Author Topic: BATRA - The Liberty Braves Group  (Read 27801 times)

KJP

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Re: BATRA - The Liberty Braves Group
« Reply #60 on: July 28, 2020, 12:00:46 PM »


Two problems Manfred is trying to fix:
a) Too many minor league teams, which dilutes the baseball fan base and imposes some additional costs on teams for minimal marginal benefits. There are ~160 minor league baseball teams, ~40 of them are probably going to disappear.
b) The games are too long

At the risk of generalizing from my own opinions, baseball has two other problems: 

1.  Winning baseball is boring baseball: Under the current rules, winning baseball is boring baseball.  Analytics has shown that focusing on patience at the plate, launch angle, etc., produces more wins, but it also pushes more and more at bats towards the three "true outcomes" (walk, strikeout, home run).  The problem is that that type of baseball has far too little action -- more and more pitches where nothing happens -- and eliminates (because they are counterproductive) events that are actually exciting, e.g., stolen bases, hit and runs, suicide squeeze.  As you mention, it also produces games that are 3+ hours long, so many kids don't even stay up late enough to watch the end of a game that starts at 7 or 7:30pm and likely wouldn't have the attention span to watch such a game when they could be playing Fortnite with their friends instead. 

These problems remind me of the "dead puck" era in the NHL, which was ultimately dealt with in part through rules changes and developments in tactics.  I think baseball has to move in that direction, but it's not obvious how to do it.  Things like a pitch clock or limiting defensive shifts don't get at the underlying problem that the current rules make boring baseball winning baseball. 

Another issue is that baseball currently has a historically great player on par with Ruth and Mays in Mike Trout.  But he does not have the personality or desire to drive interest in the game and his greatness is more subtle than hitting 70 home runs a year like McGwire or Bonds.  But again this is a much more transient issue.  A bigger one is that baseball unwritten rules and codes often express exuberance that fans like, e.g., a massive bat flip and strut around the bases might get you thrown at.

2.  It's relatively ill-suited to fantasy sports and gambling:  Football is only once a week, so even casual fans can watch every game their team plays and can participate in fantasy sports and even gamble on it in the belief that they know something about who's playing.  Baseball, on the other hand, is essentially every day for six months plus the playoffs.  That schedule makes fantasy baseball much more time-consuming and difficult to deal with than fantasy football and it makes gambling harder.  It's hard to know for sure, but I suspect gambling/fantasy is a big reason why people are watching a poor Thursday or Sunday night NFL matchup.  Nobody cares are Arizona v. Cincinnati, but they care about Kyler Murray's passing yards and whether Arizona can cover the spread.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 12:12:55 PM by KJP »


Gamecock-YT

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Re: BATRA - The Liberty Braves Group
« Reply #61 on: July 28, 2020, 03:37:05 PM »
How do you guys view the future of Baseball as a sport? It feels to me that engagement is failing and the audience skews very old. No international viewership either.

I think this will put a limit on future team value appreciation.

I think they should adapt like cricket did with limited overs. England is pushing a new version which will be just 100 balls, or 16.6 overs. There's also versions of the game with 20 overs and 50 overs. A T20 version of baseball would be spectacular to watch. Almost like a pseudo-home run derby.

Foreign Tuffett

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Re: BATRA - The Liberty Braves Group
« Reply #62 on: July 29, 2020, 10:24:08 AM »


Two problems Manfred is trying to fix:
a) Too many minor league teams, which dilutes the baseball fan base and imposes some additional costs on teams for minimal marginal benefits. There are ~160 minor league baseball teams, ~40 of them are probably going to disappear.
b) The games are too long

At the risk of generalizing from my own opinions, baseball has two other problems: 

1.  Winning baseball is boring baseball: Under the current rules, winning baseball is boring baseball.  Analytics has shown that focusing on patience at the plate, launch angle, etc., produces more wins, but it also pushes more and more at bats towards the three "true outcomes" (walk, strikeout, home run).  The problem is that that type of baseball has far too little action -- more and more pitches where nothing happens -- and eliminates (because they are counterproductive) events that are actually exciting, e.g., stolen bases, hit and runs, suicide squeeze.  As you mention, it also produces games that are 3+ hours long, so many kids don't even stay up late enough to watch the end of a game that starts at 7 or 7:30pm and likely wouldn't have the attention span to watch such a game when they could be playing Fortnite with their friends instead. 

These problems remind me of the "dead puck" era in the NHL, which was ultimately dealt with in part through rules changes and developments in tactics.  I think baseball has to move in that direction, but it's not obvious how to do it.  Things like a pitch clock or limiting defensive shifts don't get at the underlying problem that the current rules make boring baseball winning baseball. 

Another issue is that baseball currently has a historically great player on par with Ruth and Mays in Mike Trout.  But he does not have the personality or desire to drive interest in the game and his greatness is more subtle than hitting 70 home runs a year like McGwire or Bonds.  But again this is a much more transient issue.  A bigger one is that baseball unwritten rules and codes often express exuberance that fans like, e.g., a massive bat flip and strut around the bases might get you thrown at.

2.  It's relatively ill-suited to fantasy sports and gambling:  Football is only once a week, so even casual fans can watch every game their team plays and can participate in fantasy sports and even gamble on it in the belief that they know something about who's playing.  Baseball, on the other hand, is essentially every day for six months plus the playoffs.  That schedule makes fantasy baseball much more time-consuming and difficult to deal with than fantasy football and it makes gambling harder.  It's hard to know for sure, but I suspect gambling/fantasy is a big reason why people are watching a poor Thursday or Sunday night NFL matchup.  Nobody cares are Arizona v. Cincinnati, but they care about Kyler Murray's passing yards and whether Arizona can cover the spread.

Thanks for the color on the longer games issue. I am not a baseball fan, so it isn't a trivial task for me to get up to speed on this sort of thing.

Anyway, found this academic article saying very similar things: "My major conclusion is that the single biggest factor contributing to the longer games is the number of pitches. The rise in strikeouts and related drop in outs on balls in play accounts for much of the difference over time."

https://sabr.org/journal/article/why-do-games-take-so-long/



I don't know enough about MLB sports betting to intelligently comment about its future prospects



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dwy000

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Re: BATRA - The Liberty Braves Group
« Reply #63 on: July 29, 2020, 12:03:47 PM »


Two problems Manfred is trying to fix:
a) Too many minor league teams, which dilutes the baseball fan base and imposes some additional costs on teams for minimal marginal benefits. There are ~160 minor league baseball teams, ~40 of them are probably going to disappear.
b) The games are too long

At the risk of generalizing from my own opinions, baseball has two other problems: 

1.  Winning baseball is boring baseball: Under the current rules, winning baseball is boring baseball.  Analytics has shown that focusing on patience at the plate, launch angle, etc., produces more wins, but it also pushes more and more at bats towards the three "true outcomes" (walk, strikeout, home run).  The problem is that that type of baseball has far too little action -- more and more pitches where nothing happens -- and eliminates (because they are counterproductive) events that are actually exciting, e.g., stolen bases, hit and runs, suicide squeeze.  As you mention, it also produces games that are 3+ hours long, so many kids don't even stay up late enough to watch the end of a game that starts at 7 or 7:30pm and likely wouldn't have the attention span to watch such a game when they could be playing Fortnite with their friends instead. 

These problems remind me of the "dead puck" era in the NHL, which was ultimately dealt with in part through rules changes and developments in tactics.  I think baseball has to move in that direction, but it's not obvious how to do it.  Things like a pitch clock or limiting defensive shifts don't get at the underlying problem that the current rules make boring baseball winning baseball. 

Another issue is that baseball currently has a historically great player on par with Ruth and Mays in Mike Trout.  But he does not have the personality or desire to drive interest in the game and his greatness is more subtle than hitting 70 home runs a year like McGwire or Bonds.  But again this is a much more transient issue.  A bigger one is that baseball unwritten rules and codes often express exuberance that fans like, e.g., a massive bat flip and strut around the bases might get you thrown at.

2.  It's relatively ill-suited to fantasy sports and gambling:  Football is only once a week, so even casual fans can watch every game their team plays and can participate in fantasy sports and even gamble on it in the belief that they know something about who's playing.  Baseball, on the other hand, is essentially every day for six months plus the playoffs.  That schedule makes fantasy baseball much more time-consuming and difficult to deal with than fantasy football and it makes gambling harder.  It's hard to know for sure, but I suspect gambling/fantasy is a big reason why people are watching a poor Thursday or Sunday night NFL matchup.  Nobody cares are Arizona v. Cincinnati, but they care about Kyler Murray's passing yards and whether Arizona can cover the spread.

Thanks for the color on the longer games issue. I am not a baseball fan, so it isn't a trivial task for me to get up to speed on this sort of thing.

Anyway, found this academic article saying very similar things: "My major conclusion is that the single biggest factor contributing to the longer games is the number of pitches. The rise in strikeouts and related drop in outs on balls in play accounts for much of the difference over time."

https://sabr.org/journal/article/why-do-games-take-so-long/



I don't know enough about MLB sports betting to intelligently comment about its future prospects

I find it's less the number of pitches as the number of pitchers.  I was surprised but not shocked at the graph they had that shows the average game has 7 relievers now (!!)  Each mid-inning reliever gets 8 warm up pitches - which often times is more than they end up throwing to the 1 or 2 batters they face.  You can now count on one hand the number of complete games any pitcher might throw during a season.   As soon as they hit 80-90 pitches they are ready to be pulled, often even if they have a 1 or 2 hitter going.  I'm not sure how to solve this but it's killing the flow of the game.  Maybe limit the number of pitchers on a roster?

Gregmal

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Re: BATRA - The Liberty Braves Group
« Reply #64 on: July 29, 2020, 12:09:59 PM »
Totally agree that the nerds have ruined much of sports, but especially baseball. Look at complete games from 50 years ago, or even 30, and look now. Yet, somehow, pitchers, despite an obsession with pitch count, continue to get injured at fairly high rates. No small ball anymore. The shifts are ridiculous. I love the sport, but its gotten bad. Its comparable to hockey, like was mentioned with the dead puck era, but more relevantly I think, the butterfly. Look at how exciting goalies where pre 2000's. Grant Fuhr and Dominick Hasek. Now they're all robots that sit on their knees and swivel. No athleticism. Boring.