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2016 Baseball Season

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Re: 2016 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:50 am

I agree. What does drive me crazy, though, is when the umpires are inconsistent with the strike zone. If you're going to call just below the knees a strike, I'm ok with that as long as you are doing it consistently. I can't stand it when they seem to make it up as they go along. That I agree is a problem. And, the past 2 years I felt there was a lot of that. In one of the playoff series (I can't recall which one - Cubs-Dodgers maybe?) the umpires at the plate were awful. They were all over the place. That should not happen.

I suspect that machines calling balls and strikes is inevitable. They will leave an umpire back there for calling plays at the plate, deciding if a ball was tipped, and that sort of thing, but I suspect at some point in the next 5 to 10 years you're going to see balls and strikes called by a computer who follows a chart. And, I think that will be a loss.

Baseball, more than any of the other sports, is a form of entertainment unto itself. It's idiosyncrasies and imperfections are part of what makes the game what it is. Referees in football, when they do their job right, should be almost invisible. But, umpires are part of a baseball game. The theatrics with which they call balls and strikes and plays at the plate, the arguments with them, etc. That is all part of baseball. At least, it always has been, and I think it's part of the game that fans have traditionally enjoyed. But, times are changing. Baseball games are venues for people with short attention spans who can't focus on what is actually happening on the field for 9 (or more) innings. There are still die hard fans but they are, in most cities, overwhelmed by the causal fan who uses it as a night out to do something different and spends more time checking out the beer garden than the game itself. Society has changed and the game as started to change with it. Arguing with the umpires is a thing of the past, mostly. It's really a matter of time before the human element in officiating is either gone or largely mitigated, much more than it currently is.

A few weeks ago, Mike Francesca was on the fan saying they should speed up games by changing the rules to 2 strikes for an out and 3 balls for a walk. I think that is nuts, but he didn't seem to think it would be any big deal and people would get used to it and accept it. I don't think anything nearly that radical would every happen, but I'm amazed it was suggested so cavalierly. Of course, Francesca is a blowhard who says stuff just to keep people tuned in, so hard to take it too seriously, but I was surprised it was suggested at all.
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Re: 2016 Baseball Season

Postby PittGradPSUMad » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:57 pm

Effing heresy! One of the many beautiful aspects of baseball is the leisurely pace at which it fills time and space. The baselines themselves go off to infinity; the game does not necessarily need to fit into our increasingly maddening, hectic lifestyles. The beauty is that we can, if we choose, adapt to the game and not the other way around. It used to be about sitting in the ball park and watching a series of chess moves between pitcher versus batter, manager against manager, cheering heartily when one of players heightens the atmosphere of that leisurely pace with a well-timed blast to the upper deck or your team rewards your patience with a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth. Now, when we watch at home, the game needs to fit into the confines of network commercial advertising and what unwatchable, must-see show is offered up on Tuesday for your viewing pleasure. 2 strikes for an out and 3 balls for a walk my arse. This is good only in Francesca's parallel universe. Teddy Ballgame only needed two strikes because he always took the first pitch. The humans among us will always need three.
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Re: 2016 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:45 am

And the Cubs survive their second straight elimination game. Can they make it 3 in a row and win the crown? And, if they do win, what are they going to complain about? Isn't the whole point of being a Cubs fan to complain about how you haven't won a World Series since 1908?

Anyway, will be interesting tonight. Kluber has owned them the 2 games he pitched, but he's on short rest. I think Madden made a mistake pitching Chapman last night. I know it's only 20 pitches but why take the chance? It's a lot colder than he's used to and the lead was big enough that there was no reason to go to him. The Mets did that last year when they had a big lead in their one WS win and Familia couldn't bounce back after that. I guess we will see. Should be an exciting game.
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Re: 2016 Baseball Season

Postby psu_dad » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:15 am

Going back to the 1997 WS, the Indians have lost six straight postseason games when facing elimination. They looked tight last night. If they fall behind early again, the wheels may come off the cart.

And yes, the Cubs can win three in a row and steal this. Usually teams don't, but it's not extremely uncommon. Just off the top of my head, the Cubs blew a 3-1 lead (vs the Marlins) in the 2003 playoffs and the Indians blew a 3-1 lead (vs the Reds Sox) in the 2007 playoffs. Not to mention, someone (forget who) came back from 3-0 to beat the Yankees in 2004.
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Re: 2016 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:32 am

That down 3 games in the ALCS in '04 was one of my favorite series of all times. I was working full time in NYC back then and the woman in the office next to me was the most obnoxious Yankee fan. Right after that I put a sign on my door that said the "international sign that someone is choking has changed from this to this" (except I obviously included the pictures instead of the url. She didn't talk to me for a long time after that. It was well worth it, though, as I never really cared for her.

As for the Indians, I figured originally the Cubs would win in 6 and only lose the 2 Kluber games. The Indians managed to surprise me and take game 3, but it's Kluber again. Cubs have momentum. Indians have (a tired) Kluber and home field. Should be a good game.
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Re: 2016 Baseball Season

Postby psu_dad » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:39 am

That 2004 ALCS also changed the international symbol for douchebag to this.
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Re: 2016 Baseball Season

Postby psu_dad » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:51 am

... the game does not necessarily need to fit into our increasingly maddening, hectic lifestyles.

No, but the problem is that it has been galloping in the opposite direction. I think I mentioned that I recently saw a full-game replay of a WS game from the early 60s. It almost seemed as if they were running the film projector at the wrong speed. I looked up the official game time. It was two hours (on the nose).

3-1/2 to 4 hours is completely nuts. I've ether fallen asleep or gone to bed before the end of every game so far.
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Re: 2016 Baseball Season

Postby gmay10 » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:41 pm

I still want to see the computerized strike zone. I hope a female Cub's fan beat up Chapman tonight. And... how does Chapman not throw something off-speed on that 1-2 pitch??? A 1-2 pitch is a throw away pitch!
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Re: 2016 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:35 am

Holy cow, the Cubs won.
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Re: 2016 Baseball Season

Postby psu_dad » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:47 am

Did you post that right after it ended? I fell asleep again.

Going back to the 1997 WS, the Indians have lost six straight postseason games when facing elimination.

I guess that's seven now. And counting. Just as well, I suppose. If Cleveland were to win two championships in the same calendar year, the earth might break off its orbit and crash into the sun.
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