Making Baseball Better

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Transmogrified Tiger
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Re: Making Baseball Better

Post by Transmogrified Tiger »

This is a more elemental point, but too many folks are missing the idea when they talk about 'tanking'. No matter what, there are always going to be teams who have very little chance of being competitive in the current year, and who should logically try to make future years better. The problem we run into now is that there is no incentive to be as good as you can be. Think about how teams are allowed to spend money. IFA signings are capped, draft pools are capped and are scaled to grow with how bad you are, and free agent classes are increasingly older and not good uses of money for 2, 3, 5 years down the road. If you make it easier for teams to invest in making even next year better than this year, especially in a sustainable way, that does way more than something like lotterying draft picks would. MLB doesn't have the NBA's problem where 5 players control the balance of power in the league, and teams race to find the next one in FA or the draft. Where they do have a problem is that any sort of future investment is either hard capped(IFA), incentivized to not be used in the present(FA) or incentivized to make the team as bad as possible(draft pools). If you lump IFA and draft spending into a (higher) pool that gets considered for luxury tax purposes, or even just equalize draft pools then you let teams spend to make future seasons better. The bigger change to help with this is ensuring that money goes to the players who are good now and likely to stay good, and that's far more structural than draft tweaks.

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Big Amoco Sign
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Re: Making Baseball Better

Post by Big Amoco Sign »

tlombard wrote:
Big Amoco Sign wrote:
tlombard wrote:I saw an idea that caught my attention even though I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it yet. This was related to basketball but the suggestion was to discourage tanking for the best draft picks by instead deciding the top draft picks via a lottery from not the worst teams but the teams who just missed the post season. The idea being that teams would have much more incentive to at least try and win if they are in the middle of the pack instead of just packing it in and tanking so they can get a better draft pick.

Maybe a lottery between the top 8 of AL and NL teams to miss the playoffs (four from each league) for a high draft pick (not necessarily first overall but top 10?) with two of those teams from each league winning picks 6,7,8 and 9? The the top 5 would be the worst of the worst and then from 10 on it would go back to being based on the record as well?

Like I said, I'm not sure how I feel about the idea and would love to hear any ideas/tweaks to that idea.
I think they should start a new kind of standings, the day a team is eliminated from the playoffs, called "draft standings" (win percentage only) where it's based on a W/L record from there forward. That would discourage tanking. I think some rules should be imposed on comp picks too but I haven't formulated my thoughts on that enough to figure how that should play in. Or do both ideas and make it where the best post-elimination win percentage team has the highest draft lottery odds.
I like the record after being eliminated being the measure for preferential draft positioning. Only I'd think instead of winning percentage, how about just straight losses where whoever has the fewest losses after being eliminated gets the better picks. That would give teams an incentive to stay in the races as long as they can compared to the first teams to get knocked out just really going in the tank for the rest of the season.

Also tying it to actual losses somehow (where fewer losses are preferred) would avoid teams actively trying to lose the games they play against each other while not making it obvious. Then again, that could be fun too I guess. If losing a game benefits both teams playing it might be pretty entertaining to watch managers make the worst decisions possible to try and lose a game at the direction of the front office.

"We're down by one in the 9th with the bases loaded and nobody out? Which relievers have never had a plate appearance since they were in high school? We're pinch hitting them the next three slots in the lineup." Meanwhile the opposing manager is double switching in the backup catcher and a reliever for his first appearance in the big leagues, only the backup catcher is going in to pitch and the reliever is going in to catch.
I like this idea a lot.

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Radbird
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Re: Making Baseball Better

Post by Radbird »

How do you normalize for teams that have 40 games after elimination with those who only have 5?

tlombard
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Re: Making Baseball Better

Post by tlombard »

Radbird wrote:How do you normalize for teams that have 40 games after elimination with those who only have 5?
Beats me! Actually, that's why I tossed out the idea of splitting it where the best of the rest are fighting for a higher spot than they would have gotten otherwise like picks 6-10 but not necessarily a top 5 pick. Those who are knocked out with 40 left have to decide if they want to fully tank for the worst record or try and keep up with the rest.

Sure, they're going to tank regardless from day 1 but I don't think there is any system that you can get enough agreement on to go into effect and will ever keep all teams trying to win every last game. Teams like Miami who go in cycles of tanking, trying to win for a year or so and then tanking again would never go for anything that would make them actually compete for a better draft position when competing means actually winning games.

Just wondering if there is something that would encourage more than a third of the teams to legitimately have a chance at accomplishing something by winning as much as possible. These days it seems like if you aren't one of the top third teams, you don't have a chance so you might as well go for a sweet draft spot.

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Big Amoco Sign
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Re: Making Baseball Better

Post by Big Amoco Sign »

Radbird wrote:How do you normalize for teams that have 40 games after elimination with those who only have 5?
Good question, maybe there's a tier of draft slots where the bottom 10 teams only are qualified for the "draft standings" but still enforce after the first team gets eliminated from the playoffs, because in a way it keeps them from tanking too early too. If you choose to do that method by winning percentage, this punishes bad teams by forcing them to stabilize that percentage earlier.

All teams that aren't eliminated until some arbitrary date closer to the playoffs (The 11-22 tier) continue draft slotting as before, by overall record.

Or something close to this idea...

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InvincibleCakeEater
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Re: Making Baseball Better

Post by InvincibleCakeEater »

Joe Morgan wrote:What is a small market?
Wise beyond his years.

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CardsofSTL
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Re: Making Baseball Better

Post by CardsofSTL »

According to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, MLB decision makers have at least discussed a potentially interesting solution to making the DH universal:

"But wait! Here’s one possible wrinkle that has been kicked around in behind-the-scene brainstorming sessions: How about a rule that would allow teams to use their DH only as long as their starting pitcher remained in the game? Then, once the starting pitcher exited, that game would revert to old-school rules."

So, imagine this scenario: Max Scherzer is starting for the Washington Nationals in 2020, and rather than him batting, a DH would hit for him as long as he would be in the game. While this solution wouldn't necessarily increase pace of play, it would increase offensive output and prevent pitchers from getting injured in the batter's box or running the bases.

However, the strategy of a manager having to decide how long to keep a starting pitcher in the game based who bats out of the pitcher's spot in the lineup wouldn't go away. In fact, it would probably become more interesting.

If you want to take your starting pitcher out after five innings, that's fine. It could also mean taking a bat like Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz or Nelson Cruz, probably the best hitter on your team, out of your lineup. Otherwise, you would have to find a spot for them to play defensively, and a DH is typically a DH because they are a liability in the field, especially in late-game situations.

What would also be interesting is the effect this would have on teams that use the opener. By using the opener - who, at most, stays in the game for one turn through the lineup - teams would essentially be forfeiting their chance to employ a single DH, rather than pitchers or a combination of pinch hitters.

It's unclear, if implemented, whether this solution would apply to both leagues, or just be a way to implement baseball into the National League. Frankly, most American League fans are content with the current DH arrangement. The DH has existed in American League baseball since 1973, so most fans of American League teams have no recollection of pitchers hitting for their teams. Many National League fans, though, enjoy the strategy of the manager having to weigh when to remove his starting pitcher based on how much of an offensive edge could be gained by pinch hitting.

Stark acknowledged in his piece that such a solution may be a long shot to become an actual reality. There has, however, been credible speculation that baseball will consider making the DH universal after the current CBA expires following the 2021 season.

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Re: Making Baseball Better

Post by Michael »

That's actually a pretty cool idea. I'm for it.

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CardsofSTL
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Re: Making Baseball Better

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MLB Tells Clubs of Planned Rule Changes in Wake of Astros Scandal
Per Verducci, MLB has proposed that access to the dugout and clubhouse during games will be limited to players, seven coaches and necessary interpreters and trainers. Front office members would be banned from clubhouses during games.

While the league is still in discussions with the MLBPA about how far to take potential limitations, Verducci also reports that it's possible in extreme cases that televisions could be turned off during games in both clubhouses. One possible allowance, per Verducci, would be to permit just a single television in the training room to air the game broadcast, but only on an eight-second delay.
Additionally, per Verducci's report, the league is looking to crack down on the use of “engineered” substance mixtures that can be used by pitchers, similar to what Michael Pineda used in 2014. Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer previously charged the Astros with using grip substances to increase the spin rate for their pitches.

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