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What do you think about this?

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  • What do you think about this?

    I wish I could remember where I saw this, but there was a statistical study with advance mathematics showing how many home runs would be reduced by raising fences X amount of feet at a ballpark. It is my opinion and a few others that baseball would become more exciting if cheap home runs were eliminated and only a handful of players hit more than 30 every year. Baseball became the addictive national pastime during the deadball era, and it would have continued to be so had the 1919 White Sox not ruined it.

    So many fans of the 1900-1919 era said the game was ruined when Babe Ruth and then several others turned the game into a batting exhibition, and all the action on the bases was greatly reduced. The game was more about speed and strategy then. If you could not circle the bases in 15 seconds or less, and if you could not cover an expansive amount of outfield, you didn't play. Hitting towering fly balls or hard fliner-flies 400 feet frequently meant you were a big liability, especially if you didn't have exceptional range.

    I know it would be hard to move fences back in most parks, but raising fence height is doable. I believe the reduction in homers is quite strong at just 10 feet addition, and making all fences 30 feet or higher around the majors would bring back more need for speed and strategy.

    I heard somebody else explain it this way. What if the NFL reverted to a lot of big ox behemoths that lacked speed, and teams won games by running line plunges between the guards for 75% of the plays churning out 3 yards and a cloud of dust and then only passing 3 to 5 times a game, and then basically short play-action passes? Would football be the king as it is now? Or what if the NBA stopped having fast breaks and wide open play with 3-point shots and instead every team ran a weave and only took open shots inside the paint because both teams had guys that made Wes Unseld and Charles Barkley look anorectic?

    Baseball has done this to the game. Hitting homers and jogging around the bases and striking out and walking back to the dugout are the line plunges for 3 yards. Doubles, triples, stolen bases, hit & runs, squeeze plays, and amazing range in the infield and outfield are what stir excitement. Walk-off homers are so common now. However, a play at the plate to decide a game is something else.

    What do you think about this? As a rabid fan (since you are here), your opinion may not represent the overwhelming number of sports fans that go to NFL, NBA, and NHL games but not to MLB games. So, what do you think about this as a possible solution for baseball losing support in society?

  • #2
    My instinct says no, especially is today's current climate. You can't just suddenly take home runs away and expect to draw people in because there's more doubles. Singles aren't exciting, no matter how much the auto-Braves tomahawk chop music tries to make it sound. I don't believe that today's players can switch tactics on a dime, ether. It's going to take decades for players to largely switch to deadball tactics. And you will never ever, ever get me to believe that the hit-and-run play is a good idea in real life. The only time I approve of it is playing MLB The Show, where the focus is just getting a hit.

    However, this is less stupid than the "homers are now outs" idea. I'll grant it that.
    46 wins to match last year's total

    Comment


    • #3
      I love small ball too. Going back to the deadball era, where entire teams only had a dozen homers, would never be realistic today. However, returning to the small ball era of the 1980s would be feasible. Unfortunately, casual fans only seem to care about home runs. Many of the new ballparks originally had their fences further back and/or outfield walls higher, but to increase dingers they moved them in and/or lowered the walls. So, while you and I (and probably many diehard fans) prefer the small ball era, it is unlikely to return anytime soon.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think 1980s baseball was possible because of artificial turf. The NL had six stadiums with it alone, so teams based in the NL East had at most 120 games on it. Nowadays, you only have two turf stadiums: Tampa Bay and Toronto.
        46 wins to match last year's total

        Comment


        • #5
          The home run is the marketing engine of baseball, not a double, not a triple. You can't market Ozzie Albies running for a triple and expect the larger part of the country to take to it.

          And I don't buy that argument you posted either. Basketball and football have different speeds than baseball. Your dream is to focus on the speedsters and that's a losing proposition because the speedsters are not the ones who produce the runs. The homer hitters do. Even in your dream land, the ones that would produce the most runs are the Yankee bombers because they can hit the ball high enough over your 30 foot walls.

          Only the hardcore fans would remain because we wouldn't give up on the sport, but no new fans would come to see a game where only five runs max total are scored.
          46 wins to match last year's total

          Comment


          • #6
            The opposite is happening, almost all pitchers parks have moved in or lowered fences (astros, Padres, mets, angels, mariners)
            I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

            Comment


            • #7
              As Wes Kahn mentioned in the original post, the idea would be to revert to "only a handful of players hit more than 30 homers every year." This is not deadball baseball, but more like 1980s baseball. And.... I like it very much. This post is mostly where I have stood since 1992 on the matter of the offensive explosion as we have seen since then. In no way am I opposed to homeruns.... that would be silly..... but the game is lesser when players approach hitting like overgrown softball players in a beer league.

              Higher fences, more doubles and triples, more outfielders making spectacular throws to cut down still more advancing runners, and speed and smart baserunning remaining part of exciting baseball. You would also probably see more rundowns, as fielders cut off those throws and try to get a guy at 2B and then runners try to score from 3rd during that move. Real baseball as I used to see it often. The hit-and-run is one of the most beautiful plays in the game, and you would see it when guys recognize that this is how they can contribute.

              Hit-and-run plays cannot be expected often when the guy on 1st is standing waiting for a slugger to hit it to the moon.
              Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

              A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Winston Churchill.

              Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later. -- Dan Quisenberry.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm out. You guys can fantasize about this all you want, I don't want any part of it.
                46 wins to match last year's total

                Comment


                • #9
                  I love "all ball" . . . give me a 14-13 donny brook or a 1-0 pitchers duel. It's all good! I just don't prefer the 12-1 (or similar) blowout . . . done early to where all you do is drink beer and talk about your garden. ;-)
                  Some's basturds, some's ain't, thats the score.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am okay with 5 30-homer hitters and another 10-15 20-homer hitters, but when the game becomes nothing but homers and strikeouts, there is no reason to spend 3 hours a night watching or attending in person. I loved watching the Dodgers in person at Dodger Stadium in the mid-60's. The games were exciting, because it took strategy to score runs, and about half the runs that scored did so with a challenge throw to the plate.

                    If Babe Ruth had today's ballparks and didn't choke up on 2 strikes and didn't have to lay down bunts (he had a good number of sac hits), then he would hit 1,000 home runs. Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Ralph Kiner, Johnny Mize, and others would have 75-home run seasons. Today's ballpark dimensions are cheater dimensions. There were foul lines under 300 feet in Boston, Brooklyn, New York, and Philadelphia in the NL, and in New York and Cleveland in the AL at times in the old days, but most of these parks had barriers to hitting easy homers. Boston had the wind blowing in from the river at Braves Field. Brooklyn, Cleveland, and Philadelphia had very high fences. Both New Yorks had cavernous power alleys and center fields. With the short porches down a line or both lines, you also had ample room for fly balls to turn into bloop hits, singles to turn into doubles, doubles into triples, and even the occasional IPHR.

                    Most of you are not old enough to have ever seen a game at the Polo Grounds or Yankee Stadium when it was over 450 to CF. I saw games in both parks. When a ball was hit into the gap in the deep parts of the plate, this is when the crowd was electrified. Watching Willie Mays patrol a square mile of real estate at the Polo Grounds was like watching Michael Jordan play for the Bulls.

                    Also, the larger parks meant that pitchers didn't have to throw bullets on every pitch. An Ed Lopat could win 20 games with brains over brawn. Bob Feller could win 20 games as a junk baller after he lost his zip. Bobby Shantz and Harvey Haddix could excel as pitchers well under 6 feet tall. Lightweights like Richie Asburn could be all-stars, because the game had variety.

                    I think baseball began to lose fans in the 1950's, not because of the urban decay in the inner cities, but because it started to become one-dimensional.. It was more exciting between 1962 and the late 1970's, because for many years, sub .400 team slugging percentages and sub .320 team OBP's required teams to create runs. Defense was at a premium, and star pitchers were left in to pitch.

                    When you had a Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson, or Mike Cuellar pitching every 4th day, it meant that when these teams went on the road for a 4-game series, fans of the other team got to see the stars pitch. They frequently went the distance, and when they did not, usually the one star reliever finished the game. Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter, and Sparky Lyle were more popular than today's 8 relief pitchers per team. Bullpen days do not draw fans to the park. If Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, and Jake Arrieta, among others were out there getting 38-45 starts per season and throwing 275 to 350 innings per season, more people would show up to watch. Koufax sold out opposing stadiums, and he went every 4th day, sometimes in crunch time, every 3rd day.

                    What would happen if Stephen Curry only played every 3rd game for the Warriors, and then he only played for 2/3 of the game and then gave way to three different lesser players who each played 11% of the game? It would kill the league if this became the norm for all the stars.

                    There has to be something that brings fans back in droves to the game. In the other thread about baseball dying, it may not be dying to you since you are here, and it isn't dying to me, since I spend a lot of my retirement playing an entire 154-game schedule of original 16 franchise tabletop baseball teams, but to the millions of sports fans that think every day is the NFL season, and that Lebron, and Steph and Durant are worth $100 a night, baseball is not worth $10 to go to the game and stay for 9 innings.

                    With my personal sports fans, there is one main story right now that is taking up too much of their lives. They won't discuss baseball with me at all. All they want to do is speculate where Romeo Langford is going to sign. I tried to talk with my former college roommate about Shohei Ohtani, and he thought I was talking about the new Asian buffet that opened in our part of town.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wes_kahn View Post
                      I am okay with 5 30-homer hitters and another 10-15 20-homer hitters, but when the game becomes nothing but homers and strikeouts, there is no reason to spend 3 hours a night watching or attending in person. I loved watching the Dodgers in person at Dodger Stadium in the mid-60's. The games were exciting, because it took strategy to score runs, and about half the runs that scored did so with a challenge throw to the plate.

                      If Babe Ruth had today's ballparks and didn't choke up on 2 strikes and didn't have to lay down bunts (he had a good number of sac hits), then he would hit 1,000 home runs. Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Ralph Kiner, Johnny Mize, and others would have 75-home run seasons. Today's ballpark dimensions are cheater dimensions. There were foul lines under 300 feet in Boston, Brooklyn, New York, and Philadelphia in the NL, and in New York and Cleveland in the AL at times in the old days, but most of these parks had barriers to hitting easy homers. Boston had the wind blowing in from the river at Braves Field. Brooklyn, Cleveland, and Philadelphia had very high fences. Both New Yorks had cavernous power alleys and center fields. With the short porches down a line or both lines, you also had ample room for fly balls to turn into bloop hits, singles to turn into doubles, doubles into triples, and even the occasional IPHR.

                      Most of you are not old enough to have ever seen a game at the Polo Grounds or Yankee Stadium when it was over 450 to CF. I saw games in both parks. When a ball was hit into the gap in the deep parts of the plate, this is when the crowd was electrified. Watching Willie Mays patrol a square mile of real estate at the Polo Grounds was like watching Michael Jordan play for the Bulls.

                      Also, the larger parks meant that pitchers didn't have to throw bullets on every pitch. An Ed Lopat could win 20 games with brains over brawn. Bob Feller could win 20 games as a junk baller after he lost his zip. Bobby Shantz and Harvey Haddix could excel as pitchers well under 6 feet tall. Lightweights like Richie Asburn could be all-stars, because the game had variety.

                      I think baseball began to lose fans in the 1950's, not because of the urban decay in the inner cities, but because it started to become one-dimensional.. It was more exciting between 1962 and the late 1970's, because for many years, sub .400 team slugging percentages and sub .320 team OBP's required teams to create runs. Defense was at a premium, and star pitchers were left in to pitch.

                      When you had a Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson, or Mike Cuellar pitching every 4th day, it meant that when these teams went on the road for a 4-game series, fans of the other team got to see the stars pitch. They frequently went the distance, and when they did not, usually the one star reliever finished the game. Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter, and Sparky Lyle were more popular than today's 8 relief pitchers per team. Bullpen days do not draw fans to the park. If Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, and Jake Arrieta, among others were out there getting 38-45 starts per season and throwing 275 to 350 innings per season, more people would show up to watch. Koufax sold out opposing stadiums, and he went every 4th day, sometimes in crunch time, every 3rd day.

                      What would happen if Stephen Curry only played every 3rd game for the Warriors, and then he only played for 2/3 of the game and then gave way to three different lesser players who each played 11% of the game? It would kill the league if this became the norm for all the stars.

                      There has to be something that brings fans back in droves to the game. In the other thread about baseball dying, it may not be dying to you since you are here, and it isn't dying to me, since I spend a lot of my retirement playing an entire 154-game schedule of original 16 franchise tabletop baseball teams, but to the millions of sports fans that think every day is the NFL season, and that Lebron, and Steph and Durant are worth $100 a night, baseball is not worth $10 to go to the game and stay for 9 innings.

                      With my personal sports fans, there is one main story right now that is taking up too much of their lives. They won't discuss baseball with me at all. All they want to do is speculate where Romeo Langford is going to sign. I tried to talk with my former college roommate about Shohei Ohtani, and he thought I was talking about the new Asian buffet that opened in our part of town.
                      If it's any consolation, MLB will still be here and still have millions of fans 20 years from now. However, the NFL could very easily cease to exist within that time frame. It's football fans that need to be very worried not baseball fans.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There was a book that came out about 30-40 years ago. I think it was called Future Shock. It was some so-called expert in psychology and sociology named Toeffler or something like that. He predicted that sometime in the 21st century people would no longer attend sporting events, realizing it would be better to participate in physical activity rather than be a witness to it.

                        I always discount when obvious leftist wannabe experts predict the future. After all, we were supposed to run out of gasoline many years ago. There was supposed to be no ice left in the arctic by now. Cities on coasts were supposed to be submerged in water, and if you listened to the elitist press in the 1960's and 70's, Hubert Humprhey, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, and Hillary were all supposed to be 8-year presidents.

                        I see the prediction of the end of the NFL as nothing different than all the other failed predictions. There are no predictions of the demise of any sport that hold any weight. Football being too rough and causing all types of injuries and deaths made headlines during Teddy Roosevelt's administration. He stepped in and forced football to change the rules. Rules may change, and fans may complain about it, but in the end the game will continue. Baseball will continue as well, and new generations will adopt the rules and strategies of their day as being perfectly okay, while old-timers look back to their time and believe the game was better "back then."

                        If any of us could turn back the clock to when we were 8 years old, but be at the peak of our lives, I would guess that 95% of us would do so. The 1950's were perfect for me, and at the time, I thought the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, Milwaukee Braves, Kansas City A's, and Ebbets Field, The Polo Grounds, Forbes Field, and Crosley Field were Meccas.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 3rdGenCub View Post

                          If it's any consolation, MLB will still be here and still have millions of fans 20 years from now. However, the NFL could very easily cease to exist within that time frame. It's football fans that need to be very worried not baseball fans.
                          People still pay to attend boxing matches, where the whole objective is to beat your opponent senseless. At least football violence is incidental to the game. I don't think football's going away any time soon.
                          Shalom, y'all!
                          What's the rumpus?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
                            People still pay to attend boxing matches, where the whole objective is to beat your opponent senseless. At least football violence is incidental to the game. I don't think football's going away any time soon.
                            yes. and cage fights are also booming. A certain subset of watchers is going to be repelled by this but the majority of people watches football, boxing and MMA BECAUSE of the violence not despite it.

                            the bigger problem for football might be to find enough new players because the moms might no longer allow their kids to play football in high school. I think this is already happening. in the end this will probably mean that football will recruit players mostly from poor people groups who are willing to take the health risks, just like it also was with boxing
                            I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yup. In a sport that is supposedly"dying", we definitely want to turn the games most exciting event in to more outs and doubles. In almost every sport throught history, offense has put more people in the seats than defense. Higher fenses will equal TONS if Ks an no homeruns- the one payoff from the High K era. At lest for years until players adjust. It will be low scoring AND aesteicaly unappealing.
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