Friday, November 16, 2018

Players with fancy new shoes sure looks like the solution to MLB's problems

PINCH ME! Our prayers have been answered. Next year is gonna be in-fuckinay-credible! 

Yesterday, MLB owners ceded to players the right to wear wild, multi-colored shoes! That's right. Papa needs a new pair of shoes! I'm walkin' on sunshine, ooo-ooh, and don't it feel GOOD! Says the Gray Lady:

[T]he majority of each shoe will no longer be required to be the team’s designated primary color. Instead, players can wear shoes with the following, in any proportion: black, white, and gray; any colors on the players’ uniform; and any additional colors set by their team.

Wow. Gray shoes. Blue shoes. White shoes. Blue-gray shoes. Weird shoes. Velcro shoes. Sinister shoes. Where's Rex Ryan? Woahhhh, Nelly! Lace me up! And here, I was originally going to note a few troubling signs on the MLB horizon. Now they seem so minor. New shoes! Oh, but what were those omens? Well... 

Remember that "dream" big-market match-up in the World Series? Well...

The average viewership for this year’s World Series, which the Boston Red Sox won in five games over the Los Angeles Dodgers, dropped by 23 percent from the 2017 World Series between the Dodgers and the Houston Astros, which lasted seven games.

Seattle is sifting through its couch cushions for loose change.

When the 2019 MLB regular season gets underway, the Seattle Mariners will be playing in a ballpark under a new name. 
T-Mobile will be the new naming rights partner of the Mariners beginning in 2019... While initially, the the rights were rumored to be $6 million annually, other sources now indicate that it will be closer to $3 million annually.

Hey, $3 million buys a backup catcher! And there are fewer critics.

(MLB) season attendance was down 4% in 2018, to an average of 28,830 per date, following 14 consecutive seasons of at least 30,000. While that certainly isn’t an off-the-cliff number, it is enough to alarm some owners as 17 of the 30 franchises had declines.

Maybe Seattle can join the "tanking" movement, though they'll have to get in line.

Many teams are currently in rebuilding/tanking mode. Three finished with at least 100 losses this year, the most in a season since a record four in 2002. MLB also had a record eight teams lose at least 95 games. “The reality of it is they're losing their fan base, and it costs millions and millions of dollars to rebuild the fan base,” (Scott) Boras said.

The games are becoming tedious.

The MLB batting average this year was .248, the lowest since 1972, the last season before the designated hitter was instituted in the American League. The major league record for strikeouts was set for the 11th consecutive season, and 2018 marked the first time the number of punch-outs (41,207) exceeded the number of hits (41,018).

New shoes! The next move could be a 20-second pitch clock. If I'm dreaming, don't wake me up. Red shoes. Blue shoes. Old shoes. New shoes. 


JM said...

If the new shoes aren't kangaroo hide, it doesn't matter what colors they are.

Retired Stratman said...

Fat shoes, skinny shoes, shoes that climb on rocks...

KD said...

want to know why attendance is down? teams should not be rewarded for being crappy. who runs a successful business like this? Nobody, that's who!

Carl J. Weitz said...

That's right,KD. All the 20 second pitching clocks in the world or minor and petty rule changes will do nothing to boost attendance. Know what will? A minimum salary floor. You graduate the penalties meted out. Go five straight years and you lose your baseball franchise. That's it....that simple. Make the cheap owners put a product on the field that fans can watch and make them feel like they have a chance for at least the last wild card. It is only fair to the other teams that constantly pay into the revenue sharing pot only to see their money going into racing yachts of parsimonious owners that beat Hal's fleet of racers every year!

KD said...

Carl, I recall reading somewhere how European soccer works. be crappy and the team is demoted to a lesser league. Be excellent and a minor league team is promoted. with a system like that, wouldn't all teams would strive to win?

the other problem is simply the boring play. every player is now a home run king, pulling into the shift and striking out. strike outs are now more common than base hits and batting averages are declining! is that actually good for the sport? Hell no! somebody here wrote that homeruns are too common and they were correct. MLB needs to de-juice the ball and then we might actually witness baseball games with excitement and a little bit of intrigue. IOW, real baseball.

I think there are many options to improve the fan experience for MLB. trouble is, the owners would not support any of the good ones.

KD said...

dejuice the ball. leads to far fewer home runs and fewer players constantly pulling. the shifts are gradually less successful. Batting averages rise.

lower the mound. leads to more contact. more contact = more balls in play = higher averages = more excitement.

fixed it for you, MLB. no charge. you're welcome.

Anonymous said...


I've always liked the soccer way of doing things that you mentioned. I think the problem is that the AAA teams are owned by the parent club as opposed to being its own entity like they are in Europe. So that system can't work here. For Example: If Scranton won AAA and then took the place of the Orioles the Yankees would lose their minor league team.

There should be some penalty for sustained ineptitude though.


As to speeding up the game. It's not the time it takes to deliver the ball, although I'm good with a pitch clock. It's using multiple relievers in an inning. Every time one comes in that 3-4 minutes right there. If both teams keep bringing in match-up guys it adds what? 20-30 minutes to the game. I don't know how to fix it.

Also, Let the umps stay where they are during a replay except the home plate ump who walks to the dugout area and takes the call. Why do they all have to be there? That way everyone is in place and the game goes on. And while I'm on replay. You have 20 seconds to decide if you want one. None of this watching 5-6 angles and then going for it.

Last, make it so the fielders have to be on the "proper side" of the field when the pitch is made. So SS and 3Bman to the left of 2B. 2Bman and 1Bman to the right of 2B. Wherever they set up on their side of the field is OK.

And/Or they have to be positioned in the infield (if they are infielders) and the outfield (if they are outfielders. No more of this softball 10th guy roving Outfielder crap. That will bring back some hits and make the game more fun.

Doug K.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I have THE solution to the lower attendance AND the home-run focus, and more --

Move the fences OUT.

CF fence = 525 feet. RF and LF = 450 each. At least!

This would force the teams to eliminate a lot of seats, too.

I know, I know -- Mark Texeira would still pull the ball. (F him)

But maybe -- just maybe, I dunno -- some guys would use more of the field. For one thing, there would be a lot more field. For another, even Aaron Judge can't consistently hit 465-foot HRs (I don't think).

If that happened (not saying it will, but....) -- then you don't have to worry about legislating against the shifts.

You had damn well better have very fast outfielders, tho, to cover all of that new ground!

....yes, I realize this is pure fantasy.....

HoraceClarke66 said...

Carl Weitz—exactly! A spending floor would instantly make the majors more competitive...and would mean that those of us in "big markets" would at least be subsidizing competition, NOT wealthy owners.

KD—I don't know if the balls are more juiced, but baseball has to get away from this ridiculous style of play.

Who knows? Maybe the algorithms DO prove that everybody going for a home run on every pitch will create more runs. Who cares? The fans don't like, and they don't come out. End of story!

Doug K.—I totally agree that the pitching changes are out of hand. Maybe the solution here is to specifically limit the number of pitchers to, say, 10-11 per 25-man roster.

I am against outlawing the shift through the rules. Teams just have to come to their senses again, and have players hit to the opposite field.

This is getting crazier and crazier. Baseball now offers fans a game they like less and less, at higher and higher prices...then is amazed when they don't show up.

Anonymous said...


I don't know... Is it too much to ask that the third baseman play somewhere near third base? Or that an infielder plays in the infield? Otherwise why don't we just call them "defenders" and be done with it? That way we could say, "They've got four defenders on the right side... BUNT!!!!!!" :)

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Actually for that scenario it would be, "They've got six defenders on the right side... BUNT!" Sorry. I probably made the point anyway but it bothered me.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I just don't understand why baseball people haven't figured this out already.

Have two or three guys bunt or hit to the opposite field. End of the shift. Maybe forever.

This drives me nut: "Well, we've figured out that pulling the ball STILL results in more runs, even WITH the shift."

Maybe it does. Maybe it does.

BUT, if you can do just enough bunting and hitting to the opposite field to get RID of the shift, then you will be able to pull the ball WITH NO SHIFT.

And obviously, pulling the ball with no shift, brings higher rewards than pulling the ball with the shift.

This seems like basic logic. I know, I know—not baseball's strength.