approach; shortening their swing to try to make contact and put the ball in play.  That's smart baseball.

There are going to be exceptions to this, based on personnel and game situation.  But the rule of thumb is, with two strikes, "just make contact".

This is a really outdated line of thinking.  The reason why most teams don't adhere to it much of the time is that modern statistical analysis has demonstrated virtually beyond doubt that in most situations it's wrong.  Just making contact isn't a particularly valuable thing to do.  What do you think a guy's batting average might be on a "just make contact" swing?  Let's be extremely generous and call it .200.  I doubt it's much over .150, if that, in reality.  But let's call it .200.  And a guy in protect mode might OBP what if he's hitting .200?  .225?  .240?  We'll give him .240 - again, extremely generous.  And his slugging?  Also .240 if he's lucky?  Not a lot of XBH on protection swings.

Now look at the dude who continues to take borderline pitches and swing hard at a mistake.  What's his average?  .150?  But he's taking some balls.  He probably OBPs close to that same .240.  And the kind of hitters who slug .500 in general are still going to slug .400+ with 2 strikes.  So really, who's more valuable in this situation?

I'll disagree that this is an outdated line of thinking, or that it should be an outdated line of thinking.  It may be that this is what it's become because of the lack of discipline that MLB hitters have adopted over the past 20-25 years or so, since the approximate start of the PED / HR era.  But that doesn't mean that just because this is what it's become that it has to stay this way,

Plus, you shouldn't just focus on batting average on a "just making contact" swing.  A short "contact" swing with two strikes sometimes/oftentimes results in a foul ball, which extends the plate appearance.  Which occasionally gives the pitcher the opportunity to make a mistake that the batter can then turn into a line drive in the gap.

How many times have you seen a hitter fall behind in the count, foul off a crapload of pitches to extend the AB, and then turn a 7, 8 or 9 pitch AB into a base hit?  That typically doesn't happen with the 150-190 K hitters.

5/14/2014 2:50 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 5/14/2014 2:19:00 PM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 5/14/2014 2:17:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 5/14/2014 2:03:00 PM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 5/14/2014 12:27:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 5/14/2014 11:11:00 AM (view original):
If the ball isn't put in play, it's still two guys playing catch. 
Most baseball fans see more than that, but ok.
Most or some?   You seem to think that there are millions upon millions of people watching games and keeping a scorebook.   There aren't. 

I'm not saying baseball is dying but it's #3 in America right now and, if I had to guess, will fall behind soccer at some point if you can't garner the interest of young people.
Most baseball fans watching a pitcher pitch don't see "two guys playing catch."  
You're right.   They're watching one guy throw a ball to another guy.    And the other guy tossing it back to him. 

It's not must-see TV until the 7th inning.   Assuming no one has a hit yet. 
Going back to this, the soccer thing just came back to me.

Many years ago, I worked with a guy just over from England.    We're out having a beer and I'm trying to explain baseball nuances to him.   Pitchers setting up hitters in particular.  Eventually he said "Why doesn't he just throw another pitch over the plate?   The hitter doesn't appear to be able to put the bloody bat on the bloody ball, old chap!"  OK, I added "old chap" for the hell of it.  Baseball bored him because he didn't understand the subtle things. 

So, a month later, we're watching soccer.   Dude's on the edge of his seat.  And he's trying to explain it to me. To me, it looked like a bunch of guys running around until, every 10-15 minutes, someone took a shot on goal.   I didn't understand the subtle nuances of soccer.

How many baseball "fans" do you think get the "little things"?
5/14/2014 3:11 PM
I guess it's what you mean by "fans."  My definition is different.  You're not a soccer fan and he's not a baseball fan.  A new fan of baseball would want to learn the subtle things.  I've actually been doing that with soccer - I watched a lot of EPL the last couple years with some friends who have been into it for a while.  If I didn't know baseball, I wouldn't say "they're just having catch! drastically change the game for me to make it entertaining!" It would be like you saying "make the soccer pitch smaller! they're just kicking a ball around! fix the game for me!"
5/14/2014 3:46 PM
Your definition isn't very inclusive.    Baseball can't market itself to you.  Or me.    They have to have a bigger market.   And today's baseball will not capture that market.   As I said earlier, I'm on realism's side. 
5/14/2014 3:49 PM

BTW, do you think lowering the mound or adding a DH was "drastic change"?

5/14/2014 4:22 PM
Anyway, to get to the point, the mound height was 15 inches thru 1968.   Then it was lowered to 10 inches because scoring was down.   50%.

Looks like minimum field dimensions were established in 1958.    As best I can tell, it was just an arbitrary number that "felt" right.

Bringing the fences in 20-25 feet would seem a lot less drastic than lowering the mound 50% or adding a hitter to a line-up in place of a pitcher.
5/14/2014 4:29 PM (edited)
Moving the fences in to 300 feet, where lazy flys can become home runs, is a drastic change.  It changes the strategy of the game necessary to win.  Fly-ball pitchers are out of the game.  The sinker becomes a necessary pitch.  You're encouraged to put the ball in the air.  Everyone is trying to hit homers.  It becomes too much of a different game.  Lowering the mound didn't change the way the game was played, but it made it a little easier for hitters.  I wouldn't have been a fan of the DH at the time, but understand that pitchers aren't exactly athletes, and really should be concentrating on pitching so they avoid that injury risk.

I've always said that hockey would get more fans if they permanently switched to 4 on 4.  There would be more goals.  But it wouldn't be the same game anymore.  
5/14/2014 4:26 PM
What if a study was done and it was determined that runs would fall just short of steroid era proportions if the fences we moved in to 300 feet.    Did all the run scoring during that time turn your stomach?   Were you unable to watch baseball?   Or was it "just how the game was played"?
5/14/2014 4:34 PM
I want players to hit the ball hard in order to hit home runs.  I wouldn't be against lowering the mound some more.  It will lead to more runs and I've heard that it's likely less pitchers will be injured.  My main concern with your scenario is that cheap "Yankee Stadium homer" only MUCH more often.  I'm 5'9", 175 and haven't played organized baseball in some time.  I shouldn't be able to hit home runs more than once in a blue moon if I played again.  Make it 300 down the line and I'll hit some out consistently.  That's not how the game is supposed to be played. 
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