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Thread: Not walking the walk?

  1. #1
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Not walking the walk?

    It felt like walks were down in baseball this season. A lot of pitchers have some really low walk rates -- more than usual it seemed. I decided to see if there was anything to it.

    Not sure if this is a trend or just fluctuation, as the pitches/PA are actually up a bit. But interesting nonetheless:

    BB%

    2013: 7.8%
    2012: 8.0%
    2011: 8.1%
    2010: 8.5%
    2009: 8.9%

    Prior to 2009, it was mostly hovering around 8.3-8.6% (although 2008 was under 8%).

    Perhaps this has something to do with home runs continuing to go down, so pitchers aren't as reluctant to throw the ball in the zone when needed.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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  4. #2
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    And strikeouts are going up. Perhaps we're seeing the valuing of defense. Perhaps we're just seeing the cumulative effective pitching talent adding up and pitch f/x allowing pitchers to be smarter.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  5. #3
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Maybe we are seeing the quality of the players declining. The watering down of the talent
    because of so many teams. Every team is carrying players that 30 or 40 years ago would have never made it out of the minors.

  6. #4
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Blood testing.

    And those check swing calls. I swear a batter barely moves the bat these days and the umps are calling them swings.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Quote Originally Posted by 40YrRedsFan View Post
    Maybe we are seeing the quality of the players declining. The watering down of the talent
    because of so many teams. Every team is carrying players that 30 or 40 years ago would have never made it out of the minors.
    The last expansion was in 1998, just after the 1993 expansion. The watering down is what I thought the reason that pitching was so bad... but now with that gone and less players on PEDS....and the fact that they would rather grip and rip at anything, I am not surprised. As bad as the Reds have had a time of scoring this month they are still 3rd in RS? How is this possible? The NL really is bad at scoring runs.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Quote Originally Posted by 40YrRedsFan View Post
    Maybe we are seeing the quality of the players declining. The watering down of the talent
    because of so many teams. Every team is carrying players that 30 or 40 years ago would have never made it out of the minors.
    This simply is not true. The population is much higher and we are drawing from all over the world. The player pool is much, much larger than ever before.

  9. #7
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    This simply is not true. The population is much higher and we are drawing from all over the world. The player pool is much, much larger than ever before.
    I agree on the pool being larger, but I would not dismiss the point entirely.

    Several years ago, baseball was still considered 'America's pastime.' Kids grew up playing baseball religiously all summer long and even into the fall, when weather permitted.

    With football overtaking baseball in popularity and basketball becoming a year-round sport because of AAU ball, a lot of kids that were playing baseball religiously have stopped doing so. Some have quit the sport altogether.

    One of the reasons for baseball's RBI initiative was recognition of this very fact. Baseball had gone dormant in the inner-cities. And while it's still hugely popular, because kids are distracted all year long with other sports and other things, I don't think they're honing the craft as much as they used to.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    I agree on the pool being larger, but I would not dismiss the point entirely.

    Several years ago, baseball was still considered 'America's pastime.' Kids grew up playing baseball religiously all summer long and even into the fall, when weather permitted.

    With football overtaking baseball in popularity and basketball becoming a year-round sport because of AAU ball, a lot of kids that were playing baseball religiously have stopped doing so. Some have quit the sport altogether.

    One of the reasons for baseball's RBI initiative was recognition of this very fact. Baseball had gone dormant in the inner-cities. And while it's still hugely popular, because kids are distracted all year long with other sports and other things, I don't think they're honing the craft as much as they used to.
    Scouts would disagree with you completely that guys aren't honing in their skills as much as they used to. In fact, they believe all of the national showcases and tournaments have led to players being far more advanced now than ever before because they face top notch competition at earlier ages, not just when they turn pro.

  12. #9
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Scouts would disagree with you completely that guys aren't honing in their skills as much as they used to. In fact, they believe all of the national showcases and tournaments have led to players being far more advanced now than ever before because they face top notch competition at earlier ages, not just when they turn pro.
    No, scouts believe there are more opportunities to see players because of the showcases. That's really the only difference. In case you're not aware, legion ball was always around for kids to play during the summer. That's really no different other than there are a lot of bigger tournaments where scouts can see kids all in one spot.

    But unlike 30 years ago where kids were playing ball during the summer in legion or on traveling teams, many of them are now attending football summer camps or playing AAU basketball. There are fewer kids playing baseball all summer than there used to be.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    No, scouts believe there are more opportunities to see players because of the showcases. That's really the only difference. In case you're not aware, legion ball was always around for kids to play during the summer. That's really no different other than there are a lot of bigger tournaments where scouts can see kids all in one spot.

    But unlike 30 years ago where kids were playing ball during the summer in legion or on traveling teams, many of them are now attending football summer camps or playing AAU basketball. There are fewer kids playing baseball all summer than there used to be.
    Yes, it is a lot different now than it used to be. Scouts certainly do get more chances to see the guys against advanced competition, but it players are benefiting from playing against the best more often now than ever before. The players start seeing more and more quality arms at 14-18 now, arms they may have only seen once or twice a year for 3-4 at bats 30-40 years ago.

  14. #11
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Yes, it is a lot different now than it used to be. Scouts certainly do get more chances to see the guys against advanced competition, but it players are benefiting from playing against the best more often now than ever before. The players start seeing more and more quality arms at 14-18 now, arms they may have only seen once or twice a year for 3-4 at bats 30-40 years ago.
    Again, the issue is that kids aren't spending as much time honing their skills as they used to. Many, many more kids are out playing basketball or football, or spending more time playing with their phones or video games, or on the computer.

    That they might be playing better competition at a few select showcases is not making up for all the kids doing other things, and it certainly does not mean those kids are spending more time developing their actual skills.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  15. #12
    I don't want to grow up Red Raindog's Avatar
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    Again, the issue is that kids aren't spending as much time honing their skills as they used to. Many, many more kids are out playing basketball or football, or spending more time playing with their phones or video games, or on the computer.

    That they might be playing better competition at a few select showcases is not making up for all the kids doing other things, and it certainly does not mean those kids are spending more time developing their actual skills.
    I think soccer has been a large factor too ---- all four of my grandkids are simply not interested in anything else except for a little basketball --- baseball holds no interest -- our local football program has suffered because of soccer too -- soccer camps abound around here

    but I think it is a combination of all of the discussed items with some very poor umpiring tossed in
    The older I get - the better I was

    and yes - I hate the Cardinals (Reds fan since 1958)

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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Raindog View Post
    but I think it is a combination of all of the discussed items with some very poor umpiring tossed in
    Poor umpiring? Less walks usually means more strikes. This of course can mean more called strikes or players swinging at more balls that would have been called balls. Are you suggesting the MLB strikezone (think "size of a soup can") should be called tighter (now think "size of a thimble"?
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  17. #14
    I don't want to grow up Red Raindog's Avatar
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966 View Post
    Poor umpiring? Less walks usually means more strikes. This of course can mean more called strikes or players swinging at more balls that would have been called balls. Are you suggesting the MLB strikezone (think "size of a soup can") should be called tighter (now think "size of a thimble"?
    No --- my thought is that I've seen too many examples of balls being called strikes so if I'm at the plate I might feel compelled to hack at some dubious pitches

    I did not say it was the reason for the declining walk rate
    The older I get - the better I was

    and yes - I hate the Cardinals (Reds fan since 1958)

  18. #15
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Not walking the walk?

    I could go along with poor umpiring. Batters start seeing calls that are borderline strikes more often than not so they start chasing even ones far out of the zone... It doesn't explain it completely but is a component. I have never seen such poor strike zones in my 36 yrs on this earth than the past few years.


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