2022 MLB Baseball Thread

The one that blows my mind is that Bud Selig was voted in, who arguably is the single individual most responsible for the PED abuse in MLB as the league completely turned a blind eye to it under his watch.

Will add Bonds & Clemons never tested positive. Would have been HoF is never used.
Sosa, - never tested positive, but would not be HoF w/o
McGwire - never tested positive, not sure how good he would be, (McGwire admitted it)
ARod tested positive, would have been HoF without
Palmeiro tested positive and not HoF without

Don’t know how much to put into this. Form ESPN

Ortiz is a different story, despite his own PED suspicions. A 2009 story in The New York Times reported that Ortiz was among 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing substances during a round of tests conducted in 2003. Those results were supposed to remain confidential, and the tests were done to see if the league had reached a threshold to conduct regular testing.

Ortiz has long denied that he used banned substances, and in 2016, commissioner Rob Manfred said the tests in question were inconclusive because “it was hard to distinguish between certain substances that were legal, available over the counter and not banned under our program.”

Yeah but he wasn’t voted in by the writers.

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Yeah but more than 1/3 voted Bonds, Clemens and Papi. If you aren’t going to punish one user why punish another?

Cheating in baseball has been around forever. From corked bats, steroids, spider tack/emery boards/vaseline, to the Astros stealing signs using video, there have been many instances of rampant cheating. Lots of the old school players that were very critical of the steroid scandal were regularly taking greenies/meth as they apparently were a clubhouse staple for decades. Like steroids, meth wasn’t technically prohibited by the league for ages even though the league knew everyone was doing it.

Do you equate them? I have more doubt as to Ortiz as what he did or didn’t

and he is the only likeable one among them

I’m more cynical than you I guess. But then I’m reasonably confident that Ivan Rodriquez was a user and he’s already in the hall.

Arod positive under program.
bonds Balco
Clemens Steriod trial?
Papi the 2003 test, I have less doubt that was actual positive than the report.

Here’s someone that gets it:

OK, bump for a potentially non-season…

Besides that Derek Jeter thinks the Marlins are going in a direction different from what he signed up for, four years ago. What makes him think that? What direction ARE the Marlins going now that he did not expect to occur?

“I will no longer serve as CEO nor as a shareholder in the club,” Jeter said in a statement released through PR Newswire rather than the Marlins. "We had a vision five years ago to turn the Marlins franchise around, and as CEO, I have been proud to put my name and reputation on the line to make our plan a reality. Through hard work, trust and accountability, we transformed every aspect of the franchise, reshaping the workforce, and developing a long-term strategic plan for success.

“That said, the vision for the future of the franchise is different than the one I signed up to lead.”

Bump, again.
Bill James has a better solution to long games and incessant starting pitching changes in the fourth and fifth innings: At two strikes, batter gets only one foul ball. Any more, and he’s out.
I call this the “softball solution,” as your local softball games need to finish before the next game starts, and softballers want plenty of innings. Eliminating seemingly eternal plate appearances allows all to hit.
I like it. Won’t happen.

For those without a prescription to ease his pain:


It would be too much to say Bill James and Rob Manfred are kindred spirits. But, when the father of modern analytics talks, we listen.

“Baseball has terrible aesthetic problems,” James said. “We all know that. But, in many cases, it isn’t the rules that are causing them. It’s the lack of new rules.”

These days, Manfred is the face of the owners’ lockout, the chosen representative of the billionaires who stand between America and spring training. In happier times, and for years now, Manfred has tried to nudge a tradition-bound sport toward changes that he believes could make baseball more exciting to watch.

Stephen Curry is one of the most popular players in NBA history, but he might not be without a radical rules change. Curry is the all-time leader in three-pointers.

The addition of a completely different way to score did not destroy the fabric of the NBA. More than 40 years later, baseball is still arguing about how many seconds a pitcher can take between pitches.

The players’ union indicated Sunday it is willing to accept a pitch clock in 2023, as well as restrictions on defensive shifts, provided players and owners reach agreement on a collective bargaining agreement for the 2022 season. In terms of aesthetics, James suggests a far more radical change.

Today, a batter can foul off an infinite number of pitches with two strikes, with no penalty. Pitchers throw harder than ever, batters swing harder than ever, and foul territory in modern ballparks is smaller than ever.

In each of the last five seasons — and never before, based on available data from the Baseball Reference and Five Thirty Eight websites — it is more likely that a strike will be fouled off than put into play.

“The hitters have learned to exploit that rule to extend at-bats, which is one of the things making the game longer,” James said, “and you need to make adjustments.”

James proposes that a batter can foul off one pitch with two strikes. Foul off another pitch, and you’re out.

Heresy? Maybe. But, as James noted, baseball had been played for decades under the premise that a runner should knock over the catcher if he is guarding home plate, and that a team should change pitchers whenever it wanted. No more, since the rules changed.

“Everybody accepts that now,” James said. “Nobody fights it.”

The designated hitter is a radical rules change. James is not fighting it, even if National League owners are ready to surrender their half-century of resistance, but he wonders if the DH has outlived its purpose.

In 1972, the last season before the introduction of the DH, teams averaged 3.7 runs per game. In 2021, NL teams averaged 4.5 runs per game and American League teams averaged 4.6.

“I’m old enough to remember that they adopted the DH because the run-scoring levels were abysmally low,” he said. “That is no longer true.

“I would rather get rid of the DH, but I understand that is not the popular side.”

Lockout notwithstanding, James said baseball is a good business, for those that can afford to buy a team.

“I think franchise values are going up because, unfortunately, we live in an America in which more and more of the wealth in society is concentrated in fewer hands,” he said. “And, when you have more people who have obscene wealth, the price of things you can only buy with obscene wealth goes up.”

The man whose name is synonymous with baseball analytics said the data in another sport piques his interest these days.

“Basketball analytics are just fascinating to me,” James said. “To me, the discussion is more alive at this moment, and moving in relevant ways, than in baseball.”

The new frontiers in baseball analytics involve biometrics, biomechanics and neurological assessments — that is, ways to improve performance through science rather than through statistical evaluation alone.

However, even if the fundamental concepts of baseball analytics are established among teams, James says the implementation varies widely.

“The extent to which analytics have been exploited successfully by teams is, like, 1%,” he said.

“What bothered me in the 1970s is that teams acted on lots of irrational assumptions. I don’t want to get into the details of it, but there are still lots of irrational assumptions embedded in the way baseball does things. There’s still a lot of things that we’re not doing in a smart way.”

The “Moneyball” season is 20 years old. The conventional wisdom — that is, the assumption — is that every team is invested in analytics now, to the point where no team has a huge advantage any more.

James scoffed.

“The [Tampa Bay] Rays are getting a huge advantage, because they do it better than anybody else does,” he said. “The Dodgers.

“There are still smart teams and stupid teams.”

James spoke with The Los Angeles Times after a panel discussion at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, where the baseball analytics panel included James, the director of baseball operations for the Rays, and the former director of research and development for the Dodgers, who now runs his own analytics company.

The traditional major league season lasts 162 games. With the lockout in force, the moderator asked whether the panelists would take the over or under on a 144-game season in 2022.

James took the under.

“It’s the same principle as an airline,” he said. “If the airline tells you your flight is going to be 20 minutes late, you’ve got a 50-50 chance of being four hours late. When they start canceling games, it just gets easier.”

I’d rather get rid of the DH (as James does, but knows it won’t happen), and keep allowing shifts (players apparently would rather lose games so their stats will be better)

This is a huge advantage to the pitcher. I enjoy the endless foul-ball at-bats. Baseball was never supposed to be a fast-paced game. They should stop trying to fix what ain’t broke imo.

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I can see capping the number of fouls with 2 strikes. not sure i would cap it at one, but whatever.

tri - it isn’t broke from the perspective of that’s the rules under use and have been for a while. it is broke from a “let’s make sure we attract and keep eyeballs on the game when we are on” perspective. they can’t keep having the average viewer age by 0.9 years with every year that passes.

Should we just change this to the 2023 thread now?

I agree that it’s a business problem for them. I’d rather baseball fade into obscurity than be Frankensteined into some pale version of itself. Probably not a popular viewpoint I know.

The batter is out if he bunts foul after two strikes. Not a stretch to extend this principle.

DH did that already.
Forcing a pitcher to pitch to at least three players did that already. And those didn’t shorten the game all that much.

More scoring is more popular, more profitable, allegedly.
More scoring makes the game longer, which turns people away, meaning less profitable. So, double-edged sword.

I think the biggest point in favor of Bill James’ foul ball proposal is the decreased amount of foul territory in recent decades. Multipurpose stadia had huge foul territory that helped pitchers, where current baseball specific stadia have fans right on top of the action with minimal foul ground. I still don’t like it.

Banning the shift seems a bit silly, but I’ll reserve judgment until I see any specific rule that might be implemented.

I also think the DH should be removed, but no way that’s happening. I think the universal DH is here to stay.

Agree with all that. This will likely shorten the game and definitely lead to fewer runs scored. Not sure if that makes the game more exciting or interesting to people who are meh about baseball.

I don’t mind a market correction. Then again, I’m not an owner or a player.

the marathon ABs are legendary, but to some so are the cricket matches that last days. those aren’t the basis of gaining viewers.

maybe some day they address the time between pitches for real. they could address the total number of pitches for an at bat (and determine if batter is always out or issued a base if AB not over by then). they could make IF remain on IF until ball in play (but that’s weird) or some other zone IF’s must be in to start a play. but something will be tweaked and the least ghastly thing I can think of is a real enforcement of time to pitch (on both pitcher and batter).