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The worst innovation in baseball?

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  • HomeRunHomer
    replied
    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.

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  • Iron Jaw
    replied
    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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  • Cowtipper
    replied
    I chose the designated hitter. I've never been a fan of it.

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  • Love The Game
    replied
    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.

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  • Love The Game
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Calif_Eagle
    replied
    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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  • YankeeFanUK
    replied
    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

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  • hairmetalfreek
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chickazoola
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by heavesrock View Post
    Has expansion really watered down talent? I say no. The population has grown enough that it is harder to make it into the major leagues today than before. Add in all the latin and Asian talent coming in now, and it's that much harder, and the talent is that much better. The reason, IMO, that there hasn't been a .400 hitter in so long is because the pitching keeps getting better and better.
    If everything else was equal, then I would agree that the population increase has a direct impact on the majors being better. However too many other things exist. Look at it this way. You go crabbing. You are the only person within eyesight in the hottest known spot. You drop in your pots, wait, and you get huge results. Well, what we have today, are dozens upon dozens of other people out there with you crabbing, so your final pull is much lower in quantity and in quality. Baseball being the game back in the day more than makes up for the population being lower imo. And there hasn't been a .400 hitter imo, because the fences have been brought so far in to aid in the homer-fest. That changes the approach of hitters and .400 is no longer within range.

    Leave a comment:


  • Iron Jaw
    replied
    Originally posted by Calif_Eagle View Post
    see the Orioles of the early 1960's and how much pitching talent they ruined.
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Iron Jaw
    replied
    I despise the DH.

    Interleague play that counts in the standings is ridiculous - games against the other league should be played as exhibitions as they were in the past.
    The ONLY good thing about interleague play is the American League pitchers have to swing the bat when they play in NL parks.

    The current free agency setup makes a player think more about his worth the market versus what he can do to contribute to the pennant effort of his current team. I don't mind a semi-open market, but the current, to me, is not very good. In essence, I preferred the reserve clause system.

    I think the wildcard is not a good thing. But then, I don't like divisional play anyway. I believe the best team, the team that wins the most games in a balanced schedule against ONLY league opponents, the team that wins the real and by far, the most difficult playoff - the 162-game season, is the team that should get rewarded with a trip to the World Series. The way baseball was from 1903-1968 (1904 an exception).

    Expansion is no big deal. The population has grown, though in reality, I think kids of previous generations actually played more baseball as youths than do the kids of today. Which is probably why many of the best players of today are not coming from the U.S. But under the system I would prefer, an expansion city must understand they may finish in 16th place.

    The five-man rotation is an on-field decision by the manager. That is his choice, his preference and style of play. A modern manager is not bound by the five-man rotation. He can go to a four or a six if he thinks it will benefit the team. Heck, he can go to a three if he wants. He can also have his starters throw as many completes as he wants, if that's the mode he chooses. Even during the heyday of the four-man rotation, some teams utilized the five if they had five decent starters. The others items are rules of the game (except the DH - a manager doesn't really have to use the DH if he doesn't want to). The five-man rotation is a managerial option.

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  • Iron Jaw
    replied
    I think you should have also added "divisional" play to the list.

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  • Calif_Eagle
    replied
    I dont like inter-league play. It IS unfair for one team to constantly face the Yankees and another to face the Royals each season. Also, with TV you can see all the teams and as cable and satellite grow even more in the future this will even be more possible & widespread.

    I dont like the DH. Pitchers are part of the team, they play the field, they should bat and have to face the opposition.

    I dont like the wild card. I want 4 major leagues of 8 teams each, champions to face each other in semi-finals, then the World Series. No Inter-League play except in this playoff. (If you wanted to divide each league into 4 team divisions and play an unbalanced schedule to get an "LCS" and playoffs for TV, I wouldnt personally like it, but I would understand it from an economic and exposure view. One thing about that last idea, it WOULD leave you with 1 team of every four making the playoffs and winning a division title. That should help keep interest high.)

    Expansion was a necessity, to not expand was to invite competition. The NFL once had a "We will never expand!" posture and that cost them a lot of money in 1946-1949 with the advent of the AAFC, then once *again*! just a decade later in 1960-1966 (I guess they just never learn) with the AFL, & again 1974-75 WFL & 1983-85 USFL. Branch Rickey was going to challenge baseball in about 1960 with the Continental League, baseball wisely expanded instead of going through all the problems the NFL subjected itself to. (Mainly rising costs for players.)

    Free Agency was a necessary thing for the players, the Reserve Clause was unconstitutional and should have been illegal. Where the owners screwed this up was with arbitration and by not listening to Charlie Finley. Finley wanted 1 year contracts, non guaranteed, everyone free at the end of every season. I feel that had this gone through, the average salary today would be lower, and the amount of money teams have flushed down the toilet on guaranteed contracts for players who were busts would be far less. If thats not a good idea, then the owners & union should have been flexible and created some sort of limited player movement system that would made everyone happy. But... those "trees" that dont bend in the breeze, (the owners) snap in the storm... the present system is Great for the players but bad for the fans. As for the owners... well its bad for them, but thats primarily their own damn fault. I have no sympathy for them.

    Five-man rotations arent bad. Why overuse men and blow out arms? See Dwight Gooden, see the Orioles of the early 1960's and how much pitching talent they ruined. Whats bad is the way relievers are used. Specialists, hold men, closers. I think the most overrated position in baseball is the ninth inning closer. Might as well put pinch hitters like Dusty Rhodes & Smokey Burgess in the HOF too. I agree 100% with "whoisonit" in post #4 re: "the quality start". Almost the only time anyone gets a CG anymore is when they have a no-hitter or at least a shutout going.
    Last edited by Calif_Eagle; 05-17-2008, 01:47 PM.

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  • Wade8813
    replied
    I don't have a problem with any of the listed things.

    Interleague play is just more games. I have no problem with that.

    I love the DH.

    I also like the Wild Card. Although sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't get rid of Division winners entirely, and just have the teams with the top 4 records make the playoffs. The Wild Card team often has a better record than one of the 3 Division champions.

    Expansion makes sense - population grows.

    Free agency - it's not ideal, but it's better than the horrible way things were run before

    5 man rotation - There's no hard and fast rule saying you have to have a 5 man rotation. Thus anyone who uses it does so of their own volition. I may wish they didn't use it, but it's up to them.

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