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Thread: I canít be the only one who is sick of MLB turning into home run derby, am I?

  1. #76
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    Re: I canít be the only one who is sick of MLB turning into home run derby, am I?

    Small ball will become popular again when some team uses it to devastating effect and wins the WS without a ton of HRs. The Reds seem to be heading away from anything even related to the small ball approach as do several others, but some team will embrace it again if for no other reason than absolute necessity from lack of power hitters on their team. This stuff, despite MLB tinkering with balls and such tends to be a bit cyclical.

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  3. #77
    Member reds77's Avatar
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    Re: I canít be the only one who is sick of MLB turning into home run derby, am I?

    Quote Originally Posted by allpurpose View Post
    Small ball will become popular again when some team uses it to devastating effect and wins the WS without a ton of HRs. The Reds seem to be heading away from anything even related to the small ball approach as do several others, but some team will embrace it again if for no other reason than absolute necessity from lack of power hitters on their team. This stuff, despite MLB tinkering with balls and such tends to be a bit cyclical.
    For sure, small ball isn't exactly a baseball dinosaur. The Royals embrace defense, bullpen pitching, and putting the bat on the ball to advance runners & obviously have recently won a world series.

  4. #78
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: I canít be the only one who is sick of MLB turning into home run derby, am I?

    Quote Originally Posted by allpurpose View Post
    Small ball will become popular again when some team uses it to devastating effect and wins the WS without a ton of HRs. The Reds seem to be heading away from anything even related to the small ball approach as do several others, but some team will embrace it again if for no other reason than absolute necessity from lack of power hitters on their team. This stuff, despite MLB tinkering with balls and such tends to be a bit cyclical.
    Generally speaking, the "problem" with small ball is that the math just doesn't work out. Most sacrifices, bunts or otherwise, decrease a teams run expectancy -- and often decrease the chance of scoring even a single run. What does that leave as the characteristics of a "small ball" team? Good base running, high batting averages, and clutch? The 2015 Royals, for example, were extremely clutch in terms of timely conversion of run scoring opportunities -- resulting in what looked like a league average offense scoring at an above average rate. It's not clear that's a skill that is part of "small ball" or merely a thing that happened one year for a team that was "small ball", but you probably need it.

    I have no doubt that a team can be successful running an offense that doesn't rely on power, especially in lower power eras, there's no way it will outproduce the offenses that are generally good and hit for power as well. Just look back over the years, with very rare exception (e.g. 1985 Cardinals), the teams the score the most runs hit for power. And even in such an extreme case, those Cardinal teams were less productive than teams like the Yankees and Orioles who hit for a lot of power. The ceiling for an offense without power is something like 100 runs behind the best offenses in the league. Same story for those aforementioned Royals.

    So in terms of having an advantage as a result of being a "small ball team", the only venue left really is defense. A historically elite defensive team can save something like 80-100 runs above average. Compare that to the 30-50 runs above average you might get from a stellar small ball offense. So, somewhat ironically, that's the formula. If an idealized small ball team is successful, it will be because of it's run prevention, not its run creation.

    All that said, aesthetically, I'm all for the return of "small ball", sans the part where you make outs on purpose. I just think MLB is going to have to deaden the ball substantially for it to become a routinely competitive approach. Otherwise, like in the NBA with the dominance of the 3 point shot, it's a structural problem of the game's mechanics.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 12-12-2019 at 02:33 AM.
    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.

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    M2 (12-12-2019),North (12-12-2019),RedsBaron (12-12-2019)

  6. #79
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    Re: I canít be the only one who is sick of MLB turning into home run derby, am I?

    Sure, the numbers and mechanics don't always look like they'll win the day, but somewhere in out guts of guts we all want to see the bases loaded every inning with a triples hitter with a .490 batting average up at the plate along with the best pitching staff ever.. Asking too much? Nah..not me. LOL Hey, I'd be happy if we just had 9 players who could hit inside the park home runs on a routine basis.

  7. #80
    Member CrackerJack's Avatar
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    Re: I canít be the only one who is sick of MLB turning into home run derby, am I?

    I'm quite bored with lumbering, .250 hitting, low OBP/high HR types that seem to be so common today, at least the ones the Reds like to stick in the OF. Also not trying to be "controversial," just honest, I think the league is sorely missing more African American players as well. I miss watching those guys play the most.

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