Friday Happy Hour

Not a whole lot of news today, with the exception of Jose Mesa probably being reinstated from the DL and Aquilino Lopez heading back to Toledo. With that in mind I thought I’d post a place to go open mike.

Talk about what you want. One possible topic:

What rule change would you like major league baseball to make?

28 thoughts on “Friday Happy Hour”

  1. Raise the mound. Every rule change in the past 40 years has catered to the hitters. Raising the mound would give the pitchers a reasonable leg-up against hitters who are no longer scared because of insane amounts of body armor and umps that are less tolerant of throwing too far inside.

    I would also be in favor of a scheduling change. I like Inter-league play, but feel that 18 games is too many. I say trim it down to 9-12 games. Then, like what was done in the beginning, make the inter-league games local, i.e. American League Central playing the National League Central. This would give the chance for some mini-rivalries to be born now that the initial novelty of inter-league play has long worn off.

    The extra games created by shortening inter-league play could mean (for the Tigers) more games against teams they used to play more frequently in the East, such as Toronto, Baltimore, New York, and Boston.

  2. Banish the use of the save statistic so managers will stop managing based on it. How about replacing it with something like the quality start statistic, but for relievers? To qualify:

    1) You have to pitch at least a full innning.

    2) Your innings pitched have to be at least double the number of earned runs you give up. (If it’s one inning, you can’t give up any runs. It it’s two or three innings, you can give up one run.)

    Flaw: Doesn’t account for how good you are at stopping runners already on base when you come in from scoring.

  3. I’d love to see MLB get rid of the unbalanced schedule, and pare down interleague play.

    Re-introducing scheduled doubleheaders would be cool.

    Make the first round of the playoffs a best of seven.

    A harder salary cap would be nice, too.

  4. Your idea is a good one.I’d expand on the idea of restoring the balance between pitcher and hitter by limiting the amount of protective gear a batter could wear(coughBarryBondscough) and growing the strike zone vertically.
    One change that occurs to me every early April and late October game I watch from northern cities is to truncate the season on both ends by playing more day/night doubleheaders during warmer months more conducive to good baseball.Start the season later,end it earlier,retain revenues by emptying the stadium between games,reduce travel expenses(as well as energy consumption-the greening of baseball).Not only that,but also maximize the number of April games in southern and domed stadiums,and use the traditional open date after opening day to re-schedule the second game if weather demands(e.g. opening day in Detroit was beautiful this year,as was the day after.Weather prediction is sophisticated enough to take advantage of what nature provides).It’s crazy to think a player can come north to 38 degree temperatures in Detroit or Boston after 6 weeks in Florida and play their best in a game like baseball with the demands it places on fine motor skills.More games in warmer weather would improve the product we’re paying to watch.

  5. I like Jordans rivalries idea.

    Not sure if this is a “rule”, but how about a few double headers like the old days. Wouldnt it be nice in May and September to have a few of these to attend, you know the deal buy one ticket and see two games. If they are day games in these months, it would not really affect the revenue flow of the more popular game times during the summer months.
    Wouldnt you love to work a half day then head to the yard for a double header against the Twins or Sox?

    With respect to a rule, how about the batter can only step out once during an at bat, unless he gets “dusted off”. If he does he gets a strike.

    The last thing I would like to see is once during a game you could switch back a position player (non pitcher). ex. If you took Casey out and have Thames bat and maybe play an inning or two you could switch back anytime – once.

    Thats it. I am heading off the the Sabre – Rangers game


  6. 1) Salary Cap! This would even out the standings so we don’t have to see the same teams competing each year.

    2) Start considering range more when determining gold glove winners. Errors are a poor determination of value at a position. Consider Jeter’s gold glove a few years ago when we was only a few points above average at shortstop for range.

    3) Stop having the fans vote for All-star players. Everyone simply votes for their team and we get the same players each year.

    4) Computerized strike zone. Strike zones vary from ump to ump, inning to inning, batter to batter, and pitcher to pitcher. Also allow instant replay similar to the NFL for all other plays.

    5) Also, I agree with the above about inter-league play. 12 games a year and play central vs. central, east vs. east, west vs. west.

    6) Allow Pete Rose to join the Hall of Fame so I can stop reading and hearing about it at least once a year.

  7. I say get rid of the more obscure things that set off a balk. The balk is supposed to prevent the pitcher from getting an unfair advantage over the runners, and a lot of the things that are a balk really have nothing to do with the running game.

    For example, last year when Bonderman gave Pudge the sign to start over with the signs while he was still on the mound, there was no advantage being gained by the Tigers because he didn’t step off. I remember getting warned in high school because the ump thought I was taking signs for the next pitch when I wasn’t on the rubber and he told me that would be a balk. Again, where would my advantage over the runner be gained there? I still have to step on the mound, go through the same motion, come to a full stop, etc. before throwing the pitch. It just seems silly.

  8. Thanks for the open mike, Billfer. I’m going to use it to offer up props to the ushers at Comerica Park. I flew in last weekend for my first game at CoPa (Sunday vs. the Twins) and brought along a cousin, my Dad, and my Grandpa. Grandpa hadn’t seen a live game in decades (although he’s a loyal TV/radio follower) and he doesn’t get around so well anymore. He was so fired up for this game, I was told that he was telling anyone who would listen that he was going. Even the mailman got an earful. So naturally, I was concerned about the gameday logistics to make sure he could get around and was comfortable. It was a breeze. The curbside drop-off was smooth, and ushers were there waiting with a wheelchair. They were cheerful and helpful with every need. We did a lap of the park and took in the sights, with Grandpa telling us stories about the players shown in the exhibits and statues. Our seats were in the wheelchair area on the right foul line, which is elevated a bit so the view was wide open. I still spent a fair amount of time leaning over to Grandpa’s ear and describing the action for him. And then, we had a tie game in the bottom of the ninth. Inge led off the inning. And then, just days after I was here on the DTW, calling for him to be pulled for a pinch hitter in a big situation, he hit a game-winner out to left to give me and my family a huge baseball thrill and putting a look of joy on Grandpa’s face that I haven’t seen in a long time. I’m sorry for what I said, Brandon. We hung out after the game for a while, basking and letting the crowds clear, and the ushers were back for a friendly escort all the way to the car.

    I hope our experience wasn’t unusual at CoPa and that you guys back in Detroit enjoy it often.

  9. I am in favor of using instant replay like they use in college football (not the NFL). Basically just a person in a booth watching the game and making sure the umps get the play right. I don’t know about a computerized strike zone, as mentioned earlier. That takes away an element of the game that can make it fun to watch (like a manager argueing balls and strikes). For the most part umps are not always the same but they are generally consistent and add an extra element to the game.

  10. I’m with Anthony, go to a balanced schedule and less interleague play. For me, the rest of the quirks just make baseball, baseball. But when only four teams make the playoffs per league, more has to be done to make sure one team’s schedule in on par with another’s.

    I do like Adam’s sixth suggestion!

  11. – Balance the schedule a bit more, but not completely.
    – Interleague play reduced a bit
    – No salary cap… too draconian. Instead, give me a luxury tax that starts modestly at $50m and starts accelerating quickly at $80m
    – Raise the mound or call the high strike
    – No instant replay
    – Tigers automatically win all tie-breakers.

  12. In inter-league games, let the pitchers hit in the AL parks.

    Wouldn’t it be more interesting for both sets of home fans to see the different styles of play?

  13. I agree with Adam. All-Stars should be selected based on some rating as opposed to the selection of the fans. Let the fans choose the bench. It would be nice to see the starting spots be filled by the player that has the highest cumulative ranking amongst others in that position. The cumulative ranking could be errors, avg., ob., slg., range, etc.

    And yes, I agree with Randy Smith (did I just say that?). Interleague Play should switch the rules to the visiting team’s play. There should be a DH in the NL park games and the pitcher hits in the AL park games. This would expose fans to the side they probably don’t often see.

  14. 1) shorten the regular season to 144 games.
    2) universal adoption of the DH
    3) no more calling time once the batter is in the box and the pitcher is on the mound.
    4) instead of a strict salary cap, how about a self-selected financial re-alignment? “major league” teams abide by both a salary floor and cap, whereas the smaller “uber league” teams can spend as much as they want.

  15. As with most posters I agree that an unbalanced schedule is not a good idea and I hate interleague play.

    I’d like to see MLB move the Brew-crew back to the AL and stick ’em in the West.

    That way you would have each league with 3 divisions, and 5 teams in each division. Then have each team play each other 12x (2 three game series at home and 2 on the road) so basically make it a 168 game schedule (NO 2 game series).

    I also wish they would use defensive statistics like Bill James uses to in part determine gold glovers.

    Also both leagues should use a DH.

    I also agree with Adam on this point

    “4) Computerized strike zone. Strike zones vary from ump to ump, inning to inning, batter to batter, and pitcher to pitcher. Also allow instant replay similar to the NFL for all other plays.”

    BUT NO NO NO SALARY CAP it would ruin baseball more than free agency has.

    Also I think they should alter the playoff system,

    IF the system I mentioned above was instated then I say have 6 playoff teams the winner of each division, and the two remaining teams with the best records, then seed each team with #1 and #2 receiving byes their first round. And make it 3 games for the first round, 5 for the second round, 7 for the ALCS and 9 for the WS. Also the WS in my opinion should begin as close to the begining of November as possible.

    Lets just say I don’t like to see baseball end.

  16. Replace the intentional walk with the intentional hit batsman.

    Okay, I stole that from a humor magazine a few years ago. Still makes me laugh though.

  17. Lets just say I don’t like to see baseball end.

    I love baseball too, but the season is probably too long as it is. When playoff time comes, I want to see the best playing at their best. It’s hard to do that with numb fingers.

  18. Sounds like a great day at the park, Ben. Thanks for sharing your experience. I think Comerica is, all and all, a great place to watch a ballgame. Everyone I’ve ever dealt with at the ballpark has been helpful.

  19. Nelfi Perez only allowed to play in leap years
    Presidential candidates who don’t believe in evolution must root for Devil Rays. (This will teach them all about survival of the fittest)
    Next American League team that pays Jeff Weaver $8m is relegated to AAA

  20. No salary cap! Baseball has proven we don’t need that crap. Boston, NYC et al, they deserve big money teams becuase they have big markets. And the great thing is it’s still isn’t a free pass to October baseball. I like dynasties. I enjoy hating the Yanks. And, for once, I enjoy seeing a free market. No Cap!!!!!!!!!!

  21. David,
    I understand why you feel the Brewers should be in the west, HOWEVER, that raises one major problem: if there are 15 teams in each league: Every day, one of the two occurances will need to take place,

    1)Interleague game occurs
    2)Two teams have the day off. (one from each league)

    During the weekend, neither of the two options is really viable. The only way to do that would be to have teams play the same number of interleague games, but spread them out and not have every team play them at the same time.

    Also, i guess i don’t understand, if you want each team to play each other 12 times, What is the point of even having divisions? The only time they would even come into play would be when it comes time to decide who would be in the playoffs. There should be some weighting to playing teams in your division, but not as much as their currently is.

  22. 1) Get rid of the home-field advantage in the WS for the All-Star game winner (although we were the beneficiary last year). The game is an exhibition. Why does it have to count for anything? I guess I don’t have enough of a competitive spirit, but I wasn’t even bothered by the Milwaukee tie game.

    2) Ditch the hold and the quality start (or at least make a quality start actually mean quality) along with the save.

    3) Fairness dictates that if you are going to have a wild card, every team competing for the spot should play the same schedule. With the natural rivalry games, the Yankees have to play the Mets six games while the Orioles play the Nationals.

    4) Play weekend World Series games in the afternoon. I struggle to get my kids to have my love of baseball because they can rarely stay up to watch the games with me.

    5) Forbid Jose Mesa from entering any game with a lead or deficit of less than 8 runs.

  23. I don’t mind one team from each league having the day off if the regular season is evened out.

    The way it is now we play 4 teams for about 6 series apiece (AL Central), 4 more teams 3 series apiece (AL West), and 4 more teams 2 series apiece (AL East) plus 6 series of interleague games.

    This schedule while creating rivalries can dilute a acutal good team’s record or boost a mediocre team. It can hinder any team from getting to far ahead in the standings in a tough division like ours or help a mediocre team in a weaker division. Each team should play every other team the same # of times to get an accurate record.

    Heck keep the leagues like they are, keep the divisions but play each team 12x (2 series at home and 2 on the road), that would be 156 games in the AL.

    In the NL you could play 10 games against each team for 150 games. Or just start a third league and have each league have 14 teams total, because it fits nicely like that, or delete two teams from the NL.

    There are a lot of ways to mess around…

  24. An interesting and odd statistic:
    It is always said that the AL Central is the toughest division in baseball: I looked at interdivision games to “test” this theorey

    E vs C
    C: 24 E: 22 looks like a relatively even matchup(The royals have brought that down considerable however)

    C vs W
    C: 16 W:12

    Just for comparison:

    E vs W
    E: 16 W: 15

  25. One other thing: Allow teams to trade draft picks.

    If KC doesn’t want to pay the bonus that a #1 pick can command, they should be able to trade down instead of taking a second-tier guy with the first pick.

  26. I love interleague play. Wouldn’t change that schedule a bit. But, with that said, I would prefer an interleague rules change though. If you are the NL team visiting the AL team, you play by the NL rules and vice versa.

    I think it’s a real nice treat for the fans to get to see some of the teams from different leagues. But, would be an even bigger treat if they could see 1st hand in person how exactly the game differs from league to league. Either way, the teams are playing the same number of interleague games home and away, so no team has an advantage either way.

    And a score by Datsyuk, 2-1 Wings. Sorry, watching and typing at the same time.

  27. Thanks Bilfer, great topic.

    Many well thought out opinions, most of which I whole heartedly agree with.

    My two cents:

    I would like to see the playoffs start earlier and end earlier. With the extra round of playoffs because of the additional round it is getting too late in the year to play in some areas. Weather is too much a factor in late October.

    I want to see the Hall Of Fame voting process revamped. Any system that has Ozzie Smith in and Alan Trammell out is not a system that is working properly.

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