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The worst innovation in baseball?

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  • #16
    Well I have no problem with expansion, and don't see how anyone would.

    I wish teams weren't so dependent on the 5 man rotation, as I think there is good reasons why a 4 man rotation would work. But it's not the worst innovation.

    Free Agency is a good thing.

    I don't like the DH, and from a gameplay standpoint it's the worst innovation, but I can live with it.

    Interleague play is a waste of time, and it's completely stupid that the Dodgers have not played a series in Yankee Stadium since interleague play was implemented.

    I voted for the wild card, simply because it ruins pennant races, which is one of the great charms of baseball. Every other sport has bad-mediocre teams fighting for playoff spots, but only in baseball could a great team miss the playoffs. The wild card diminishes that.

    I would like to see baseball go to a 4 division system in each league, so all 8 playoff teams are division champions, and not also-rans.
    "It's good to be young and a Giant." - Larry Doyle

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    • #17
      I'm not against free agency, but I do believe the current system doesn't work well...however, I don't think Finley's plan would have been that much better.

      The 5-man rotation, while not a "rule," certainly seems like one by the way it is used. For those who claim a 4-man rotation hurt so many pitchers, what about Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, Warren Spahn, etc. who had successful careers? There is not a pitcher in the majors today, save Maddux, who is anywhere near the talent of those guys.

      I'm not against divisions, but I think 3 is too many. East and West...period. And put the Brewers back in the American League where they belong.

      The Wild Card is a bane upon baseball. It needs to be destroyed.

      As for the DH, I can take it or leave it since I'm not an AL fan. I do think it makes the American League look stupid in comparison to the NL, but whatever.

      And interleague play is just ridiculous. I hate it. Hate. Hate. Hate.

      I'm sure there is more I would like to say, but I'm too tired right now to think.
      The Writer's Journey

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      • #18
        i think interleague is ok BUT limit it to only 6 games per year...a home/home with inter city rivals..i`d hate to lost the 6 games with the Mets and i cant believe Cubs/Sox fans dont like playing each other..sh*t talking/bragging rights is a great thing
        BALLGAME OVER, YANKEES WIN...THEEEEEEEEEEEE YANKEES WIN
        “You wouldn't have won if we'd beaten you.”

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Iron Jaw View Post
          The Orioles of the early 60's used, primarily, a five-man rotation (in 1960, they really used six starters).

          1960 - Barber, Pappas, Estrada, Brown, Fisher, Walker.
          1961 - Barber, Estrada, Fisher, Pappas, Brown
          1962 - Estrada, Pappas, Fisher, Roberts, Barber
          1963 - Barber, Roberts, Pappas, McCormick, McNally
          1964 - Pappas, Roberts, Bunker, Barber, McNally
          1965 - Pappas, Barber, McNally, Bunker, Roberts (traded) and Miller.


          None of the Oriole pitchers would have been considered overworked (not one 300 inning type in the entire bunch).

          Whitey Ford used to say that a lot of young pitchers blew out their arms from overruse of the slider, which is tough on the arm (Whitey said he never threw one). The origin of the slider dates as far back a Chief Bender, though it was called the nickel change in the early part of the 20th Century.
          I will have to re-research this. It seems to me that over the course of the years of my reading about the game, at some point I read that most of the Oriole's young pitching talent of the early 60's (Barber, Estrada, Bunker all come to mind as being cited as examples) all suffered from overuse at young ages which contributed to arm ailments that caused all 3 to be less than what they might have been for their careers. (Robin Roberts, of course, was already a long established veteran and star with the Phillies.)

          Note also that none of these pitchers lasted for the Orioles glory years, although some were there for 1966. (Dave McNally is the exception to that statement but McNally wasnt a hard thrower.)

          Hal "Skinny" Brown was already 35 in 1960. He was very effective in 1960 & 1961 for the Birds. Jack Fisher was never particularly effective for anyone throughout his career. See this link for Fisher's career records:
          http://www.baseball-reference.com/f/fisheja01.shtml

          Jerry Walker appears to have been a $4,000 or more bonus baby, looking at his record in baseball reference. (Meaning that he had to stay on the big club's roster from signing date for the next 2 (I believe it was 2, maybe 4 ? seasons) The rule was done away with in 1958 or 1959 anyway. Walker's career record is found here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/w/walkeje01.shtml Walker pitched 182 innings in an 11-10 campaign at age 20 for the Birds, he never surpassed that inning total again and was out of the game by 1964 at age 25.

          McCormick came and went in a trade, was a Bird for 2 seasons and appears to have been injured somehow in 1964 as he made a mere token 4 appearances.

          Perhaps overwork wasnt the issue, but it sure seems the Orioles were doing *something* wrong with their younger pitching talent prior to Earl Weaver taking the reins. Perhaps "Iron Jaw" or someone else would have something to add ?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by YankeeFanUK View Post
            close call between expansion & wild card....the league needs to trim a few teams, cut it down to an east & west...and get rid of the WC..if your not good enough to win your division you shouldnt be in the p/offs..its gonna be as bad as the NBA/NHL soon...love the DH
            Look at how many Wild Card teams have won the Series since it started. Wild card is great for the game.
            People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ~Rogers Hornsby

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Chickazoola View Post
              Well I have no problem with expansion, and don't see how anyone would.

              I wish teams weren't so dependent on the 5 man rotation, as I think there is good reasons why a 4 man rotation would work. But it's not the worst innovation.

              Free Agency is a good thing.

              I don't like the DH, and from a gameplay standpoint it's the worst innovation, but I can live with it.

              Interleague play is a waste of time, and it's completely stupid that the Dodgers have not played a series in Yankee Stadium since interleague play was implemented.

              I voted for the wild card, simply because it ruins pennant races, which is one of the great charms of baseball. Every other sport has bad-mediocre teams fighting for playoff spots, but only in baseball could a great team miss the playoffs. The wild card diminishes that.

              I would like to see baseball go to a 4 division system in each league, so all 8 playoff teams are division champions, and not also-rans.
              4 division system? I don't know about that. The wild card allows for the team with the best record who is not a division winner to be in the playoffs. 4 divisions would not always get the 4 best teams in the playoffs. Wild card usually does.
              People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ~Rogers Hornsby

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              • #22
                I chose the designated hitter. I've never been a fan of it.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Calif_Eagle View Post
                  Perhaps "Iron Jaw" or someone else would have something to add ?
                  The only point I was trying to make was the fact that the Orioles used a five-man rotation in the early 60's. The five-man rotation wasn't the trend, and most definitely not the desire of most managers at the time, but it seemed to work with the youngsters on the O's combined with the couple of guys who had some age (Roberts and Brown). The Oriole bullpen at the time featured an old guy who threw a knuckler - Hoyt Wilhelm. Later it was another old guy - Stu Miller.

                  Chuck Estrada did blow his arm out early. Wally Bunker had a great rookie season, but he never had a lot of stuff. After a couple of so-so seasons, Wally (and a shutout against the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series), Bunker had nothing in 1967 and spent most of 1968 in the minors (he came up in late season and threw a shutout). In 1969, he was the ace of the staff for the expansion Royals, but his return to the bigs was short-lived.

                  Anyway, for both, Estrada and Bunker, overwork wasn't the issue.

                  And many of those guys had long careers, including Barber. Barber was injured on-again, off-again, but was still a starter in 1967, the 8th year of his career (he threw a combined no-hitter that season). He started for the Yankees in '68 and the Pilots in '69, but only 19 and 16 starts respectively. He lasted until 1974 though, mostly relieving by that stage. A 15-year career. Pappas had a long, productive career with the Orioles, Reds, Braves and his later years with the Cubs.

                  McNally had some arm trouble in 1967, but came back as a better pitcher. From 1968-71, he was one of baseball's best pitchers. Jim Palmer had arm trouble that kept him out most of 1967 and all of 1968, but he came back a year later and emerged as a HOF pitcher the rest of his long career.

                  I would say the Oriole starters of the late 60's, early 70's were considerably more overworked than their team predecessors in the 60's. McNally, Mike Cuellar and Palmer all pitched a lot of innings and had large numbers of complete games. During that period, two once-formidable Oriole starters did suffer career ending injuries (though they hung around with different teams for a bit after their injuries). Tom Phoebus and Jim Hardin. Yet, the O's at the time were always ready to replace the injured. Hardin with the likes of Mike Cuellar (obtained from Houston for Curt Blefary). Phoebus with the likes of Pat Dobson. Which is the reason they won the pennant so often, and were right near the top when they didn't win it. But the extra work didn't hurt the prime three. The only thing that finally caught up with them was age.

                  Jim Palmer always said that he thrived in a four-man rotation when he was pitching a lot of innings and completing a lot of games. He said it kept him in a groove, kept him in better condition and allowed him to pitch to the league stars more often so he could understand face to face, how to deal with them. Palmer said he was a much better pitcher from the four than he was later with the five.

                  But again, that's purely a manager's choice. And in many cases, with teams that have a terrible fifth starter and only a so-so fourth starter, going with the four might be a better option as opponents would have to face the aces more often.

                  The case I've seen where young pitchers were overworked was the 1980 Oakland A's. "Billy Ball," as it was called, included a staff that completed 94 games. He did run a five-man staff with Langford, Norris, Keough, McCatty and Kingman, but he left them in the game even when they were getting hammered by the opposition. Now teamwise, it worked for him that season. A team that was among the worst in baseball in 1979, was competing for the AL West title in 1980.

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                  • #24
                    What I considered the worst innovation was not on the list.

                    It wasn't long-term, but it had fewer positives than the ones listed:

                    Does anyone remember when there were TWO All-Star Games a year from 1959-1962?

                    I read some articles in 2001 talking about that experiment, and here are some of the quotes:

                    The product was diluted by half. How could an event be marketed as a must- see spectacle when the participants were scheduled for a rematch three weeks later? For that matter, how could an All-Star showdown inspire curiosity three weeks after it was staged in the first place?
                    In terms of sheer stupidity, it ranks alongside Disco Demolition Night, Rosanne Barr's invitation to perform the national anthem, and the creation of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
                    The only positive about the two-game debacle was that baseball didn't persist in perpetuating an artistic failure and box-office bomb.
                    "It's time to play America's favorite game- Name That Molina."

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                    • #25
                      The DH took the strategy out of the game. Instead of the manger deciding whether to use a pinch hitter, to sac bunt, or hit away, the DH makes the decision much easier for the manger, even more so in the late innings.

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                      • #26
                        Pitch counts. Nothing more aggravating than watching a pitcher having a good game getting removed in the 7th or 8th because they have passed the magical 100 pitche mark.

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                        • #27
                          I can't stand the division system and playoffs. The NL and AL should be one division each. You have 162 games to win first place- if you can't do it in that time you don't deserve to go to the series. if someone won more games out of 162 than you, then you don't deserve to go to the series. That is a hell of a lot of games, and if you win the largest percentage of them it is really difficult to argue that you are not the best team, and having to win several best of seven series afterward to prove the point is silly- I mean, what was the whole point of playing 162 games in the first place, just securing a home field advantage?
                          "Here's a crazy thought I've always had: if they cut three fingers off each hand, I'd really be a great hitter because then I could level off better." Paul Waner (lifetime .333 hitter, 3,152 lifetime hits.

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                          • #28
                            The developments of the specialist reliever and one-inning closer are, by far, the worst changes in the game for me.
                            Constantly interrupting the game for new pitchers drives me insane. Managers cycle through the pen until they find the one guy who just can't throw that day and let him blow the game.
                            I say anybody who comes in during an inning gets no warmups on the mound, he should be warm from the pen. Why should I pay $125 to sit at Fenway late at night and watch some scrub practice?
                            "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by wardawg View Post
                              The DH took the strategy out of the game. Instead of the manger deciding whether to use a pinch hitter, to sac bunt, or hit away, the DH makes the decision much easier for the manger, even more so in the late innings.
                              My view the same. I miss the strategy that was brought up that was once part of the game in certain game situations, late. The manager and the decision he had to make, still does in the NL. Made it more interesting, pinch hit for the pitcher, not pinch hit, the manager actually had to think, DH took that away.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by wardawg View Post
                                The DH took the strategy out of the game. Instead of the manger deciding whether to use a pinch hitter, to sac bunt, or hit away, the DH makes the decision much easier for the manger, even more so in the late innings.
                                My view the same. I miss the strategy that was brought up that was once part of the game in certain game situations, late. The manager and the decision he had to make, still does in the NL. Made it more interesting, pinch hit for the pitcher, not pinch hit, the manager actually had to think, DH took that away.

                                Sorry for the double post. Love this board but one bad feature, a poster can not delete "his or her" own post. It was that way I assume it still is.
                                Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 05-18-2008, 08:44 AM.

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