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  1. #1
    Cleveland Steamer missouridawg's Avatar
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    Lots of discussion about how to speed up MLB games going around...

    What are your thoughts?

    I'd love to see bullpens right behind the dugouts inside. Make the pitching change with the new pitcher walking with the manager to the mound. No need to report to the ump until he begins warmup tosses (double switch....) and no need to wait on a guy to,walk from the outfield bullpens. Give him 5 (not warmup tosses. Make him pitch a minimum of 10 pitches before he can be pulled to incentivize longer term thinking with the substitutions (sorry lefty specialists, you should be more than a one trick pony).

    The amount of dead time spent changing pitchers mid-inning is, easily, my biggest gripe with pace of play.

    The intentional walks thing isn't going to save much at all, if implemented.


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  2. #2
    Getting rid of stolen bases would speed the game up. Would ruin it too.


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  3. #3
    Not sure it's feasible to retrofit existing ballparks to have bullpens behind the dugouts, but I like your ideas to limit warmup pitches (the pitcher should be warm when he walks to the mound) and some minimum time before he can be pulled (I'd go with maybe 1 or 2 batters instead of 10 pitches). Of course, the easy way around that is for him to suddenly develop some soreness and have to be pulled. But you could maybe get around that by making him ineligible to pitch in the next game if he's pulled before he's faced the minimum batters or thrown the minimum pitches.


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  4. #4
    Cleveland Steamer missouridawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UpTheMiddlex3Punt View Post
    Getting rid of stolen bases would speed the game up. Would ruin it too.
    I don't really view a stolen base as dead time.


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  5. #5
    The stolen base creates a lot of time and effort spent controlling the opponent's run game. If it were banned, all that goes away, but baseball is ruined.


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  6. #6
    Stop letting them step out of the box after every pitch and dick around with their gloves. Keep one foot in to look at signals then step back in.


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  7. #7
    Quit stopping the clock when the ball goes out of bounds**


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  8. #8

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    This all day. Goes for pitchers as well. I can't watch pro ball anymore because of the gloves crap, and I see it creeping into the college game as well.


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  9. #9
    Concerning batting/pitching, how about this: instead of 4 balls to walk, make it 2; and, instead of 3 strikes for an out, make it 1. No foul balls . . . if the batter fouls off the pitch, then he is out.

    We could even make it 1 ball to walk. One pitch per batter. The batter either hits the ball, walks or is out on every single pitch.

    That would speed up the game.


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  10. #10
    Once you are on the batters box you are in. Unless you are injured. No getting out to fix your gloves. If you can't get the sign from the coach and fix your gloves before the next pitch heads your way too bad.
    Also pitcher has to throw a pitch within 30 seconds or a ball is called. If the pitcher can't calm their nerves, grab he dust bag, get the sign from the catcher and throw it within 30 seconds too bad.
    Coaches only get to visit a pitcher once for two minutes. If they don't break off the conversation by then a ball is called every 30'seconds they stay out there. If they can't say all they need to in two minutes too bad. If the coach goes out a second time the pitcher has to go and the new pitcher has 3 minutes to warm up and throw the next pitch or a ball is called.


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  11. #11
    Message Board Hero 8dog's Avatar
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    The only thing that will save mlb over the long haul are drastic changes that will never happen. Like shortening he season. Or getting rid of stealing. 162 games is just brutal. The future doesnt have that type of attn span.


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  12. #12
    aTotal360's Avatar
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    Maybe limit the # of pickoff pitches? 75% of them are just checks not intended to actually pick the guy off.
    90 percent of college football teams do not cheat...the other 10 percent are ranked.


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  13. #13
    If you get rid of superstitions and nervous tics and obsessive compulsive disorder you get rid of baseball!!!**


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  14. #14
    Cleveland Steamer missouridawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8dog View Post
    The only thing that will save mlb over the long haul are drastic changes that will never happen. Like shortening he season. Or getting rid of stealing. 162 games is just brutal. The future doesnt have that type of attn span.
    I think shortening the season is inevitable (20 years or sooner). I also think you may see games shortened (7 innings instead of 9).


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  15. #15
    Cleveland Steamer missouridawg's Avatar
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    Wild idea.... What if, instead of 9 innings with 3 outs apiece, they did 6 innings with 4 outs apiece.


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  16. #16
    They could put a line, say, 8 ft away from the bag (the distance would probably need to be tweaked during a testing phase). A pitcher can only make a pickoff pitch if both feet of the baserunner have gone past the line. If he makes a pickoff pitch while the runner has a foot inside the line, the runner cannot be picked off and it counts as a ball for a pitch.


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  17. #17
    VirginiaDawg's Avatar
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    Would absolutely ruin the game.
    Hail State, Braves, Panthers, Liverpool


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  18. #18
    Baseball is a slow game, no matter what they do it will never speed up enough.


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  19. #19
    HotMop's Avatar
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    Instead of tagging the player you could simply beam them with the ball. If the player is knocked unconscious it counts as 2 outs.


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  20. #20

    Agree with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogariffic View Post
    Once you are on the batters box you are in. Unless you are injured. No getting out to fix your gloves. If you can't get the sign from the coach and fix your gloves before the next pitch heads your way too bad.
    Also pitcher has to throw a pitch within 30 seconds or a ball is called. If the pitcher can't calm their nerves, grab he dust bag, get the sign from the catcher and throw it within 30 seconds too bad.
    Coaches only get to visit a pitcher once for two minutes. If they don't break off the conversation by then a ball is called every 30'seconds they stay out there. If they can't say all they need to in two minutes too bad. If the coach goes out a second time the pitcher has to go and the new pitcher has 3 minutes to warm up and throw the next pitch or a ball is called.
    No need to change any of the rules of baseball, just cut out the stupid dead time. I think 30 seconds between pitches maybe too long.


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  21. #21
    they've been doing that in the minors for years. as players eventually 'make it to the show', they already out of habit keep 1 foot in the box.


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  22. #22
    Message Board Hero 8dog's Avatar
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    How? Holding runners is the most miserable aspect of any sport. And its not like a steal is electrifying. And dont most agree that stealing at the major league level is not productive unless you are maybe billy hamilton?


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  23. #23
    Administrator DawgatAuburn's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of most of the suggestions in this thread. Eliminate stealing? Terrible. A pick-off line? No. Two minute conversations between the catcher and pitcher? That's probably twice as long as they get now, so that's not going to help. 2 balls, 1 strike, 4 outs, 6/7 innings, etc. No longer baseball. It's related, but no longer baseball. If future generations have to have the game bastardized down that much to pay attention, then maybe it just needs to die off. Nothing wrong with natural selection. Vaudeville was quite a show too once upon a time.

    The areas I think could get traction are limiting the number of pitching changes and/or setting a minimum number of batters faced and/or pitches thrown. Those things are a big part of the problem now. Right hander comes in to pitch to a right hander. After one hitter, the manager goes back to the pen for a lefty. Then goes back for another right hander. This is the 6th or 7th usually, so you still have the nearly inevitable changes in the 8th and 9th, although those do most often start the inning and don't cause a delay. Unless of course the home team pitches itself into a save situation in the 9th, in which case the manager is apparently morally obligated to go bring in his closer to get the final out before the on-deck hitter scores to tie the game. It's too much, and some of the relievers are the worst when it comes to pace of pitching. Example #1 is Pedro Baez of the Dodgers. Even Vin Scully complains about him during a broadcast, and while he might be the worst he's certainly not the only one.

    I think the pitch clock also needs to be strictly enforced, along with the batter's box rule. Drop the clock to 20 seconds or so. Maybe 25 if there is a runner on base. But keep it moving and enforce the ball calls if the pitch isn't thrown. And once the first pitch is thrown to a batter, it's game on. Whether you have a foot in the box or not, if the pitcher is ready to pitch, then you better be ready to hit. No need for a complete batting helmet and glove reset, a check of the signs, then the dig into the box routine after a foul ball (or even worse, after a pitch that wasn't even offered at). Just cut the attention whore bullshit and play ball.

    And the one that will never happen is shortening the time between innings and getting rid of one or two commercials per half inning. All about the $$$ you know.

    Oh, I agree the schedule will be cut but probably only to 154. It won't seem like much of a cut because in the 154 days there were routinely scheduled doubleheaders. Now you only get a doubleheader as the result of an earlier season rainout with no other possibility to put the game on a day where it can stand alone and make more money.


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  24. #24
    I'd like to see this tested, at the very least. Changes the strategy quite a bit. Will lead to higher scoring too.

    What could make stuff like this interesting is if the MLB had an experimental league where for one month players from various levels in the organizations played with proposed new rules. Or make it part of spring training leagues.


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  25. #25
    Call a strike if batter steps out of batter's box, call a ball if pitcher exceeds pitch clock (12 seconds or so), and call the high strike so more balls get put in play.


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  26. #26
    I can get on board with this.^^


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  27. #27
    Wouldn't getting a base runner at first moved into scoring position while giving the following batsman an opportunity to drive him in with a single (higher percentage than an extra base hit or HR) be productive most any way you look at it? Plus when the pitcher has to worry about keeping that from happening it may lead to a mistake pitch that gets hammered.
    "Enjoy every sandwich" - Warren Zevon


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  28. #28
    Look no further than Jake Mangum. He has a pretty set routine between most every pitch where he spits on his batting gloves, rubs his hands together and wipes them on his pants.
    "Enjoy every sandwich" - Warren Zevon


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  29. #29
    I like this. Especially this part
    And once the first pitch is thrown to a batter, it's game on. Whether you have a foot in the box or not, if the pitcher is ready to pitch, then you better be ready to hit.


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  30. #30
    Except that it used to be fast. Average game time in 1920 was an hour and 47 minutes.


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  31. #31
    IBleedMaroonDawg's Avatar
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    ^^ This is good.


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  32. #32
    I agree with DawgatAuburn about most of the suggestions in this thread being terrible. The changes MLB has proposed have been pretty stupid, too. Of the 6 billion+ people in the world who choose not to watch baseball, how many are really going to choose to start watching because intentional walks become automatic?

    What's the real problem? The average MLB game (2:52) is shorter than the average NFL game (3:09). MLB games grind to a halt toward the end with all the pitching changes, but so does basketball with fouls and timeouts. I don't think there's really anything wrong with gameplay. It gets beat in the ratings by the NFL because there are 256 NFL games every year vs. 2430 MLB games. The Cubs and the Cardinals play 19 times. The Saints and the Falcons play twice. It makes sense that 1 NFL game will have higher ratings than 1 MLB game because 1 NFL game carries a lot more weight.

    I would make 1 change to gameplay, and that would be that pitchers have to pitch to at least 3 batters or finish the inning. That would remove a lot of dead time at the end of games. I'm not sure what I would do about pitching injuries before that minimum is met, but it wouldn't be hard to come up with something reasonable like disqualifying them from the next game. I would also shorten commercial breaks, but that will never happen.

    Baseball's big problem is perception. It's seen as boring and slow when the NFL and NBA can be just as if not more boring and slow. I don't know how to fix that except for doing a better job of marketing players. Mike Trout is possibly one of the best 2 or 3 players to ever play the game, and he could probably walk down most streets in America and not be recognized while Tom Brady and LeBron would get mobbed. Brady and LeBron are all over television commercials. The only time you see baseball players on commercials is during baseball games. Maybe the problem is that ESPN doesn't have as much invested in airing baseball games as it does with the NBA or NFL, or maybe it's all the regional TV contracts for baseball. Golf had a major upswing in popularity when Tiger was winning majors, not because of anything the PGA did to shorten rounds.

    TLDR;; 17 shortening the game, do a better job of marketing the superstars


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  33. #33
    Message Board Hero 8dog's Avatar
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    Mlb generally views the penalty for getting thrown out as outwighing the benefit of successfully stealing The required conversion rate for steals to be a benefit is just too high (some teams think its wven 80%)


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  34. #34
    Administrator DawgatAuburn's Avatar
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    The last time MLB marketed its superstars.....




    But you are right about the number of games and the perceptions about the length vs other sports. Personally I find baseball much more compelling than the NFL or the NBA, but I know I am in the vast minority in that area.

    I also think the proposed rule to put a runner on second base to start extra innings is stupid, stupid, stupid.
    Last edited by DawgatAuburn; 02-17-2017 at 10:26 AM.


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  35. #35
    Its not a "check"..

    As a pitcher, you vary your timing/speed on how you throw your pick-off to keep the baserunner off balance.


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  36. #36
    Baseball is fine the way it is. If you don't like it don't watch it.

    Same goes for college football. Stop trying to shorten the game. Shorten the commercial breaks.


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  37. #37
    TaleofTwoDogs's Avatar
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    They should make home plate in the majors 22 inches wide instead of 17 and raise the top of the strike zone. Little Leaguers play with a 17" plate, I think the big boys could handle the larger plate. The zone should be put back to the shoulders to allow the "high hard one". Limit the number of pitchers allowed per game or reduce the number of warm up pitches would help a bit. No need to change the basics of the game just tweak a few things.


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  38. #38
    So MLB = slow pitch softball?


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  39. #39
    Each batter gets to bat three times. Team that leads after that is the winner


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  40. #40
    VirginiaDawg's Avatar
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    I get the argument that the risk/reward has diminished stealing in the MLB. However, the possibility of stealing means the defense has to keep someone reasonably close the the next base rather than coming up with some ridiculous defensive shift (which happens already). It also affects the pitchers mechanics (stretch vs. windup) and their pitch (fastball vs. offspeed).

    Anyways, it's an exciting part of the game to see a catcher fire one down to second.
    Hail State, Braves, Panthers, Liverpool


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