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Old 02-11-2019, 08:18 PM   #61
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OK, well, clearly you don't understand why professional pitchers never work on their hitting. You wish they would, but they don't, and they won't. You can ask a pitcher toiling in the low minor leagues of a National League organization why he never practices his hitting, despite your admonitions that he must certainly have the time to. Maybe he can help you understand why.

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Old 02-11-2019, 08:22 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Cobra Mgr View Post

No one, NO ONE, is going to convince me it is going to hurt pitchers to learn how to be better at the plate when they aren't being asked/helped to be better at the plate. As I said when I first responded to this thread: Short term pain for long term gain. I'm taking the long term view of the topic. Not just how it will affect 2019.
I get what you're saying. However, a turn in the batting cage once a week won't make a pitcher a competent major league hitter. The position players who make it to the big leagues did so because their skills put them in the absolute elite of all of the players in the system. And to get to that point took an extremely large amount of work. Once at the major league level, the work required to remain good enough to hit major league pitching is immense. It's a constant struggle to stay ahead of what pitchers are doing.

Good major league hitters make it look easy. You watch a competent big league hitter turn around a 95 mph fastball or take a slider the opposite way and wonder what the big deal is. It's extremely difficult and takes more practice and skill than you can imagine. This is why so many guys cycle through major league rosters and come and go.

Batting cages won't teach you to hit. They can help refine your swing and build strength. I could rip the living snot out the ball in a cage, no matter how fast the machine was dialed up, because the machine doesn't change speeds and location. Against a live pitcher, I hit like a pitcher because I was one thanks to not being able to hit well enough to remain at catcher. The only way to get good at hitting live pitching is to face a live pitcher who is trying to get you out, and pitchers don't do it enough to acquire those skills.

For the record, I hate the DH.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:01 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by chucksabr View Post
OK, well, clearly you don't understand why professional pitchers never work on their hitting. You wish they would, but they don't, and they won't. You can ask a pitcher toiling in the low minor leagues of a National League organization why he never practices his hitting, despite your admonitions that he must certainly have the time to. Maybe he can help you understand why.
Correction: I understand why they don't work on their hitting. I just don't find the reasons valid enough to make all of MLB go to the DH.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:09 PM   #64
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I get what you're saying. However, a turn in the batting cage once a week won't make a pitcher a competent major league hitter. The position players who make it to the big leagues did so because their skills put them in the absolute elite of all of the players in the system. And to get to that point took an extremely large amount of work. Once at the major league level, the work required to remain good enough to hit major league pitching is immense. It's a constant struggle to stay ahead of what pitchers are doing.

Good major league hitters make it look easy. You watch a competent big league hitter turn around a 95 mph fastball or take a slider the opposite way and wonder what the big deal is. It's extremely difficult and takes more practice and skill than you can imagine. This is why so many guys cycle through major league rosters and come and go.

Batting cages won't teach you to hit. They can help refine your swing and build strength. I could rip the living snot out the ball in a cage, no matter how fast the machine was dialed up, because the machine doesn't change speeds and location. Against a live pitcher, I hit like a pitcher because I was one thanks to not being able to hit well enough to remain at catcher. The only way to get good at hitting live pitching is to face a live pitcher who is trying to get you out, and pitchers don't do it enough to acquire those skills.

For the record, I hate the DH.
When I said "go to the batting cage", that was a euphemism, if you will, for everything that goes into getting better as a hitter. I'm well aware there is a lot that goes into becoming a MLB level hitter. I just don't feel like typing a lot to express my point. I feel everyone here is intelligent enough to not need me to fill in every blank.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:38 PM   #65
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I personally feel that all these lazy ass hitters need to be putting in just as much time to work on their pitching, just in case.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:53 PM   #66
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I personally feel that all these lazy ass hitters need to be putting in just as much time to work on their pitching, just in case.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:43 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Cobra Mgr View Post
When I said "go to the batting cage", that was a euphemism, if you will, for everything that goes into getting better as a hitter. I'm well aware there is a lot that goes into becoming a MLB level hitter. I just don't feel like typing a lot to express my point. I feel everyone here is intelligent enough to not need me to fill in every blank.

Ok, even still. You're still underestimating the work it would take to make pitchers competent hitters. They don't have the time it would take. When two NL teams play, both have their near automatic outs in the lineup so neither team has the advantage. I personally don't like the DH, I'm not arguing for it. For anyone who says they don't like seeing pitchers try to hit, I say not every bat in a game is going to be filled with excitement.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:46 PM   #68
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The Big problem with baseball is that it's not connecting with the younger fans. I know they have all these late season games on at night but for many of us on the East coast - can't watch too late. I think baseball will have some difficulty in the future. I am not sure all this tinkering with the game is the answer. I am a firm believer that you have to have the game available for the young crowd to watch games in the afternoon. Plus, affordable ticket prices. Yeah, watching the game with a large tv is great, plus no driving.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:50 PM   #69
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The Big problem with baseball is that it's not connecting with the younger fans. I know they have all these late season games on at night but for many of us on the East coast - can't watch too late..

Having post season games last well past midnight in the Eastern and Central time zones does no one any good.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:12 AM   #70
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Correction: I understand why they don't work on their hitting. I just don't find the reasons valid enough to make all of MLB go to the DH.
Oh, hey, thatís fine. Wanting pitchers to bat is totally defensible as a preference. Iím not trying to talk you out of that.

I was just responding to the premise that pitchers should bat because they could be good hitters if they just worked at it. I was only trying to point out the obvious truth that pitchers donít work on hitting because thereís nothing in it for them to work on it, because no one hires them for their bat.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:00 AM   #71
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I am a baseball progressive so I like them all except for lowering the mound. I think it is fine with the height it is.
I would actually be more in favor of bat regulations stipulating a minimum thickness of the bat handle. A thicker bat means bats more like in the early days of baseball where players would slash and poke at the ball for contact.
As the bat became thinner at the handle over the years players moved their grip down to whip it through the zone for greater bat speed and for longer hits and more strikeouts.
A thicker bat would mean less bats shattering and better contact on hits that hit the bat closer to the hands. It might also mean that players with less natural power choked up on the bat and tried for more contact if they could get more consistent results.

The rest of it I am cool with.
I think the universal DH is a great idea. Pitchers hitting or attempting to hit is not fun to watch. I have seen far too many NL games with a runner in scoring position and two outs and the pitcher is coming up to bat only to know with a 92% assurance rate that the run will not score.
I don't like watching baseball where I have to endure 550 PAs a year of .280 OPS

A few years ago I was watching a Braves telecast and one of their pitchers was attempting to sacrifice bunt late in the game where they were down by a run or two. I can't remember the exact game circumstances.
I do clearly remember the pitcher who was trying to bunt had two strikes and tried to bunt again and tipped the ball foul and struck out.
The announcers actually said 'Better than pitcher X did not get on base, less chance that they pull a muscle running or injure their hand sliding'

I realize they were trying to cover for the batters failure to produce anything but my jaw nearly hit the floor.
You only get 27 outs in baseball. They are precious!

It was a widely known league wide joke that when Pedro Martinez had to bat he would often give three half hearted swings at anything no matter how in or out of the zone it was and go back to the dugout and the team did not care. If they got 5-10 more pitches out of him then it was worth it because his real value was wrapped up in his arm on the mound.

I do like the 20 second pitch clock. I would also set it to where if the hitter once he is set in the box leaves the chalked box for any reason other than injury he incurs a strike. If he does it a second time during the game he is called out.

I would also limit the number of times a pitcher can throw to a base to get the runner to go back to the base.
Cap it at 3. It would speed up the game and perhaps lead to more SB which is a exciting part of an otherwise dull game.

Bill James wrote about many of these things almost 25 years ago and very few have been implemented and game length only gets longer.

Baseball is being overtaken by basketball and already has the 35 and younger crowd which will in a decade or so replace the 55 and over crowd in terms of population and net worth.

Which demographic would you rather have? The young and growing or the older and shrinking?

And along with not watching or consuming baseball they are not playing baseball either. Youth participation is down between 6-9% depending on how and who measures.
I work for a sports economics firm and we have seen dozens of studies.

Youth football is down as well.
Baseball could have used this to their advantage and but instead youth basketball and soccer have seized these kids.
6-9% may not seem like a lot. But down the line if this continues that will mean that the quality of baseball will drop 6-9%

And the numbers for the 12 and under crowd are even worse. Down by as much as possibly 15-20% among young white kids and 30-35% among blacks and Hispanics.

If that continues it would mean baseball quality two decades from now could drop by as much as 20-30% since you have less of a playing population to pull from.

And my company has also done studies where we show different age groups and different ethnicities flash cards with white backgrounds and cut out face shots of athletes from almost 30 different sports.
Basketball and soccer are far and away the most recognized among 30 and under even for studies we conduct in North America.
Baseball player recognition is not much higher than that of professional hockey and lags behind MMA and e-sports.

That should send up all sorts of red flags for MLB and baseball at every level.

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Old 02-12-2019, 01:16 AM   #72
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On days pitchers don't pitch, what are they doing that is taking up so much time that they can't practice with the bat?
Usually resting their arm and spending as much time with team trainers as possible.
The overhand pitching motion is unnatural and super destructive on the arm. After their arm rests they usual progress to long toss and then tossing off a mound to build up their arm before their next start.
Relievers are probably somewhat the same depending on how taxed their arms get based on number of pitches thrown.

How many post game press conferences have we seen from a starting pitchers where their pitching arm is covered in ice and pads like they just went through an amputation?
Repetitive arm motion associated with throwing a baseball at modern speeds puts incredibly amounts of stress on the arm.
It why very few can do it well and why so many suffer injuries great and small while doing it.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:51 AM   #73
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Ok, even still. You're still underestimating the work it would take to make pitchers competent hitters. They don't have the time it would take.
Then the logical conclusion I would take from your statement & the examples of pitchers that I gave is that they hit and pitched well by pure luck. They were just natural born hitters who never had to work at it at all.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:02 AM   #74
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Oh, hey, thatís fine. Wanting pitchers to bat is totally defensible as a preference. Iím not trying to talk you out of that.

I was just responding to the premise that pitchers should bat because they could be good hitters if they just worked at it. I was only trying to point out the obvious truth that pitchers donít work on hitting because thereís nothing in it for them to work on it, because no one hires them for their bat.
Your point is understood. But keep in mind I'm not saying all pitchers would become competent hitters. There are plenty of players living in the batting cage that never get out of single A. But I am saying they would improve if they tried to improve. If they were required to improve.

When the NCAA started DQ'ing scholarship athletes in their FR year because they didn't make the required minimum score on standard tests or so-called college core courses, it made those players look like they weren't capable of handling a university curriculum. And that wasn;t so in a lot of cases. The problem was those course weren't available to them in their local public school system. Or items on the tests weren't covered in their classes. Once those kids received those requirements, a number made the dean's or academic all american lists.

Lesson: Just because a person has never done something doesn't mean they aren't capable of doing something if asked or required. I'm not going to say pitchers will start having an OPS over .800. But I am saying you will start seeing a number of pitchers become better at the plate if they see it as necessary.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:06 AM   #75
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Ok, even still. You're still underestimating the work it would take to make pitchers competent hitters. They don't have the time it would take. When two NL teams play, both have their near automatic outs in the lineup so neither team has the advantage. I personally don't like the DH, I'm not arguing for it. For anyone who says they don't like seeing pitchers try to hit, I say not every bat in a game is going to be filled with excitement.
So you prefer eight competent hitters and one incompetent hitter in the batting order instead of nine competent hitters?
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:09 AM   #76
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Then the logical conclusion I would take from your statement & the examples of pitchers that I gave is that they hit and pitched well by pure luck. They were just natural born hitters who never had to work at it at all.

Those guys were gifted, talented, and very rare exceptions. For every one pitcher who was also able to hit, there were hundreds more playing at the same time who couldn't.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:14 AM   #77
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So you prefer eight competent hitters and one incompetent hitter in the batting order instead of nine competent hitters?

I prefer the strategies that revolve around having the pitcher in the batting order. Further, once he throws the ball the pitcher is just another fielder, and fielders are expected to field their position and hit.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:15 AM   #78
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Your point is understood. But keep in mind I'm not saying all pitchers would become competent hitters. There are plenty of players living in the batting cage that never get out of single A. But I am saying they would improve if they tried to improve. If they were required to improve.

When the NCAA started DQ'ing scholarship athletes in their FR year because they didn't make the required minimum score on standard tests or so-called college core courses, it made those players look like they weren't capable of handling a university curriculum. And that wasn;t so in a lot of cases. The problem was those course weren't available to them in their local public school system. Or items on the tests weren't covered in their classes. Once those kids received those requirements, a number made the dean's or academic all american lists.

Lesson: Just because a person has never done something doesn't mean they aren't capable of doing something if asked or required. I'm not going to say pitchers will start having an OPS over .800. But I am saying you will start seeing a number of pitchers become better at the plate if they see it as necessary.
I will grant you the point that as a professional athlete, a pitcher could become a better hitter if he worked hard at becoming a better hitter. At the same time, itís pointless to conjecture that pitchers could become better hitters if they only worked at it, when even you seem to accept that they will never become better hitters because they will never work at it. Organizations literally never take a pitcherís hitting into account when scouting them, because hitting is simply not seen as being part of their job. So, with all due respect, supporting the idea that pitchers must be required to hit because they could become better hitters if they only worked at it is equally pointless.

Now that weíve firmly established this, whatís the point of sending a hitter we know is incompetent to the plate in a live game, when there are other competent hitters on the roster we could send to the plate instead?
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:35 AM   #79
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I prefer the strategies that revolve around having the pitcher in the batting order. Further, once he throws the ball the pitcher is just another fielder, and fielders are expected to field their position and hit.
Yes, but only one player is required to pitch. That right there makes him a special case, and not just another fielder who should be made to hit even though heís incompetent at it.

I believe that players should do the things they are expected to be competent at. Every position is expected to be a competent hitter except one, so those eight positions should be required to hit. If a shortstop like Alcides Escobar is incompetent at the plate, he shouldnít have a DH because as a shortstop he is expected to hit at a certain level. If his offense is so bad, replace him with another shortstop that hits better. Because a shortstop has two jobs: fielding and hitting, and he has to do both.

Likewise, a pitcher has two jobs: pitching and fielding. He is expected to be competent in those two jobs, and in nothing else. So why is one league saddling him with a third job for which he is completely unqualified? How is that the best baseball we can possibly have? Answer: itís not. Itís an inferior brand of baseball that has led directly to the superiority of the American League over the National League, even though they both putatively have access to the same player pool and the same resources. Itís a suboptimal game, and the DH is the world standard for baseball for this reason.

That said, if you simply prefer the tactical imperiatives that come with pitchers hitting, thatís totally fine. If you like the double switch, thatís your game. If you like pinch hitting every time through the order late in the game in a way that imitates the presence of a DH anyway, you got it. Me, I dislike watching a pitcher wave weakly at pitches, or not swing at all at down the middle strikes, or half jog halfway to first when they manage to put the ball into play, just to avoid gassing or hurting themselves so they can get back on the mound again. And I donít like rally-killing two out RISP situations where the #8 hitter is automatically walked just to get to the pitcher to strike him out, which everyone in the ballpark can see coming from a mile away. Maybe some people think itís charming. I think itís dishonest baseball. I want players trying their best all the time.

Vive le difference, I guess.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:44 AM   #80
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That said, if you simply prefer the tactical imperiatives that come with pitchers hitting, that’s totally fine. If you like the double switch, that’s your game. If you like pinch hitting every time through the order late in the game in a way that imitates the presence of a DH anyway, you got it. Me, I dislike watching a pitcher wave weakly at pitches, or not swing at all at down the middle strikes, or half jog halfway to first when they manage to put the ball into play, just to avoid gassing or hurting themselves so they can get back on the mound again. And I don’t like rally-killing two out RISP situations where the #8 hitter is automatically walked just to get to the pitcher to strike him out, which everyone in the ballpark can see coming from a mile away. Maybe some people think it’s charming. I think it’s dishonest baseball. I want players trying their best all the time.

Vive le difference, I guess.

That's the crux of it. Whether or not one likes the DH is a matter of personal taste. I'm never going to say someone is wrong for having a differing opinion on the matter.
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