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Thread: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

  1. #46
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    I had a Shakespeare prof who talked about how Big Willy's plays took way too long to run their course in the modern era. Supposedly back at the dawn of the 1600s they went off inside of two hours. They can run four hours these days.

    His point was that the plays were more accessible in two-hour form.

    I tend to think the same applies to baseball. There's no reason for a nine-inning game with less than 10 total runs to exceed 150 minutes. If they make a few rules to cut down on the dead spots and keep the game moving, that's more than fine by me.

    I'm a fan of keeping hitters inside the box. I also think teams should be allowed only one mid-inning pitching change per game. Forget about the James run-allowed loophole. IMO you'd see a far sturdier type of reliever if that were the rule, not to mention that it would add strategy and excitement to the mix. Does the manager use his lifeline now or should he wait? Is this reliever about to blow what once seemed like an easy win?

    Maybe you let a replacement come in after four runs or so cross the plate, but otherwise get out on the mound and play baseball.

    James called the '80s the most exciting baseball ever played.

    I think the heyday probably stretched from 1975-1993, though I'm probably a little generous in including the late '70s. Those years were spent with a few dominant teams ruling the roost, though they set the template for punch and run baseball.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  3. #47
    Little Reds BandWagon Reds Nd2's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    Its not so much about reducing the total time as it is about reducing the pointless, action-draining stuff in the middle.
    Then don't change the way the game is played by adding additional rules. Have the umpires enforce the rules already in place.

    8.04

    When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.”
    The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball.
    The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire.
    "...You just have a wider lens than one game."
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  4. #48
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    I also think teams should be allowed only one mid-inning pitching change per game. Forget about the James run-allowed loophole. IMO you'd see a far sturdier type of reliever if that were the rule, not to mention that it would add strategy and excitement to the mix. Does the manager use his lifeline now or should he wait? Is this reliever about to blow what once seemed like an easy win?

    Maybe you let a replacement come in after four runs or so cross the plate, but otherwise get out on the mound and play baseball.
    I can't believe you think that would be a good change!

    If you're pitcher is falling apart, he should be able to be replaced.... it would be like giving the game away to the opposition if you couldn't. It's hard enough to win as it is.

    I hate your idea (the one about not being able to replace a pitcher unless X amount of runs score too)!

    That's just wrong when you're trying to win a baseball game... especially against a team with a much higher payroll who can afford to buy the best pitchers available. It's a huge advantage already without making it worse by putting such restrictions into place.
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

  5. #49
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    1) The pitcher is given two throws to first per baserunner and every throw-over after that is a ball on the batter.
    5) Prohibit the batter from leaving the box unless the really need it (i.e. a bug in their eye).
    I like these 2
    Go Gators!

  6. #50
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBoone
    I can't believe you think that would be a good change!

    If you're pitcher is falling apart, he should be able to be replaced.... it would be like giving the game away to the opposition if you couldn't. It's hard enough to win as it is.

    I hate your idea (the one about not being able to replace a pitcher unless X amount of runs score too)!

    That's just wrong when you're trying to win a baseball game... especially against a team with a much higher payroll who can afford to buy the best pitchers available. It's a huge advantage already without making it worse by putting such restrictions into place.
    The game's changed, the rules need to change with it. A hundred years ago no one would have thought to institute this kind of rule because no one was using five mid-inning pitching subs per game. Back then if a guy was on the mound, he didn't have the expectation that someone was going to come in and save him.

    If they make a rule change, then team's are going to have to make sure they've got relievers who can reliably get three outs if they want to win. Right now there's way too many one-out specialists roaming around. You'd probably see less relievers, but after an adjustment year or two I'm pretty sure they'd give up fewer runs than the bullpens we see today.

    I flat out reject the notion that indulging managers in endless pitching changes somehow increases a team's chances of winning. I say the responsibility for winning and losing resides largely with the players on the field and all I'm suggesting is pitchers take on individual responsibility on a per inning basis. No one goes to the game to see the manager stroll from the dugout to the mound.
    Last edited by M2; 06-28-2006 at 12:34 AM.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  7. #51
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Here's a good one to shorten games

    Go to 7 innings, would improve the pitching at the same time
    Go Gators!

  8. #52
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    My Top 10 Rules changes:

    10. Eliminate the foul lines and add an additional Outfielder and Infielder. They will not hit and their positions shall be recorded as Designated IF Griffey Shifter and OF Griffey Shifter.

    9. Any non-HR ball that leaves the field of play counts as an Out. Furthermore, each half Inning the defender's manager is allowed to designate one Outfield seating section as the "12th Man". If a HR ball is caught on the fly by a fan seated in that section during that half Inning, it counts as an Out. If a HR ball isn't caught on the fly but is otherwise retrieved by a fan seated in that section AND is thrown back onto the field of play before the Hitter touches Home Plate, the HR is reduced to a Ground Rule Double instead. That would eliminate the HR trot. Of course, it would also mean that the GAB Outfield bleachers are the hot spot when Eric Milton pitches. An new statistic- BABOP- is born.

    8. If a ball is touched by any part of a fielder's body before the Runner reaches first base, that is now considered an Out. This will shorten the Inning and eliminate consternation over defensive fundamentals as every player will now have a 1.000 Fielding %. And at least a pitcher smoked in the head by a line drive will wake up in the hospital knowing that he recorded an Out. That's good for morale.

    7. Reduce the number of Strikes required for a Strikeout to one while increasing the number of Balls required for a Walk to twenty two. Allow Umpires to call a "Maddux Strike" at any time, even if the pitch is out of the Strike Zone, as long as they feel the pitcher was really trying to get the ball over or if the Umpire feels the pitcher has built up enough credibility to get the hitter out regardless.

    6. Any fan who touches a ball in the field of play or who enters the field of play shall either shall be given the choice of "cake or death" during the post-game show...and then be told we're out of cake. Or that fan shall be forced to allow one of the Teletubbies to touch them in a "bad place". Losing Manager's choice.

    5. Each Umpire shall be issued a switchblade. That'll end most arguments real quick. If not, the argument winner shall replace that Umpire for the remainder of the game. After all, in baseball you keep what you kill.

    4. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, the teams shall decide the outcome in the method of the time of Achilles- with each team's Extra Inning Champion facing the other in a battle that would decide the outcome of the game in "Extra Inning Machismo". Aluminum bats in hand, each team's most macho champion would face each other at the pitching mound. Two men enter. One man leaves. Ok, so this isn't the most realistic rule change. More my own personal wish to see Ozzie Guillen repeatedly smoked in the nuts with a large metal bludgeon.

    3. All regulation bats shall be made of balsa wood. This will, of course, require players to wear goggles as protection from being blinded by flying splinters. But, on the positive side, kids will flock to games for the promise of their next soap box derby wood carving piece.

    2. Any time a batter reaches base safely, the pitcher must hit next. Or the mascot. In uniform. Home team's choice.

    And last, but not least, my number 1 rule change to speed up the game of baseball...

    1. Television commercial breaks would be limited to 14 seconds and each advertiser would be allowed only one spoken word during their 3.5 second commercial. Ironically, we find that Viagra's monosyllabic choice of "Hard" is actually more informative than what's currently being used. However, we'd also see an all-out litigation battle when Miller Light attempts to claim that their new slogan, "Drunkchicksareeasy", is really only a single word.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  9. #53
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Steel for commish
    Go Gators!

  10. #54
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD
    My Top 10 Rules changes:

    10. Eliminate the foul lines and add an additional Outfielder and Infielder. They will not hit and their positions shall be recorded as Designated IF Griffey Shifter and OF Griffey Shifter.

    9. Any non-HR ball that leaves the field of play counts as an Out. Furthermore, each half Inning the defender's manager is allowed to designate one Outfield seating section as the "12th Man". If a HR ball is caught on the fly by a fan seated in that section during that half Inning, it counts as an Out. If a HR ball isn't caught on the fly but is otherwise retrieved by a fan seated in that section AND is thrown back onto the field of play before the Hitter touches Home Plate, the HR is reduced to a Ground Rule Double instead. That would eliminate the HR trot. Of course, it would also mean that the GAB Outfield bleachers are the hot spot when Eric Milton pitches. An new statistic- BABOP- is born.

    8. If a ball is touched by any part of a fielder's body before the Runner reaches first base, that is now considered an Out. This will shorten the Inning and eliminate consternation over defensive fundamentals as every player will now have a 1.000 Fielding %. And at least a pitcher smoked in the head by a line drive will wake up in the hospital knowing that he recorded an Out. That's good for morale.

    7. Reduce the number of Strikes required for a Strikeout to one while increasing the number of Balls required for a Walk to twenty two. Allow Umpires to call a "Maddux Strike" at any time, even if the pitch is out of the Strike Zone, as long as they feel the pitcher was really trying to get the ball over or if the Umpire feels the pitcher has built up enough credibility to get the hitter out regardless.

    6. Any fan who touches a ball in the field of play or who enters the field of play shall either shall be given the choice of "cake or death" during the post-game show...and then be told we're out of cake. Or that fan shall be forced to allow one of the Teletubbies to touch them in a "bad place". Losing Manager's choice.

    5. Each Umpire shall be issued a switchblade. That'll end most arguments real quick. If not, the argument winner shall replace that Umpire for the remainder of the game. After all, in baseball you keep what you kill.

    4. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, the teams shall decide the outcome in the method of the time of Achilles- with each team's Extra Inning Champion facing the other in a battle that would decide the outcome of the game in "Extra Inning Machismo". Aluminum bats in hand, each team's most macho champion would face each other at the pitching mound. Two men enter. One man leaves. Ok, so this isn't the most realistic rule change. More my own personal wish to see Ozzie Guillen repeatedly smoked in the nuts with a large metal bludgeon.

    3. All regulation bats shall be made of balsa wood. This will, of course, require players to wear goggles as protection from being blinded by flying splinters. But, on the positive side, kids will flock to games for the promise of their next soap box derby wood carving piece.

    2. Any time a batter reaches base safely, the pitcher must hit next. Or the mascot. In uniform. Home team's choice.

    And last, but not least, my number 1 rule change to speed up the game of baseball...

    1. Television commercial breaks would be limited to 14 seconds and each advertiser would be allowed only one spoken word during their 3.5 second commercial. Ironically, we find that Viagra's monosyllabic choice of "Hard" is actually more informative than what's currently being used. However, we'd also see an all-out litigation battle when Miller Light attempts to claim that their new slogan, "Drunkchicksareeasy", is really only a single word.
    Change is absurd, got it.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Nd2
    Give it time to thaw. It just builds anticipation for savoring the last drink.
    You ever leave a beer in the freezer by mistake, defrost it and drink? Its not to savor. My analogy stands.
    Last edited by Rojo; 06-28-2006 at 02:13 AM.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  12. #56
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Nd2
    I'm just not convinced limiting the times a manager can change pitchers would shorten the game enough that the average fan would even notice.
    I think you'd notice that the games were faster and more action packed. What I think the average fan misses is that scoring isn't inherently interesting. Tension is the key. Shuffling three pitchers with 10 warm-ups a piece into what should be a tense inning with the game on the line and runners jumping off the base is a good way to drain that tension.

    Ever watch a great movie on commercial tv and they plug some loud commercial in at the wrong time?
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  13. #57
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    Change is absurd, got it.
    Football and basketball have made tweaks, heck even some fairly major changes to their rules to make games more interesting, fast paced and the popularity of those sports increased. Hockey has made rule changes in order to bring fans back to their game. Baseball hasn't (and most likely won't).
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

  14. #58
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    What if the beer's frozen solid?
    Mmmm...beercicle...

    As for rule changes, I agree with RedsNd2 -- enforce the existing rule. Force pitchers to work quickly. Shave about 8 seconds between pitches, and you'll end up cutting 15 minutes or more of dead time out of the game.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    Mmmm...beercicle...

    As for rule changes, I agree with RedsNd2 -- enforce the existing rule. Force pitchers to work quickly. Shave about 8 seconds between pitches, and you'll end up cutting 15 minutes or more of dead time out of the game.
    Rule 8.04 only deals with bases empty situations. The game really creeps to a halt when runners are on base.

    If I get bored sometime, I might take my stopwatch with me and time some guys and see how much 8.04 gets violated.
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

  16. #60
    Member Deepred05's Avatar
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    Re: Bill James and Harold Spears... "Sit on your [butt] baseball"

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    Then Mr Spears should attack the game, not the players of the game.

    But this leads me to the following question.

    What was the best era of baseball you ever watched?

    I'll say 1975 - 1985, the perfect blend of speed and power.
    Agreed. Interesting to note that was also the astro turf era, not exactly "pure baseball". But who could deny that it played a role in teams built around speed players?


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