For those folks who want to shorten the length of MLB games and looking of where to place the blame...

pittchagg

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You’re not going to see anyone complaining about length of game if the teams combine for 20 runs and 30+ hits. But when it’s a grinder in the middle of July that still takes 3+ hours because of all of the TV breaks and other dead time, it can get excruciating.
 

Zeldas Open Roof

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did you guys see the new rule in one of those international hoops leagues? All inbounds plays, the ref doesnt need to touch the ball. So it's like soccer, ball goes out of bounds, ref makes call who's ball it is and the other team can pick it up and go. It's pretty sweet.. No clue if it will ever pick up over here though.

I'll try and find a tweet on it.


 
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sonofabit

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The number one issue with the length of games is most certainly not the strike zone that the umpires call. It's all the dawdling that the batters and the pitchers do between pitches. Which hopefully the pitch clock will mostly end next year. Minor league games with the pitch clock this season were almost a half hour shorter than the average game last season without one.
Dawdling. Good description. Add to it the enormous money being paid to specialists. Each pitch is life or death and that next contract….
 

Zeldas Open Roof

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baseball is a slow, drawn out sport. always has been, always will. IT was slow well before tv or relief pitchers or walk up music or whatever we are blaming it on now.

it's a sport without a clock for a reason (Well at least there used to be no clock).
 

Pitt79

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But why is having a batter on a base less exciting to fans ?
Because you watch every batter take pitches until the hope of the analytically precious walk is gone and swing the bat only when you are forced to.
 

PittPharm2002

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Because you watch every batter take pitches until the hope of the analytically precious walk is gone and swing the bat only when you are forced to.
Sounds like pitchers should throw strikes , then
Blaming the batters for not swinging at balls is ass backwards
Of course a bigger strike zone would help-
But it will also cause even more strikeouts
 
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Again, if the Pirates were one of the perennial top teams, always in contention, most here (I presume most had been Pirates fans in the day) would not complain about these mundane things. This would be a thread about the upcoming series, and debate about whether the Bucs can take it to move into first place, or the like.

Pitt fans should relate to this above most others. Our teams usually have exhausted any pretense of relevance by October, and in the absence of that, the proliferation of threads about the uniform colors and logos and how articulate our coaches are in the press conferences and the fantasies of on campus stadiums… ok, these gripes still occur even when we’re winning, but to be honest, we are not regular winners, so old habits die hard.
 
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pittchagg

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Again, if the Pirates were one of the perennial top teams, always in contention, most here (I presume most had been Pirates fans in the day) would not complain about these mundane things. This would be a thread about the upcoming series, and debate about whether the Bucs can take it to move into first place, or the like.

Pitt fans should relate to this above most others. Our teams usually have exhausted any pretense of relevance by October, and in the absence of that, the proliferation of threads about the uniform colors and logos and how articulate our coaches are in the press conferences and the fantasies of on campus stadiums… ok, these gripes still occur even when we’re winning, but to be honest, we are not regular winners, so old habits die hard.
This is 100% true. During last night’s Phillies game - team on a five game losing streak, desperately trying to hold onto a playoff spot against a good Blue Jays team - Jean Segura turned a spectacular double play with the bases loaded to keep the game tied in the top of the ninth. The place exploded, and nobody in the stadium cared that the game crossed three hours.
 
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TheSpecialSauce

Head Coach
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Why does a major league pitcher have to warm up after every inning?that has to add at least 30 minutes to the game.
Agreed! Give them 1 minute from the time the 3rd out is made to throwing the first pitch. The same for when a pitching change is made. The guy just warmed up in the bullpen.
 

Joe the Panther Fan

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You tell me then, think of something that makes a walk undesirable to analytics so they stop playing for walks?


Well there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that will make a walk undesirable. The number one job of a batter in baseball is to not make an out. Walks are not outs. So they are very valuable, and will remain so no matter what scheme we come up with.

I think what you want is to find ways to make it more desirable to put balls in play rather than the strikeout, walk, home run game that is mostly played today. If you make hitting home runs harder you might be able to get that outcome, batters might no longer wait for that one pitch that they can drive, they might tend to swing at pitches that they can put in play sooner in the at bat. You can do that a couple ways, by tinkering with the ball so it doesn't fly quite so far, they have experimented in one of the independent leagues with moving the pitching rubber back a few feet to theoretically make it easier to hit, stuff like that.

The only problem with most of that kind of stuff is that the chances of unintended consequences is really high. They'd have to do a lot of experimenting with any of those things before they could be confident that it would have the desired effects.
 

Joe the Panther Fan

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Just put the ball back to the way it was in the 80's so that you can't hit 450 foot, broken bat home runs.


But it's not even really so much the ball. Parks are smaller now than they were back then. The average batter is much, much stronger than they were back then. The average pitcher throws the ball much harder than they did back then, and it's easier to hit a 95 mph pitch 450 feet than it is to hit an 85 mph pitch that far. And you mention the bats, well bats do not break nearly as often as they used to, and bats are harder than they used to be, which also helps in hitting the ball a long way.
 

Joe Magarac

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baseball is a slow, drawn out sport. always has been, always will. IT was slow well before tv or relief pitchers or walk up music or whatever we are blaming it on now.

it's a sport without a clock for a reason (Well at least there used to be no clock).
Back in the 60s and 70s games were approximately 2 hours 20 mins.
Today they run 4 hours.
That tends to happen when you have 10 pitching changes per game plus all of the hystrionics, gyrations and machinations in the batters box.
What do you expect….25 man roster with 15 pitchers.
 

perchance

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Back in the 60s and 70s games were approximately 2 hours 20 mins.
Today they run 4 hours.
That tends to happen when you have 10 pitching changes per game plus all of the hystrionics, gyrations and machinations in the batters box.
What do you expect….25 man roster with 15 pitchers.
Vernon (deacon) Law, a 1960 CY Young winner, when there was only one Cy Young winner in baseball, pitched an 18 inning win against the Braves on July 19th, 1955. The game lasted 4 hrs and 44 min, 2hrs and 22 min per 9 innings.
 
Dec 8, 2010
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Literally every game. It’s amazing that when people have an agenda they see what they want. I watch baseball late night to pass the time. Whatever is on MLB. I have no rooting interest and the strike zone calls are very accurate.
I have no rooting interest either, but I do have to disagree with you. I am quite certain that MLB has told the umpires to give those close calls in the strike zone to the pitcher in an attempt to help shorten the game. What they have actually done is made it longer. Most pitchers go up there, especially the Pirates pitchers and nibble with plate in an attempt to get the batter to chase. I would absolutely love to see a team who is playing the Pirates, just take the pitches, all of them. for the first inning. I bet they would score at least one run by not even swinging the bat.
 

Duneaux Harm

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I have no rooting interest either, but I do have to disagree with you. I am quite certain that MLB has told the umpires to give those close calls in the strike zone to the pitcher in an attempt to help shorten the game. What they have actually done is made it longer. Most pitchers go up there, especially the Pirates pitchers and nibble with plate in an attempt to get the batter to chase. I would absolutely love to see a team who is playing the Pirates, just take the pitches, all of them. for the first inning. I bet they would score at least one run by not even swinging the bat.
A study was done and the umpires got balls and strikes correct over 90 per cent of the time. That is pretty good for a blink of the eye event. You are contradicting yourself. You say umps give close calls to pitchers but then theorize about a team not swinging ever and scoring. Which is it?
 

pittdan77

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The Vast Wasteland of Central Pennsylvania
But it's not even really so much the ball. Parks are smaller now than they were back then. The average batter is much, much stronger than they were back then. The average pitcher throws the ball much harder than they did back then, and it's easier to hit a 95 mph pitch 450 feet than it is to hit an 85 mph pitch that far. And you mention the bats, well bats do not break nearly as often as they used to, and bats are harder than they used to be, which also helps in hitting the ball a long way.
Bats are maple now because a bug killed the ash trees but they were going that way before. Probably because they are different.
The ball is constructed so it flies further. Probably does affect pithcing.
And you're right, the ball parks are all band boxes that make a guy with warning track power like Mike Diaz lament that he was born twenty years too soon.

Probably not one easy fix.
 
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A study was done and the umpires got balls and strikes correct over 90 per cent of the time. That is pretty good for a blink of the eye event. You are contradicting yourself. You say umps give close calls to pitchers but then theorize about a team not swinging ever and scoring. Which is it?
I am not contradicting myself at all. I would love to see the results of the study you mentioned and who paid for the study. I can only tell you what I see with my own two eyes and the strike zone box that is displayed with each batter.
Are you going to try and tell me that the umpires standing behind the plate on the side of the hitter is getting an accurate view of the outside part of the plate? I will answer that for you, they are not. That is why most pitchers throw to the opposite side of the plate that the batter is standing on. They know that most of the umpires will give them the benefit of the doubt over that outside edge. There is no way in the world that the umpires are 90% right on those calls, no way.
Add to that they give the pitchers the benefit of the doubt on the lower portion of the strike zone and the batters basically have to chase pitches off of the plate.
If the professional tennis tours (ATP/WTA) use a "Hawkeye" system to judge balls being in and out, why can't MLB do the same?
There should be only two teams on the field for baseball game,. Unfortunately, especially at the MLB level, there are three teams. The visitors, the home team and the umpires. Three teams with the egos involved by all of them, creates a distraction not a solution.
 

Duneaux Harm

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I am not contradicting myself at all. I would love to see the results of the study you mentioned and who paid for the study. I can only tell you what I see with my own two eyes and the strike zone box that is displayed with each batter.
Are you going to try and tell me that the umpires standing behind the plate on the side of the hitter is getting an accurate view of the outside part of the plate? I will answer that for you, they are not. That is why most pitchers throw to the opposite side of the plate that the batter is standing on. They know that most of the umpires will give them the benefit of the doubt over that outside edge. There is no way in the world that the umpires are 90% right on those calls, no way.
Add to that they give the pitchers the benefit of the doubt on the lower portion of the strike zone and the batters basically have to chase pitches off of the plate.
If the professional tennis tours (ATP/WTA) use a "Hawkeye" system to judge balls being in and out, why can't MLB do the same?
There should be only two teams on the field for baseball game,. Unfortunately, especially at the MLB level, there are three teams. The visitors, the home team and the umpires. Three teams with the egos involved by all of them, creates a distraction not a solution.
It was a study of statcast over the past decade or so.

They compared called balls and strikes vs statcast images. Divided it into calls missed inside zone and outside zone. I don’t know what to tell you but the totals for last year were under 10% wrong. It doesn’t matter who is paying for a study because statcast is just data. You can easily look at games and called pitches vs the data. So no bias whatever about location of umpires. It is what it is not what you wish it to be.
 
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Joe the Panther Fan

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I am not contradicting myself at all. I would love to see the results of the study you mentioned and who paid for the study. I can only tell you what I see with my own two eyes and the strike zone box that is displayed with each batter.
Are you going to try and tell me that the umpires standing behind the plate on the side of the hitter is getting an accurate view of the outside part of the plate? I will answer that for you, they are not. That is why most pitchers throw to the opposite side of the plate that the batter is standing on. They know that most of the umpires will give them the benefit of the doubt over that outside edge. There is no way in the world that the umpires are 90% right on those calls, no way.
Add to that they give the pitchers the benefit of the doubt on the lower portion of the strike zone and the batters basically have to chase pitches off of the plate.
If the professional tennis tours (ATP/WTA) use a "Hawkeye" system to judge balls being in and out, why can't MLB do the same?
There should be only two teams on the field for baseball game,. Unfortunately, especially at the MLB level, there are three teams. The visitors, the home team and the umpires. Three teams with the egos involved by all of them, creates a distraction not a solution.


There is actually at least one site on the web that tracks umpire balls and strikes call that is updated every day. You ought to be able to find it with a google search. Umpires today actually call the strike zone much closer to what the rule book says than they did 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. If for no other reason than literally every call is evaluated by their bosses, so they have a lot more incentive to get the calls correct.

And the reason that most pitchers throw the ball to the outside rather than the inside has absolutely nothing at all to do with where the umpire is positioned. It's because guys hit mistake pitches over the inner part of the plate 450 feet, and most of them can't do that with mistake pitches on the outer part of the plate.

Especially in an era where most hitters are pull happy. If you throw the ball on the inner part of the plate to a guy who is trying to pull the ball he can hit the ball a proverbial mile. If you throw a pitch on the outer part of the plate to a guy who is pull happy there is a really good chance that he's going to hit a ground ball to a middle infielder. Or foul the pitch off. If he reaches it at all.
 

Phillypanther2

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I used to be a big baseball fan, but have very little interest anymore. I was in CA last summer and went to a game in Anaheim. It was my first game in at least 10 years.
What really stood out to me, was how annoyingly long each at bat was. It’s as if every pitchers only job is to get strikeouts, and every batters only job is to hit a home run or get a walk. It creates an amazing amount of boring 10 plus pitch at-bats.
A 12 pitch at bat in the 8th inning with the game on the line is exciting, numerous ones in a scoreless games in the early innings is boring for everyone except extreme die hards. You can shorten the games a little by finding ways to eliminate the wasted time between pitches, and limited pitching changes, but unfortunately I don’t think there is a way to eliminate the many boring 10 plus pitch at-bats.
 
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It was a study of statcast over the past decade or so.

They compared called balls and strikes vs statcast images. Divided it into calls missed inside zone and outside zone. I don’t know what to tell you but the totals for last year were under 10% wrong. It doesn’t matter who is paying for a study because statcast is just data. You can easily look at games and called pitches vs the data. So no bias whatever about location of umpires. It is what it is not what you wish it to be.
I can only tell you the games and calls that I have seen and I would say that it is much lower then that. Also, it does matter who is paying for a given study. Just look at all of the political polls that are shown daily. Lastly,, why should a professional sport like MLB be willing to settle for any number that is less then 100% accuracy? As I said before, professional tennis has found a way to use objective technology to determine whether balls are in or out AND a good number of those decisions are made balls that are traveling faster then a thrown baseball.
 
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There is actually at least one site on the web that tracks umpire balls and strikes call that is updated every day. You ought to be able to find it with a google search. Umpires today actually call the strike zone much closer to what the rule book says than they did 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. If for no other reason than literally every call is evaluated by their bosses, so they have a lot more incentive to get the calls correct.

And the reason that most pitchers throw the ball to the outside rather than the inside has absolutely nothing at all to do with where the umpire is positioned. It's because guys hit mistake pitches over the inner part of the plate 450 feet, and most of them can't do that with mistake pitches on the outer part of the plate.

Especially in an era where most hitters are pull happy. If you throw the ball on the inner part of the plate to a guy who is trying to pull the ball he can hit the ball a proverbial mile. If you throw a pitch on the outer part of the plate to a guy who is pull happy there is a really good chance that he's going to hit a ground ball to a middle infielder. Or foul the pitch off. If he reaches it at all.
One of the points I was trying to make was, if the umpire is planted off of the inside portion of the plate, he will NOT be accurate in his calling of pitches over or near the outside part of the plate. If he is giving those calls to the pitcher, batters have to chase the bad pitches and the pitchers know that.
 

perchance

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One of the points I was trying to make was, if the umpire is planted off of the inside portion of the plate, he will NOT be accurate in his calling of pitches over or near the outside part of the plate. If he is giving those calls to the pitcher, batters have to chase the bad pitches and the pitchers know that.